School Workforce Census

Key Dates for the School Workforce Census 2023:

Census date: 02/11/2023
Deadline for submitting your data:
01/12/2023
Absence collected from 01/09/2022 to 31/08/2023
Continuous contracts collected from 01/09/2022 to 02/11/2023

Click here to view pay scales for teaching staff. You will need to update these in your MIS before running your workforce census. Support staff pay scales vary so you will need to contact your payroll provider to obtain a copy.

Errors and Resolutions

ESS have produced a help guide which addresses a variety of errors (should you encounter any). These errors are listed by their error code in the document attached and correspond with the ones shown in SIMS in the errors and queries section of your return. Click here to see the document.

Updates

Added by ESS 09/10/2023 Which members of staff should be classified as SBP (School Business Professions)?

You can click here for DfE guidance, but I have found that looking at the DfE validation ‘rules’ can also be very instructive for understand what the DfE has in mind, and I think this is also true for the new SBP classification.

DfE validation errors 4589 and 4605 make is very clear that a teacher cannot be a SBP.

  • Error 4589: Leaving Reason of ‘No longer teaching but still in education’ or ‘Left the teaching profession’ is invalid for School Business Professionals.
  • Error 4605: Origin of ‘First employment in teaching’ is invalid for School Business Professionals.

DfE validation query 6560Q indicates that a SBP might well be a member of the SLT (Senior Leadership Team).

  • Query 6560Q: The school has School Business Professionals, but none are on the SLT. Please check and confirm this is correct.

DfE validation query 6570Q indicates that a SBP is likely to have one or more qualifications to report and these are likely to be at level 3 and above, given that the qualifications added by the DfE for SBP are at levels 3 to 7.

  • Query 6570Q: No qualifications are recorded for staff with post of ‘School Business Professional’. Please check and confirm this is correct.

Updated by ESS 01/09/2023 – Issues 

Issue 2: CBDS changes to workforce lookups in the following four areas.

  • Qualification subject codes and descriptions
  • Qualification level codes and descriptions
  • Leaver destination codes and descriptions
  • Leaver reason codes and descriptions

Solution

These lookups need to be available in the SIMS database for reporting in SWC (School Workforce Census) 2023 and taken into account by the DfE for its validation and summary reports. To achieve this both CDP (Consolidated Database Patch) 2 or above must be applied AND Fileset 2503 or above must be imported, before the return is uploaded to the DfE’s COLLECT.

Issue 1: Working days lost for an absence

Working days lost for an absence is stored in SIMS to accuracy of 5 decimal places, but the DfE will only accept an accuracy of ‘.0’ or ‘.5’ when this is reported in the census return. For example, where SIMS stores ‘1.00000’ this should be reported to the DfE as ‘1.0’. SIMS is not carrying out this transformation for the reporting of Working Days Lost in the return file, which triggers validation error 2980 (Working Days Lost is in an invalid format. Format must be 999.9 and should be to the nearest half day).

A big thank you to the customer colleague who found time in the summer holiday period to join us at the UAT (User Acceptance Testing) workshop on the 16th of August and detected this issue for us.

Solution

This issue has proved more difficult to resolve than we expected, and a full solution requires both a fileset import (Fileset 2503 or above) and application of a database patch (CDP 2 or above).

Added by ESS 01/09/2023 – Alert

The DfE’s consultation on lookup changes related to the school workforce has concluded and has resulted in some modifications in the changes required, but there are still changes to be made to lookups in the following four areas. Most, but not all of the lookup changes, are related to the introduction of SBP (School Business Professional).

  1. Qualification subject codes and descriptions
  2. Qualification level codes and descriptions
  3. Leaver destination codes and descriptions
  4. Leaver reason codes and descriptions

The changes were agreed far too late to be included in our SIMS Summer Release 2023 but will put them in place via CDP (Consolidated Database Patch) 2 for the SIMS Summer Release 2023.

These lookup changes are reflected in the baseline version of the DfE validation and summary reports for SWC (School Workforce Census) 2023, which we will make available via Fileset 2503.

Added by ESS 31/05/2033 New category of School Business Professional (SBP) for reporting workforce data in SWC 2023

a. Why are staff categories important?

Although staff categories are not stored in SIMS or reported in the SWC return file they are very important to what is reported in the SWC return file for each relevant member of staff.

b. Allocating staff to categories with changes for SWC 2023 highlighted

You can click here to download a document that includes the relevant excerpt from the DfE specification.

c. Staff date provided for each staff category with changes for SWC 2023 highlighted

You can click here to download a document that includes the relevant excerpt from the DfE specification.

d. How to check staff category (for technical colleagues only)

Before creating the SWC return file (e.g. 8234321_SWF_823LL22_001.UNA) we create an SWC intermediate file (e.g. 8234321_SWF_823LL22_001.INT). The intermediate file holds all data for relevant staff that are relevant for SWC regardless of the category they are to be allocated to. The intermediate file also holds the staff category that they have been allocated to.

Once the intermediate file has been generated, we us it to create the SWC return file. We check the category of the member of staff in the intermediate file and then only copy the data specified for that category to the SWC return file.

If a user is surprised by the fields reported for a member of staff in the SWC return file, a technical person can open the intermediate file and check the category (e.g. <SIMSStaffCategory>6</SIMSStaffCategory>) to explain why those fields are being reported in the SWC return file.

  DfE Category Description SIMS Category Number
  Contracted teachers 1
  Agency/SA teachers 2
  Contracted teaching assistants 3
  SBP (School Business Professional) 4
  Leadership, non-teacher 5
  Other contracted support staff 6

 

The technical person should also be able to use b above to explain why the particular staff category has been applied to a member of staff.

Updated by ESS 23/05/2023 New ‘Membership of the Senior Leadership Team’

DfE CBDS specification changes

The DfE’s CBDS does not yet include ‘Membership of the Senior Leadership Team’, but we are confident that it will be added shortly and will be required as a flag (Yes/No) for each member of staff regardless of other data held for the member of staff. For example, a school may well have a non-teacher as part of their senior leadership team.

SIMS Compliance

1. We will add a new table to the Employment Details tab of Focus | Person | Staff | Employment Details where dated records of membership of the Senior Leadership Team can be added along with a note for the record. As you would expect, we will not allow overlapping records of membership to be stored.

Employment Details tab of Focus | Person | Staff | Employment Details

2. We will add a new sub-report to the Staff Employment Details section of the reporting dictionary for reporting the new senior leadership data.

Staff section of Reports | Design Report

3. We will add a new table to the staff personal data output for reporting the new senior leadership data.

Routines | Data Out | Person Data Output

Submitting Your Workforce Census

Please click here to view the DfE guide to submitting your Workforce Census via COLLECT.

SIMS News