School Workforce Census Bulletin 2021

This FAQ lists the latest information regarding the School Workforce Census. It contains links to relevant documentation and information on the latest filesets, patches and errors.

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School Workforce Census Date: 4th November 2021

Latest Fileset: 2001 Click here

Latest Census Information

Date Description
10/11/2021 Consolidated Database patch 3 (26849) and Fileset 1908

The above patch and fileset have been applied to hosted schools and released in SOLUS for non hosted schools.

We are advising to create a new census, calculate all details, recalculate the pay details panel and run create and validate before authorising the census return.

If the pay details area is not pulling through to the census please go to Tools | Statutory Returns Tools | School Workforce Census Settings and tick ‘Allow Editing of Base Pay’

09/11/2021 Consolidated Database patch 3 (26849) and Fileset 1908

Hosted Schools – the above patch and fileset will be applied tonight (09/11/2021)

Non hosted schools – this will be released in SOLUS tonight (09/11/2021)

Issues that are dealt with for the first time in Consolidated Database Patch 3 for the Summer Release 2021

For clarity this section ignores the possibility that a school has applied the now withdrawn Consolidated Database Patch 2 for the Summer Release 2021, but you can be assured that all issues caused by this withdrawn patch will be dealt with by this third consolidated database patch.

Issue A: Where a member of staff has multiple pay records during the collection period, contract data was incorrectly being included by School Workforce Census 2021 in line with the number of pay records.  Where multiple contract data is incorrectly included one or more times, 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

Solution: After application of consolidated patch 2, contract data is not being included in the census return multiple times.

Issue B: The following QTS Route lookups are set to ‘Active’ in SIMS, but are not supported by DfE CBDS.  As QTS Route is a ‘Statutory (Fixed)’ lookup, schools cannot set the code to ‘Inactive’.

  • ITEU: Initial Teacher Education – Undergraduate course
  • ITEP: Initial Teacher Education – Postgraduate course

Solution: The patch will set these two lookup codes ‘Inactive’, so they can no longer be selected for a workforce member.

Issue C: Where no contract or service agreement data is included in the return for a relevant member of staff, either because the school has opted not to provide contract or service agreement data for staff or because the school has not entered relevant contract or service agreement data for a member of staff, no curriculum or qualification data is being included in the return file for that member of staff.  This is incorrect as the absence of contract or service agreement data should not, in itself, prevent the inclusion of curriculum or qualification data in the return file.

Solution: This patch, along with application of Fileset 1908, will ensure that all relevant curriculum and qualification data is included in the return file.

09/11/2021 Scenario that is not yet catered for

ESS have released the following update:

‘Following investigation of a case, we now understand that there is a scenario that our latest consolidated patches and filesets does not cater for.

Where a school has created pay information to start in the future*1 and has opted not to allow editing of Base Pay *2, pay details for the staff involved are not reported in the census and the following validation errors will be triggered.

  • 4515: No Payment information has been provided
  • 4540: If staff member is not paid by a Daily Rate then Base Pay must be provided

At this late stage, we suggest that the best way forward for schools in this position is to opt for allowing editing of Base Pay, as this will be enough to ensure that all the relevant pay details are included in the census return.  This workaround does not require any details to be edited in the Pay Details panel.

However, we will create patches to correct this mistake on our part for distribution via SOLUS 3, where opting for allowing editing of Base Pay is unacceptable.’

*1 Focus | Person | Staff | Contract

*2 Tools | Statutory Returns Tools | School Workforce Census Settings

 

05/11/2021 Using Fileset 1908 without applying English Consolidated Database Patch 3 for the Summer Release 2021

Issue: If a school runs Create & Validate in the School Workforce Census 2021 application after applying Fileset 1908, but before apply English Consolidated Database Patch 3, they will get a message at the bottom left of the screen stating ‘Unable to create and validate the School Workforce Census return’.

Solution: The triggering of this message is deliberate, as we are guarding against schools inadvertently creating an incorrect census return by attempting to make use of Fileset 1908 without having also applied Consolidated Database Patch 3.  The solution is to apply English Consolidated Database Patch 3, as well as Fileset 1908, before attempting to run the School Workforce Census 2021 application.

 

05/11/2021 Consolidated Database Patch 3/Fileset 1908

ESS have released the above patch and fileset. This will need to be applied to your database before the workforce census return is authorised and uploaded to COLLECT.

Hosted schools – date TBC

Non Hosted Schools – this will be released in SOLUS – date TBC.

Issues that are dealt with for the first time in Consolidated Database Patch 3 for the Summer Release 2021

For clarity this section ignores the possibility that a school has applied the now withdrawn Consolidated Database Patch 2 for the Summer Release 2021, but you can be assured that all issues caused by this withdrawn patch will be dealt with by this third consolidated database patch.

Issue A: Where a member of staff has multiple pay records during the collection period, contract data was incorrectly being included by School Workforce Census 2021 in line with the number of pay records.  Where multiple contract data is incorrectly included one or more times, 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

Solution: After application of consolidated patch 2, contract data is not being included in the census return multiple times.

Issue B: The following QTS Route lookups are set to ‘Active’ in SIMS, but are not supported by DfE CBDS.  As QTS Route is a ‘Statutory (Fixed)’ lookup, schools cannot set the code to ‘Inactive’.

  • ITEU: Initial Teacher Education – Undergraduate course
  • ITEP: Initial Teacher Education – Postgraduate course

Solution: The patch will set these two lookup codes ‘Inactive’, so they can no longer be selected for a workforce member.

Issue C: Where no contract or service agreement data is included in the return for a relevant member of staff, either because the school has opted not to provide contract or service agreement data for staff or because the school has not entered relevant contract or service agreement data for a member of staff, no curriculum or qualification data is being included in the return file for that member of staff.  This is incorrect as the absence of contract or service agreement data should not, in itself, prevent the inclusion of curriculum or qualification data in the return file.

Solution: This patch, along with application of Fileset 1908, will ensure that all relevant curriculum and qualification data is included in the return file.

04/11/2021 Release schedule

ESS have posted the update below, we are also waiting on confirmation from ESS as to whether all schools need this patch/fileset or just schools experiencing issues.

‘We are working on the following releases as a matter of the utmost urgency and I will be providing ETAs for each release as soon as possible.

  1. English Consolidated Database Patch 3 for the SIMS Summer Release 2021
  2. Fileset 1908 for the Summer Release 2021
  3. Consolidated Database Patch B for the SIMS Autumn Release 2021
  4. Fileset 2001 for the Autumn Release 2021

Items 1 and 2 will be released first followed by items 3 and 4 shortly afterwards.

We advise schools on the SIMS Summer Release 2021 not finalise their SWC 2021 return until they have applied items 1 and 2 above and have subsequently run Create & Validate in the SWC 2021 application.

We advise schools on the SIMS Autumn Release 2021 not finalise their SWC 2021 return until they have applied items 3 and 4 above and have subsequently run Create & Validate in the SWC 2021 application.

If a school finalises their return and uploads their return to COLLECT before apply the necessary fixes, they are likely to have to finalise a second version of their return and upload that second version to COLLECT.  This is not a major issue in itself, as COLLECT stays open for SWC upload for several weeks, but it can cause confusion.

Please note that SWC differs from School Census in that there are no extra difficulties if Create & Validate is run after the census reference date (04/11/2021).’

 

04/11/2021 Which consolidated database patch and fileset does my school need for this census?

ESS have sent out the following update:

‘The answer to this question has been modified to reflect the new situation that pertains following the withdrawal of the English Consolidated Database Patch 2 for the Summer Releases 2021 (Patch 26816) and Consolidated Database Patch A for the Autumn Release 2021 (Patch 26842). 

The consolidated database patch and fileset need for this census will depend on the SIMS release being used.

SIMS Summer Release 2021

  • Fileset 1908
  • English Consolidate Database Patch 3 for the Summer Release 2021 (26849).  This patch will only ‘inherit’ the beneficial aspects of the English Consolidated Database Patch 2 for the Summer Release 2021 (Patch 26816), which has been withdrawn.

SIMS Autumn Release 2021

  • Fileset 2001
  • Consolidate Database Patch B for the Autumn Release 2021 (26853).  This patch will only ‘inherit’ the beneficial aspects of the Consolidated Database Patch A for the Autumn Release 2021 (Patch 26842), which has been withdrawn.’

This bulletin will be updated once patch 26849/fileset 1908 has been released.

 

03/11/2021

English Consolidated Database Patch 2 (Patch 26816) – Withdrawn 

ESS have released the following update regarding patch 26816:

‘As some of you will already be aware, there is serious issues with the English Consolidated Database Patch 2 for the SIMS Summer Release 2021, which results in some data not being written to the XML return file for staff who have left the school in the collection period.  We are now withdrawing this patch and will be moving its beneficial aspects to the English Consolidated Database Parch 3 for the SIMS Summer Release 2021.  The same action is being taken for the Consolidated Database Patch A for the SIMS Autumn Release 2021.’

This bulletin will be updated once Consolidated Database Patch 3 is released.

03/11/2021 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

ESS have posted the following update:

‘Our Escalation team are dealing with 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.

Both a fileset and a consolidated database patch will need to be applied to fully resolve this issue.  The particular fileset and consolidated database patch required will depend on whether a school has stayed on the Summer Release 2021 or moved to the Autumn Release 2021.

Summer Release 2021

  • Fileset 1908
  • English Consolidate Database Patch 3 for the Summer Release 2021

Autumn Release 2021

  • Fileset 2001
  • Consolidated Database Patch B for the Autumn Release 2021′

This bulletin will be updated once the above filesets/patches are made available by ESS.

03/11/2021 Consolidated Database Patch 2/Fileset 1908

Consolidated database patch 2 (26816) has been released. Please contact the service desk if you require this patch.

The patch will be released for non hosted schools in SOLUS.

ESS have sent an update to say the release of fileset 1908 has been delayed – this bulletin will be updated once this is released.

25/10/2021 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.’

This bulletin will be updated once this fileset is released.

 

22/10/2021 Workforce Member Payment Details report

ESS have released the following update regarding the ‘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.’

The consolidated database patch has not yet been released, this bulletin will be updated when this patch is available.

21/10/2021 Staff Categories

Update from ESS:

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.

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.

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.

20/10/2020 Pay details included for teachers who have left the school

ESS have posted the following update:

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).  I will update this newsfeed item as soon as we have completed our initial investigation.

20/10/2021 Inclusion of multiple copies of a contract for a member of staff

ESS have released the following update:

‘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′

20/10/2021 Collection Dates

All date spans shown below are inclusive

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