Latest News & Information

School Workforce Census 2018 Collection Date

Written by Sims On Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:55

 

The School Workforce Census collection date for 2018 is:

  • Thursday 8th November 2018
READ MORE

FMS Apportionment Issue

Written by Sims On Monday, 17 September 2018 10:48

One school has reported an issue when using the FMS Salary Apportionment function.  If you are using this, please can you check that the amounts being posted to cost centres are correct, as the figures appear to be doubling up.  There is now a patch that has been rolled out to all schools via SOLUS which will prevent this going forward.  However, if you do notice an issue with your postings, there are a few steps that need to be carried out in FMS so plesae contact us or your Schools Finance Link Officer for further guidance.

READ MORE

Capita Data Corruption Issue

Written by Sims On Thursday, 19 July 2018 13:40

 

The SimsforSchools Team would like to assure our customers that we are aware of this potential data corruption issue. 

Capita informed us that it affected Common Transfer Files (CTFs) which were imported into Pre-admission groups. They issued a patch at the beginning of June to fix this bug in the software to prevent this happening but were unable, at that time, to issue a fix if data had already become corrupt. 

As advised, we applied the patch at all our schools and investigated whether the schools had already setup Pre-admission groups at this time and found that most had not. Capita then issued a SQL script which potentially highlighted any suspicious data. We ran this script at several of our schools and investigated the output.  However, after consultation with some school staff regarding the findings, found that inaccurate errors were being reported, i.e. suggesting a pupil’s address had been changed and should be changed back when in fact the pupil (and the connected contacts) had actually moved house so the address change was correct. 

Last Monday evening (16th July) Capita released an updated patch to be applied at all schools – this we released on Tuesday 17th July and are still checking that it has run at all schools. This patch enables a Database Diagnostic check to be carried out and we are running this at our schools at present.

The output from this needs to be checked and if we find any suspected corruption we will notify the schools with our findings.

We have carried out all recommended routines suggested by Capita and have been monitoring their updates on the situation. We will be continuing to work with Capita to ensure that your school’s data is not compromised.

READ MORE

Free School Meals Update

Written by Sims On Tuesday, 17 July 2018 11:09

 

Following the introduction of universal credit, a pupils FSM status will be protected until either the end of the universal credit roll-out period i.e. 31 March 2022 or until the end of their current phase of education. This means that:

  • any claimant who is in receipt of free school meals at 1 April 2018 should continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria
  • any claimant who gains eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 and until the end of universal credit rollout (31 March 2022) should continue to receive free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period. This applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria

Consequently, it is not expected that FSM end dates will be entered by schools during the transitional period – with the exceptions being:

  • where a parent has withdrawn the pupils FSM claim
  • where a pupil transfers from another UK country – their non-English FSM must have an FSM end date

 

Further information can be obtained from the DfE website via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools-and-local-authorities

READ MORE

SIMS User Group Meeting – Thursday 6th December 2018

Written by Sims On Monday, 09 July 2018 08:26

SIMS User Group Meeting

Date:    Thursday 6th December 2018

Time:    2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Venue: John Locke Academy, Bader Way, Uxbridge UB10 0FW (Tel: 01895 717701)

The SimsforSchools team would like to invite you to join us for our next user group meeting where we will give an update on new and planned developments in SIMS. We would also welcome any SIMS related topics that you would like us to cover during the session.  Please forward any suggestions to the SimsforSchool team.

We look forward to seeing you at this terms session.

Refreshments will be provided.

**If you are planning to attend this meeting, can you please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as confirmation**

READ MORE

School Census Collection Dates - Academic Year 2018/2019

Written by Sims On Monday, 09 July 2018 08:12

School Census collection dates for the academic year 2018/2019 are:

Autumn Term:   Thursday 4th October 2018

Spring Term:     Thursday 17th January 2019

Summer Term:  Thursday 16th May 2019

READ MORE

Proficiency in English, Pupil Nationality & Country of Birth no longer collected in School Census

Written by Sims On Friday, 06 July 2018 09:05

 

Please note the DfE has decided that Proficiency in English, Pupil Nationality and Country of Birth data will no longer be collected in School Census collections from the School Census Autumn 2018 return onwards.

READ MORE

2018 Phonics Screening Check Threshold Mark

Written by Sims On Monday, 25 June 2018 13:15

 

The 2018 phonics screening check threshold mark is 32.

Please check each pupil’s mark against the threshold to establish whether they have achieved the expected level.

READ MORE

Known Issue - Software crash on address data entry/amendment

Written by Sims On Monday, 23 April 2018 14:08

 

Software crash on address data entry/amendment

Since the installation of the latest SIMS Spring upgrade users may experience problems where the software crashes when address details are entered or amended anywhere on the database. This is due to out of date system files on your workstation. Every workstation should be running on Dot Net framework 4.5 or the latest version. This should have been installed via routine Windows updates. Therefore, you are advised to check with your IT support company to ensure your machine is running on an up to date version of the software.

READ MORE

GDPR and Capita SIMS

Written by Sims On Friday, 09 February 2018 10:41

The DfE have suggested questions that schools should ask of their MIS Suppliers and Capita have responded to these in the linked document.

It is advisable for all schools to refer to these answers.

READ MORE

Welcome to SIMS For Schools

Support and guidance in the use of SIMS software (and related issues) is provided by our team of professional, dedicated staff who all have experience of working in the school environment. Advice is provided for the production of DFE and LA statutory returns and how to maximise the effectiveness of school data and thus reduce administrative burdens. Specialist training courses are provided in a dedicated training room and a number of training sessions are included in the support package free each year.

The SIMS helpdesk is available between the hours of 8am - 5pm during term time and from 10am - 4pm during school holidays.

  • Latest News

    School Workforce Census 2018 Collection Date

     

    The School Workforce Census collection date for 2018 is:

    • Thursday 8th November 2018

    FMS Apportionment Issue

    One school has reported an issue when using the FMS Salary Apportionment function.  If you are using this, please can you check that the amounts being posted to cost centres are correct, as the figures appear to be doubling up.  There is now a patch that has been rolled out to all schools via SOLUS which will prevent this going forward.  However, if you do notice an issue with your postings, there are a few steps that need to be carried out in FMS so plesae contact us or your Schools Finance Link Officer for further guidance.

    Capita Data Corruption Issue

     

    The SimsforSchools Team would like to assure our customers that we are aware of this potential data corruption issue. 

    Capita informed us that it affected Common Transfer Files (CTFs) which were imported into Pre-admission groups. They issued a patch at the beginning of June to fix this bug in the software to prevent this happening but were unable, at that time, to issue a fix if data had already become corrupt. 

    As advised, we applied the patch at all our schools and investigated whether the schools had already setup Pre-admission groups at this time and found that most had not. Capita then issued a SQL script which potentially highlighted any suspicious data. We ran this script at several of our schools and investigated the output.  However, after consultation with some school staff regarding the findings, found that inaccurate errors were being reported, i.e. suggesting a pupil’s address had been changed and should be changed back when in fact the pupil (and the connected contacts) had actually moved house so the address change was correct. 

    Last Monday evening (16th July) Capita released an updated patch to be applied at all schools – this we released on Tuesday 17th July and are still checking that it has run at all schools. This patch enables a Database Diagnostic check to be carried out and we are running this at our schools at present.

    The output from this needs to be checked and if we find any suspected corruption we will notify the schools with our findings.

    We have carried out all recommended routines suggested by Capita and have been monitoring their updates on the situation. We will be continuing to work with Capita to ensure that your school’s data is not compromised.

    Free School Meals Update

     

    Following the introduction of universal credit, a pupils FSM status will be protected until either the end of the universal credit roll-out period i.e. 31 March 2022 or until the end of their current phase of education. This means that:

    • any claimant who is in receipt of free school meals at 1 April 2018 should continue to receive free school meals whilst Universal Credit is rolled out. This applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria
    • any claimant who gains eligibility for free school meals after 1 April 2018 and until the end of universal credit rollout (31 March 2022) should continue to receive free school meals during the Universal Credit rollout period. This applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria

    Consequently, it is not expected that FSM end dates will be entered by schools during the transitional period – with the exceptions being:

    • where a parent has withdrawn the pupils FSM claim
    • where a pupil transfers from another UK country – their non-English FSM must have an FSM end date

     

    Further information can be obtained from the DfE website via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools-and-local-authorities

    SIMS User Group Meeting – Thursday 6th December 2018

    SIMS User Group Meeting

    Date:    Thursday 6th December 2018

    Time:    2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

    Venue: John Locke Academy, Bader Way, Uxbridge UB10 0FW (Tel: 01895 717701)

    The SimsforSchools team would like to invite you to join us for our next user group meeting where we will give an update on new and planned developments in SIMS. We would also welcome any SIMS related topics that you would like us to cover during the session.  Please forward any suggestions to the SimsforSchool team.

    We look forward to seeing you at this terms session.

    Refreshments will be provided.

    **If you are planning to attend this meeting, can you please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as confirmation**

    School Census Collection Dates - Academic Year 2018/2019

    School Census collection dates for the academic year 2018/2019 are:

    Autumn Term:   Thursday 4th October 2018

    Spring Term:     Thursday 17th January 2019

    Summer Term:  Thursday 16th May 2019

    Proficiency in English, Pupil Nationality & Country of Birth no longer collected in School Census

     

    Please note the DfE has decided that Proficiency in English, Pupil Nationality and Country of Birth data will no longer be collected in School Census collections from the School Census Autumn 2018 return onwards.

    2018 Phonics Screening Check Threshold Mark

     

    The 2018 phonics screening check threshold mark is 32.

    Please check each pupil’s mark against the threshold to establish whether they have achieved the expected level.

    Known Issue - Software crash on address data entry/amendment

     

    Software crash on address data entry/amendment

    Since the installation of the latest SIMS Spring upgrade users may experience problems where the software crashes when address details are entered or amended anywhere on the database. This is due to out of date system files on your workstation. Every workstation should be running on Dot Net framework 4.5 or the latest version. This should have been installed via routine Windows updates. Therefore, you are advised to check with your IT support company to ensure your machine is running on an up to date version of the software.

    GDPR and Capita SIMS

    The DfE have suggested questions that schools should ask of their MIS Suppliers and Capita have responded to these in the linked document.

    It is advisable for all schools to refer to these answers.

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