Spring 2017 Census


Our step by step Census documentation is available now so that you can get ahead and start preparing for Spring Census day which is on Thursday 19th January.

Preparing for the Spring Census

Primary, Special & Nursery Schools notes

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Producing the Spring Census

You will also need to import fileset 501, which can be downloaded below.
Guidance on how to import can be found in an earlier blog.

Download now! →

As always, make sure that you have the correct ‘selected time’ for your school.
This is based on the last digit of the school DfE number as follows:

  • 0, 1 or 5 The selected time is one hour after the start of afternoon school
  • 2, 3 or 6 The selected time is one hour after the start of morning school
  • 4, 7, 8 or 9 The selected time is one hour before the end of morning school

Primary and all-through schools with infant classes are asked to ensure that the selected period is one in which their infant classes are engaged in an ordinary teaching session. An ordinary teaching session does not include school assembly or any other school activity usually conducted with large groups of children such as PE / games, music, singing, drama, watching TV or listening to the radio.

Important dates in the Spring 2017 collection

  • Attendance Collection: 01/09/2016 to 31/12/2016
  • Exclusion Collection: 28/03/2016 to 31/08/2016
  • FSM Eligibility Collection: 07/10/2016 10 19/01/2017

Important changes in the Spring 2017 collection

Included in the Spring Census for the first time: Pupil Nationality, Country of Birth, Proficiency in English, UPRN
Collected for a Nursery School for the first time: First Language, Ethnicity

Other changes:

  • Childcare has been modified to provide for 4 records only
  • Admissions Appeals are now divided into 3 parts: Infant, Primary and Secondary
  • Term Attendance is to be collected in the Spring Census for the first time
  • E1 and E2 Years Taught In (Year Actual) are allowed for a Spring Census for the first time
  • In Care is no longer collected (was previously collected for pupils with exclusions)
  • School Address will not be collected in the Spring Census for the first time
  • Reference Date can be changed for timetabled classes for the first time
  • Hours for Early Years: Pupils taught in year R and above excluded for the first time
  • Adopted from Care has been changed to PLAA (Post Looked After Arrangements)

Ethnic Data Source

The following Ethnic Data Source lookups were made inactive in SIMS Autumn Release 2016, in line with DfE concerns and as mentioned in a previous blog:

  • Ascribed by the previous school
  • Ascribed by the current school
  • Other

A SIMS report definition file is available to download below (unzip the file and then import it by going to Reports | Import).
This can be used to list all current pupils who have one of these sources of ethnicity assigned.

Download now! →

Should you require an onsite consultancy visit to help you with the running of the school census or wish to book our Census Remote Service then please call us on 0345 222 1551 • Option 3 or email

SBS provides Capita-accredited support, consultancy and training for SIMS. Learn more about how to get the most out of your school data.

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