Latest News & Information

SIMS User Group Meeting – Thursday 28th March 2019

Written by Sims On Wednesday, 13 February 2019 11:56

 

SIMS User Group Meeting

Date:    Thursday 28th March 2019

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 and we will endeavour to include these on the meeting agenda.

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

Spring 2019 School Census - Selected Time for Class Information

Written by Sims On Friday, 14 December 2018 13:08

 

Selected Time for Class Information

Details are required of all classes running at the selected time on census day (17 January 2019). If different parts of the school use different timetable structures, then systems should allow the school to return class information for the timetable structure that applies to Key Stage 1. For example, where lunch is at 12:00 hours for pupils following a primary timetable but at 13:00 hours for pupils following a secondary timetable, then the end of morning school should be taken to be 12:00 hours and not 13:00 hours.

The ‘selected time’ is based on the last digit of a school’s departmental establishment number as follows:

Last Digit of DfE Number Selected Time
2, 3 or 6 One hour/period after the start of afternoon school
4, 7, 8 or 9 One hour/period after the start of morning school
0, 1 or 5 One hour/period before the end of morning school

Where the selected time is not appropriate to the school timetable: where the selected time is when the whole school or a large proportion of the school is in an assembly with the head teacher; schools can choose an hour / period that reflects a ‘normal’ class situation that applies at the selected time each Thursday of the term.

Do not record unusual situations (such as class amalgamation or school closure) which may have occurred on census day due, for example, to staff training or absence, severe weather conditions or religious observances.

READ MORE

Spring 2019 School Census - 17th January 2019

Written by Sims On Friday, 14 December 2018 12:54

 

Please login and go to the School Census Category to download the relevant preparation notes for your school.

READ MORE

Patches to delete data no longer collected by DfE Census

Written by Sims On Thursday, 06 December 2018 13:03

 

As the DfE census will no longer collect Proficiency in English, Pupil Country of Birth or Pupil Nationality data, Capita SIMS have released three patches to delete data that is no longer collected from school databases:

  • Proficiency in English Patch - Deletes all records for Proficiency in English information for all past, present and future students. Where a student has multiple proficiency entries, the patch will remove all instances of this.
  • National Identity Patch - Deletes the National Identity for all past, present and future students.
  • Country of Birth/Nationality Patch - Deletes the Country of Birth and where present the Nationality (actually called Nation inside the expanded Nationality and Passport Details record, only where passport details are blank) for all past, present and future students.

  If you would like any or all of these patches to be applied to your school Sims database, please contact the SimsforSchools team via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

READ MORE

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

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

    SIMS User Group Meeting – Thursday 28th March 2019

     

    SIMS User Group Meeting

    Date:    Thursday 28th March 2019

    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 and we will endeavour to include these on the meeting agenda.

    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**

    Spring 2019 School Census - Selected Time for Class Information

     

    Selected Time for Class Information

    Details are required of all classes running at the selected time on census day (17 January 2019). If different parts of the school use different timetable structures, then systems should allow the school to return class information for the timetable structure that applies to Key Stage 1. For example, where lunch is at 12:00 hours for pupils following a primary timetable but at 13:00 hours for pupils following a secondary timetable, then the end of morning school should be taken to be 12:00 hours and not 13:00 hours.

    The ‘selected time’ is based on the last digit of a school’s departmental establishment number as follows:

    Last Digit of DfE Number Selected Time
    2, 3 or 6 One hour/period after the start of afternoon school
    4, 7, 8 or 9 One hour/period after the start of morning school
    0, 1 or 5 One hour/period before the end of morning school

    Where the selected time is not appropriate to the school timetable: where the selected time is when the whole school or a large proportion of the school is in an assembly with the head teacher; schools can choose an hour / period that reflects a ‘normal’ class situation that applies at the selected time each Thursday of the term.

    Do not record unusual situations (such as class amalgamation or school closure) which may have occurred on census day due, for example, to staff training or absence, severe weather conditions or religious observances.

    Spring 2019 School Census - 17th January 2019

     

    Please login and go to the School Census Category to download the relevant preparation notes for your school.

    Patches to delete data no longer collected by DfE Census

     

    As the DfE census will no longer collect Proficiency in English, Pupil Country of Birth or Pupil Nationality data, Capita SIMS have released three patches to delete data that is no longer collected from school databases:

    • Proficiency in English Patch - Deletes all records for Proficiency in English information for all past, present and future students. Where a student has multiple proficiency entries, the patch will remove all instances of this.
    • National Identity Patch - Deletes the National Identity for all past, present and future students.
    • Country of Birth/Nationality Patch - Deletes the Country of Birth and where present the Nationality (actually called Nation inside the expanded Nationality and Passport Details record, only where passport details are blank) for all past, present and future students.

      If you would like any or all of these patches to be applied to your school Sims database, please contact the SimsforSchools team via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    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

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