School Workforce Census Bulletin 2022

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: 3rd November 2022

Latest Fileset: 2205 Click here

Latest Census Information

Date Description
01/11/2022 Calculation of Base Pay where there are closed contracts

ESS have released fileset 2205 to deal with the issue below. This fileset has been applied to hosted schools and a download is available on this FAQ.

Fileset 2205 deals with the issue described below for the SIMS Summer Release

Please note that the issue described below is for our SIMS Summer Release 2022 only and will not exist for our SIMS Autumn Release 2022.

Short description


The calculation and recalculation of Base Pay for the Base Pay panel correctly takes account of relevant contracts by only excluding those with an end date before the census reference date.  However, the calculation of Base Pay for Create & Validate incorrectly excludes all relevant contracts with an end date, even when their end date is on or after the census reference date.

Where the problem exists for non-leadership staff only the base pay itself can be impacted, which will trigger validation errors 4540 and 4515.

Where the problem exits for leadership staff, minimum, maximum and pay framework can be impacted, as well as base pay itself.  This will trigger validation query 4521Q, as well as validation errors 4540 and 4515.


Import of Fileset 2205 deals with the issue by bringing the calculation of Base Pay for Create & Validate in line with the calculation of Base Pay for the Base Pay panel.

Our advice is that any schools that has relevant contracts with an end date after the census reference date should import Fileset 2205.

We recommend the following process

      1. Import Fileset 2205
      2. Restart SIMS
      3. Recalculate all the panels, or just the tables in the Base Pay panel if it is available
      4. Rerun Create & Validate


01/11/2022 DfE validation query 6530Q

Please see update from ESS:

As I understand the DfE considers an FTE that indicates more than 1.5 to be sufficiently unlikely that it will trigger validation query 6530Q to indicate that the school should check their FTE data for that workforce member is correct. When this validation query is triggered in COLLECT the school can add a note to explain the circumstances that justify a workforce member having an FTE beyond 1.5. If the DfE believed that it was impossible for a workforce member to have an FTE beyond 1.5 the validation would trigger an error rather than a query.

SIMS doesn’t allow individual contracts to indicate and FTE beyond 1.00, but this is certainly possible where a workforce member has multiple open contracts. For example, in a recent case reported to us a workforce member had a permanent contract with FTE set to 1.00 and a fixed term contract set to 1.0o. This means that the FTE reported in the census for that workforce member is 2.00, which triggers DfE validation query 6530! as 2.00 is more that 1.5. This schools needs to check that the FTE is actually 1.00 for both contracts and, if it is, the school will need to explain to the DfE why this is acceptable.

01/11/2022  QTS Route of ‘Graduate Teacher Programme’ 

ESS have released the following update:

The DfE has modified its specifications for CBDS (Common Basic Data Set), the School Workforce Census 2022 return and School Workforce Census 2022 validation to remove ‘Graduate Teacher Programme’ as a QTS Route.

We have taken account of these modifications to DfE specifications by setting the QTS Route lookup code for ‘Graduate Teacher Programme’ inactive, so it can be left in ‘place’ for existing staff but can no longer be adding for staff.

We know that the DfE would prefer to only receive QTS Route data for newly qualified teachers, but we cannot identify such teachers in our software as the DfE’s CBDS specification does not include a date for QTS Route. So instead, we provide QTS Route data for all teachers, which is allowed by the DfE specification for School Workforce Census 2022.

The net result of the above is that where schools have correctly indicated ‘Graduate Teacher Programme’ as a QTS Route for some teachers who qualified in the past this is triggering validation error 4250 (QTS Route is invalid).

We understand that the DfE will not be modifying it school validation to take account of this anomaly but will modify its COLLECT validation so that validation error 4250 is not triggered.

We will be asking the DfE to add a QTS Route date to its CBDS specification, so that we will be able to differentiate between news qualified and other teachers.

05/10/2022 Minimum wage

Please see below an update from ESS regarding minimum wage:

‘When schools use the data stored in SIMS to calculate the pay rate for staff they will often get a slightly different result to the result the DfE will get when they use the date they store from the School Workforce Census.  This is because SIMS allows some of the data for such calculation to be stored at an accuracy of 4 decimal places while the DfE only allows that data to be included in the School Workforce Census to an accuracy of 2 or less decimal places.  A couple of examples are listed below.

Date Item SIMS Decimal Places DfE Decimal Places
Hours worked per week 4 2
Weeks per year 4 None


This is important for schools who are paying staff at rates that are only just at the minimum for the various measures of minimum wage according to calculations using data stored in SIMS.  When the pay rate is calculated from school workforce census data stored by the DfE, the pay rates for those members of staff may appear to be less than one or more of the various measures of minimum wage.

We understand that when the DfE contacts a school to enquire why they have a pay rate bellow the minimum, the DfE will accept the explanation of school workforce data being rounded.

Obviously, such contacts from the DfE can be avoided by increasing the pay rate of the staff in question.’

05/10/2022 Changes to the DfE specifications compared to School Workforce Census 2021

All date spans are inclusive.

Normal annual date changes

Census reference date: 03/11/2022

Absence: 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2022

Continuous contracts: 01/09/2021 – 03/11/2022*1

Snapshot data: Staff in regular service on 03/11/2022 (census reference date)

Historical date: Staff with regular service who have either or both for the following to report.

    • Contracts/service agreements which started/ended between 01/09/2021 and 02/11/2022
    • Absences in the period 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2022

*1 Although employment leaving date is not included in this census, it is very important for selected which staff to include in the census when contracts / service agreements are NOT being included in the census.

Changes to existing data items

Lookup codes for QTS Route

Change to the code set for QTS Route was approved pre COVID, but not implemented. This has now been put in place.

Base Pay is not required for closed contracts

Clarification of the specification.

Changes to validation

Rules with just dates rolled forward

    • 30: Year out of range
    • 4265Q: Teacher appears to be in second year of induction after more than 4 years in post. Please check
    • 4270Q: Teacher appears to be in first year of induction after more than 2 years in post. Please check
    • 4920: First Day of absence must be in the previous academic year (01/09/2021 to 31/08/2022)
    • YonY1: The headcount number of teachers (including advisory teachers) is significantly different from last year (this collection x, last collection y: Please supply a reason
    • YonY2: The headcount number of school support staff (including teaching assistants) is significantly different from last year (this collection x, last collection y: Please supply a reason

New rules

    • 4711Q: Staff member with Role of Head Teacher should have post of Head Teacher or Executive Head
    • 4712Q: Staff member with Role of Deputy Head Teacher should have post of Deputy Head Teacher
    • 4825Q: Additional Payment Amount appears to be high. Please check and confirm value
    • 7080Q: Unusually high number of vacancies reported. Only teacher posts that were vacant or temporarily filled on census day should be reported.

Altered rules

Only message altered

      • 4095Q: Please note that this return contains no absence records.  Please ensure that this is correct and that absence data is being uploaded to COLLECT in a separate xml file and that M&R is being completed.
      • 6260Q: SENCOs should have a NASENCO qualification unless they had been practicing in that role since before 1 September 2008.
      • 7240Q: Please note that this return contains no Teacher vacancy records. Please ensure that is correct, in which case a note of confirmation must be provided in COLLECT. Please check the ‘School Workforce Census: Minimum notepad entries’ guidance document for the accepted wording.
      • Base1Q: Please check: teacher’s salary is more than 10% below the bottom of the classroom teacher pay range

Other altered rule

      • 4545Q: Staff member appears to be paid less than the minimum wage for apprentices, please supply a reason in a return level note.

DFE Documentation:


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