We would like to reassure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and working with the government and NHS.
For guidance on coronavirus and the latest information for Devon, visit Devon County Council’s coronavirus (COVID-19) advice pages.
School Census Bulletin 1
School Census Bulletin 1 – Summer 2021
DfE School Census Date: Thurs 20th May 2021 Return Date: Tues 25th May 2021
As you may be aware, the statutory School Census for the Spring Term takes place on Thu 20st May. We strongly recommend that schools begin to prepare for the School Census by ensuring that, so far as possible, pupil databases are up-to-date and the relevant systems / accesses are in place.
1. DfE update on Early Years Funding
The DfE have advised that they will use termly data from the 2021 summer term school census (and 2021 autumn term school census) to determine the early years block funding allocation. It is therefore important to make sure your census information is accurately submitted.
2. COVID 19 and pupil absence
Schools must provide pupil level data for pupils who are recorded on the school admission register as at census day, irrespective of whether they attend school on that day. Pupils who are absent from school on census day, whether the absence is COVID-19 related or for other reasons, should be counted in schools’ census returns in the usual way.
3. COVID 19 and Universal Infant Free School Meals (school lunches taken)
The DfE advise that where COVID-19 related absences occur and ‘school lunches taken’ are affected, a day and time when the situation is regarded as normal should be used instead. Schools can use the next normal day, an earlier day in census week or another day that reflects the normal situation. Where other days or times are used, schools must record these for audit purposes. Sims users: the school dinner taken panel in the census routine enables you change the reference date if required.
Some scenarios do not qualify as an unusual circumstance and therefore pupils must be recorded as NOT having taken a school lunch:
- If the school kitchen is closed and the school have not offered any alternative provision
- Pupils who have changed their preference to bring a packed lunch
- Pupils are absent for other reasons not connected to COVID-19.
4. Year 11 and Year 13 leavers
Due to COVID 19 the DfE have provided some guidance on year 11 to 13 exam cohort attendance and provision for 2021 summer term in annex B of Schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
5. Changes to existing data items
There are no changes for the summer census. However please remember the following changes which were introduced earlier this year;
5.1 Termly attendance – data is recorded and returned on all categories of school attendance and includes the following;
- Total number of sessions attending approved educational activity
- Total number of sessions unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances
- Total number of sessions not attending in circumstances relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)
5.2 Sessions not attending in circumstances in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) – code X should be used to record sessions where a pupil does not attend because their travel to, or attendance at, school would conflict with:
- guidance relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) from Public Health England or the Department of Health and Social Care, or
- any legislation (or instruments such as statutory directions) relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)
5.3 Exclusion reasons have been extended with five additional reasons and include the exclusion reason ‘Wilful and repeated transgression of protective measures in place to protect public health’, introduced to support the government’s response to coronavirus.
3 reasons can now be recorded against an exclusion, but schools should only select more than one reason where it is appropriate. As a result of these changes, the exclusion reason of ‘other’ is no longer a valid category and Capita have de-activated this option in sims.
6. SIMS users – latest fileset to resolve errors
Schools must have upgraded to version 7.198 or above and must have imported the most up to date fileset – 1802 (due to be released beginning of May). This fileset resolves errors being generated incorrectly due to an invalid census reference date. If you are a hosted school, Scomis will apply filesets automatically for you. If you encounter any difficulties please contact Scomis on 01392 385300. Non hosted schools need to download the filesets from the Scomis website and apply themselves. For the latest SIMS census information go to: https://faq.scomis.org/kb25941/.
7. Department for Education (DfE) Sign-in Portal – COLLECT
We are aware, that some schools, have in the past encountered difficulties with their COLLECT access. We therefore ask that you check your COLLECT access by logging in to the DfE Sign in Portal as soon as possible https://services.signin.education.gov.uk/.
8. Further Guidance
Our School Census Quick Guide and Supporting Guide (indicating where census data items are held in sims) are available via our website below, whilst our checklist follows on at the bottom of this page. https://www.devon.gov.uk/supportforschools/administration/school-census
CAPITA sims school census handbooks are available at the bottom of the Scomis school census webpage https://faq.scomis.org/kb25941/
If you have any queries, or if this is your first school census, please email email@example.com and someone from the Education Information Team will contact you to provide support and guidance.
Education Information Team (EdIT)
School Census Summer 2021 – Check List
Use this check list to tick off each of the tasks once they have been completed.
- Early Years Portal – schools with early years children
- complete the Early Years Portal Task as it will be checked against your entries in the census. The Early Years portal collection is based on the same week as census: week commencing 17/05/2021.
- Check your COLLECT access by logging in via: https://services.signin.education.gov.uk/. If you have forgotten your password or username please contact the Department of Education immediately.
- Ensure you upgrade to SIMS version 7.198 or later as soon as possible to enable dry runs to be carried out. If you are a hosted school, Scomis will apply this automatically for you.
- Check the latest fileset version has been imported (fileset 1802 at time of publication). For the latest SIMS information please view the Scomis site: https://faq.scomis.org/kb25941/
- Carry out a dry run to determine what information needs to be updated, our Spring School Census Guide is available via: https://www.devon.gov.uk/supportforschools/administration/school-census
- Preparing the census data
- Check school level information e.g. establishment details, school email address, URN etc.
- Ensure leavers and re-admissions are recorded and any student records created in error are deleted.
- Check students’ basic details, e.g. name, date of birth, gender, enrolment status, year taught in, UPN, home address, free school meal eligibility, first language & service child indicator.
- Special Educational Needs – check SEN status, member of SEN Unit / Resources Provision indicators and Top Up Funding indicator. The detailed ‘SEN Report’ in the census routine is useful to pass to your SEN co-ordinator for consideration.
- Exclusions – this census captures 2020/21 autumn and spring term exclusions. Please ensure exclusion records have been added against pupil records. E codes in attendance need to match the associated exclusion record.
- Attendance – deal with any missing marks and investigate any ‘N’ codes (reason for absence is not yet known).
- Early Years children – check Hours at Setting, Funded Hours (2, 3 & 4-year olds), Extended Childcare Hours (3 & 4 year olds), 30 Hour Code and Disability Access Fund
- Producing the census
- Run through the school census routine in sims, check and resolve errors and queries.
- Run the detailed reports and summary report to assist you with resolving any errors and queries.
- Once your Head Teacher is satisfied the data is correct authorise the return (print reports for your records).
- Return to COLLECT
- Uploadand submit your return to the DfE COLLECT data collection website (available via the DfE Sign In Portal): https://services.signin.education.gov.uk/.
- Check for errors and queries in COLLECT and add the appropriate acceptable notes. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/complete-the-school-census/check-your-data