School Workforce Census

School Workforce Census 2021 – Thursday 4th November 2021

 

Key Dates for the School Workforce Census 2021:

Census date: 04/11/2021
Deadline for submitting your data:
03/12/2021
Absence collected from 01/09/2020 to 31/08/2021
Continuous contracts collected from 01/09/2020 to 04/11/2021

 

What’s Different from Last Year?

 

Workforce Member Allowance Details Report

Details of Other Support Staff have been removed from the Allowance
Details report because the information is no longer collected.
 

Newly Qualified Teacher

Focus | Person | Staff
Provided the QT Status check box is selected on the Professional Details tab of the staff record, it is now possible to specify which induction year the newly qualified teacher is in by selecting from the NQT Status drop-down list.

Change to the Calculation of Staff Category

Focus | Person | Staff
The Staff category is now calculated using both open and closed contracts. The staff category determines the information included in the return for each member of staff, e.g. if a teacher retires at Christmas but comes back in January as Support Staff, the information included in the return would be for the staff category of Teacher.

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

27/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Issue where schools are not including contracts and/or service agreements and where a contract and/or service agreement does not exist for a members of staff

Our Escalation team is investigating an issue which results in curriculum and qualification data incorrectly not being included for members of staff where correctly neither a contract nor a service agreement is included for those members of staff.

It is too early for us to be sure how we will fix this issue, but my ‘educated guess’ is that it will either require Fileset 1909 or Consolidated Database Patch 3.

25/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Qualifications data for staff who have a fixed term contract that is open on the census reference date

Where a member of the school workforce has a status that indicates that their qualification data should be included in the census, they are not being included when the have a fixed term contract that is open on census day.  This issue will be dealt with via Fileset 1908.

I will provide an estimated time of arrival for Fileset 1908 as soon as possible. 

25/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Newly Qualified Teacher: Data to be used for funding

As I recall, the DfE’s addition of the NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) Status data for School Workforce Census is the first time that this census has been used for the direct funding of schools; other fields are used for informing overall funding.  Please see the ‘Excerpt from the DfE school workforce census guide 2021’ newsfeed item below. With this in mind, we suggest that schools should be even more careful than usual in checking that the NQT Status is correct for workforce members included in this census.

Professional panel of the Profession Details tab of Focus | Person | Staff

Where schools leave this NQT Status blank for a workforce member, the census application will report this in exactly the same way as it will do when NQT Status is set to ‘Not in Year 1 or 2 of NQT Status Induction’.

Professional panel of the Profession Details tab of Focus | Person | Staff

 

25/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Newly Qualified Teacher: Excerpt from the DfE school workforce census guide 2021

7.1.13. Newly Qualified Teacher

This field identifies Early Career Teachers in the first or second year of induction.

From September 2021, statutory induction changed for new teachers and all early career teachers undergoing statutory induction starting from September 2021 are entitled to 2 years of high-quality professional support based on the ECF. State funded schools offering statutory induction will receive additional funding to deliver the new ECF.

Funding for the second year of induction will depend on data submitted in the School Workforce Census, so special care should be taken that data entered in this field is correct.

To be recorded in this field as NQT1 or NQT2 a teacher must:

  • have QTS (rather than QTLS or EYTS), and
  • be on the Early Career Framework (ECF)
  •  

A teacher working less than full time may take more than a calendar year to complete a year of induction, it is a up to a school to determine whether a member of staff is in the first or second year of their induction.

22/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Workforce Member Payment Details report

This report is very unusual in that the data displayed is generated directly from the SIMS database rather than from the census XML return file.  Collecting the data directly from the SIMS database was necessary in this case, as it contains some data that is not included in the XML return file, but is very useful for schools to understand the context for the data that is included in the return file.

This year the report is causing confusion in that it is displaying details for workforce members who left on after the continuous contract start date, which it should not display as leavers payment details are not included in the census return file.  Although this reporting issue does not impact the actual data included in the XML return file, we will fix this reporting issue in version 2 of English Consolidated Database Patch (Patch 26816) to avoid confusion.

22/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Inclusion of Multiple Copies of a Contract for a Member of Staff

Where a member of staff has multiple pay records during the collection period, contract data is incorrectly being included in line with the number of pay records.  Where multiple contract data is incorrectly included one or more time, the following validation rules are likely to be triggered.

  • 4745Q: Member of staff is working more than 48 hours a week. Please confirm if this is true.
  • 6530Q: The same person has a total Full Time Equivalent ratio greater than 1.5

This issue will be fixed by version 2 of the English Consolidated Database Patch (Patch 26816).

21/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Staff Categories

As you can see from the following graphic taken from the DfE specification, staff category is very important to the SWC return as it determines which data items are included for a particular workforce member.

Somewhat strangely, staff category is not actually reported in the SWC return, although it has a very important influence on what is reported for each member of staff.  More technically minded colleagues may find it helpful to know that we create an intermediate XML file (e.g. 8234321_SWF_823LL20_001.INT) that includes all possible data for staff along with our allocation of staff category to each of those members of staff.

One important aspect of our allocation of staff to a particular category are the details from each member of staffs contracts.  Which means that the change we have made to the allocation of staff to a particular category is much more important than it sounds.  Our general approach has not changed, in that we continue to to allocate staff category according to a hierarchy of ‘ranks’ as illustrated below.  For example, if a member of staff has a contract as a teacher and contract as a member of the support staff, they would be allocated to the contracted teachers category.

Rank Staff Category
1 Contracted Teachers
2 Agency/SA Teachers
3 Teaching Assistants (TAS)
4 Leadership Non Teacher (LNT)
5 Other Support Staff (SOP/AVT)

Following consultation with the DfE we have changed our approach to closed contracts.  Previously, when allocating staff category we only took account of contracts that were open on census reference day.  Now we are also taking account of contracts that closed within the collection period.  For example, if a member of staff has a closed contract in the collection period as a teacher and an open contract as other support staff, they will be allocated a staff category of contracted teacher.  This change in approach regarding closed contracts should have no direct impact beyond allocating staff to one of the categories listed above, but allocation to a particular category then impacts the set of data included for a workforce member.

We will be asking the DfE to simplify matters by included staff category in next year’s SWC. 

20/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Pay details included for teachers who have left the school

Please note that we are looking into a customer case where pay details have been included for a workforce member who left the school before that census reference date (04/11/2021). More updates to follow.

15/10/2021 – Update from ESS SIMS – Inclusion of multiple copies of a contract for a member of staff

We are investigating cases where the details of a contract for a member of staff is being included in the return with the correct data, but is incorrectly being included more than once.  Where this occurs it is very likely to trigger the following validation rules.

  • 4745Q: Member of staff is working more than 48 hours a week. Please confirm if this is true.
  • 6530Q: The same person has a total Full Time Equivalent ratio greater than 1.5

Where this problem occurs the number of times the data is included is in line with the number of salary records stored for the contract, but the presence of multiple salary records for a contract is not sufficient reason for the multiple inclusion to take place.

We will provide further details next week and we expect to be able to deal with this issue via a fix to be delivered by version 2 of the English Consolidated Database Patches for the SIMS Summer Release 2021.

Submitting Your Workforce Census

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

Workforce Census in Bromcom

Click here to view Bromcom census guidance.

Workforce Census in Arbor

Click here to view Arbor census guidance.

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