EventsNewsSIMS NewsTipsTrainingUncategorisedVacancies

September Newsletter – Welcoming you back to a new Autumn term with the lastest news and updates from School ICT

By 8th September 2020 September 14th, 2020 No Comments

Welcome back and a warm welcome to all the new customers joining us this term.

Please join us in welcoming two new members to the School ICT Team – Sue Phillips joins us as an MIS Consultant and Andrew Lloyd joins us in the Technical Team.

For all those who have been working from home we hope you have a safe return into school as we all adapt to another way of working.

Our customer portal has been updated with all the webinars and content we shared last term, so if you’ve not had chance, please take some time to log in and take a look. If you don’t have a customer portal account, please contact the helpdesk to request one

In line with customer requirements, we are now running training courses online, please visit the website for course details and to book places.

Also, coming soon…E-learning courses which allow you to learn at your own pace, further information will be announced shortly!

Summer Release - New Features

Enhancements to the Student list Report

Reports | Student List | General Student List

Reports | Student List | Class List

Reports | Student List | Registration Group List

The following behaviour columns can now be added to a Student List Report via Standard | Conduct.

  • Achievement Points
  • Behaviour Points
  • Net Points
  • No. of Detentions Recorded
  • No. of Report Cards
  • No. of Initiatives

In line with current GDPR legislation, when creating a Student List report, gender and date of birth information is no longer displayed by default in the report output. These fields can be applied manually, if required.

Exclusions Information Recorded from September 2020 for Collection in the School Census Spring 2021 Return.

Applicable to Primary, Secondary and All-Through schools, and Pupil Referral Units in England only.

Focus | Pupil (or Student) | Exclusions

Up to three reasons for an exclusion may be reported in the School Census Spring 2021 Return. To cater for this, additional drop-down fields have been provided for Exclusion Reason 2 and Exclusion Reason 3 when recording an exclusion. The existing Exclusion Reason has been renamed Exclusion Reason 1.

The following reasons for exclusion have also been added:

  • Use or threat of use of an offensive weapon or prohibited item
  • Abuse against sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Abuse relating to disability
  • Inappropriate use of social media or online technology

Full release notes can be downloaded from the Documentation area of the SIMS Homepage.

Autumn Census - Thursday 1st October

Deadline for return of Census to DFE via Collect is Wednesday 28 October 2020. Please check with your Local Authority who may request the data earlier.

Free School Meal Eligibility collection period: 17/01/2020 to 01/10/2020

Attendance Collection period: see below

The DFE has taken a decision not to collect and use attendance data in the autumn 2020 school census relating to the summer 2020 term. Where attendance data is included in the XML file, it will be removed on upload. However, we still require pupil no longer on roll records for all pupils with DOB between 2003-09-01 and 2015-08-31 (aged between 4 and 15 as at 2019-08-31), with a leaving date between 2020-01-01 and 2020-07-31 and are not a boarder.

Exclusions Collection period: 01/09/2019 to 31/07/2020

Learning Aims collected from 01/08/2019 to 01/10/2020 (Post 16 Schools only)

Age at date: 31/08/2020

Documentation to aid with preparing and producing the census can be found on our customer portal ( under Knowledge Base | Categories | Student Census. If you are unsure of your portal details or would like an account, please give the helpdesk a call. You must be logged in to see the documents in the customer portal.

You must have the SIMS Summer Release (7.194) applied and need to import Fileset 1602 or later. Fileset 1602 is available to download from our website along with instructions on how to download and apply it.

Post 16 Schools – Course Manager Check – Before Running the Census! – Do not run your census until you have done these!

Click here to download the checklist

Program aim (used for funding)

From autumn 2020 all on roll pupils undertaking 16-19 programmes must have a programme aim recorded alongside the component learning aims.

For secondary, all-through schools with sixth forms and PRU/AP only.

The first collection of this data will be in the autumn 2020 census.

Programme type (used for funding)

Needed for both on and off-roll students. From autumn 2020, the census now records a programme type against all learning aims. The programme type indicates what type of programme each learning aim belongs to.

The programme type code indicates whether a student is studying:

  • a T Level transition programme (code 30)
  • a T Level (code 31)
  • another 16 to 19 study programme (code 01)

For secondary, all-through schools with sixth forms and PRU/AP only.

The first collection of this data will be in the autumn 2020 census.

Work placement entity [used for funding]

Needed for both on and off-roll students. The school census records work experience and industry placements using a QN for one of the following:

  • T Level industry placement: ZWRKX003
  • industry placement, capacity and delivery fund (CDF): ZWRKX002
  • 16 to 19 study programme work experience: ZWRKX001

A work experience / industry placement QN can have more than one work placement entity. This means that students who have more than one placement, possibly with more than one employer, will have one QN and multiple work placement entities.

For each work experience / industry placement, the following fields should be recorded:

  • the start and end dates for each episode of a placement
  • the planned work placement hours for each episode of a placement
  • the employer (using the employer reference number (ERN) from the employer data service)
  • whether the placement is internal or external

T level planned hours and planned employability, enrichment, and pastoral hours (used for funding)

Needed for on and off-roll students. The total planned timetabled hours for the student for the duration of the T Level.

From autumn 2020 T Level planned hours must be returned for all students undertaking T Level programmes. As T Levels are 2-year programmes, the value should cover the whole programme, and will, in all but a few exceptional circumstances cover multiple years. This differs from planned qualification hours and non-qualification hours, for study programmes which are recorded annually for each student.

Where a student is only undertaking a T Level programme in the year, you should only return T Level planned learning hours and T Level planned employability, enrichment and pastoral hours.

Where a student is only undertaking a study programme or a T Level transition programme you should only return planned learning hours and planned employability, enrichment and pastoral hours.

The only scenarios we envisage where a student should have both sets of planned hours recorded in the same academic year is where a student undertakes a short T Level transition programme progressing onto a T Level programme in the same year or transfers from a T Level programme to a study programme in-year.

T Level planned hours must include:

  • the technical qualification
  • specialist content
  • non-qualification activity

T Level planned hours must not include:

  • English and maths delivery
  • industry placements
  • other qualifications that are not part of the T Level

There are no previous year T Level planned hours fields as the hours recorded for T Levels cover the whole programme and are not annual as they are for study programmes.

For secondary, all-through schools with sixth forms and PRU/AP only.

The first collection of this data will be in the autumn 2020 census.

We are running several courses online please visit the website for booking details.

Microsoft Office Specialist

Did you know that School ICT is an official Microsoft Testing Centre for the Office Specialist exams?

The training is all online and can be studied at your own pace over the period of a year.

If you would be interested in training and gaining a Microsoft qualification in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook or Access, then please contact Helen in the SIMS Team on: 0345 222 6802 (Option 1).

Attendance - Guidance for Academic Year 20-21

Just a reminder that Using the Y Code has reverted for this academic year – it will no longer be used for recording COVID absence. Using Y for COVID related absence would result in incorrect data being submitted to the DfE in Spring 2021 Census.

Please see the guidance notes from the DfE on how to record attendance for this academic year.

School ICT Resourcing

Do you have members of staff shielding, isolating or are you encountering staff absence for the usual reasons of sickness absence, maternity, resignations etc? We can help you fill permanent roles in addition to providing temporary assignments. Please contact Helen to discuss your non-teaching recruitment needs on: 01133 720039 or e-mail:


Online SIMS Training...

Limited availability remaining for online training!
Places are booking up fast for our online training courses. New courses have been added this week so please book early to secure your place. Please visit the School ICT website to book:

Each course will be run by two SIMS consultants to ensure you get the most out of the course. Courses follow the same format as classroom style courses and you will receive the same training notes electronically and a recording of the course will be available for 1 week after the course to refer back to.

Online Training Schedule Autumn Term 2020

InVentry - the number one visitor management and sign in solution

InVentry is the market leading site access and staff monitoring solution, used by over 7,000 schools and businesses across the UK.

InVentry allows access to your establishment through facial recognition, QR and barcodes, making signing-in books a thing of the past.

GDPR compliance, fire evacuation procedures and an automated track and trace procedure are all taken care of with InVentry.

Whatever your establishment type, InVentry gives you the flexibility to manage site access and monitoring through one comprehensive solution.

If you’re interested in finding out more about InVentry please contact us on: 0345 222 6802 or email:

Leave a Reply