SIMS Autumn Census 2021 guidance

Posted  21st September 2021
Posted by  Georgina Rowlands

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Looking for the latest fileset? Download fileset 1907 here

Please note: the previous filesets were 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904 & 1905

SIMS Census

Here’s your SIMS update on the latest guidance for the Autumn Term 2021 School Census.

  • Census date 07/10/2021
  • Attendance collected from 05/04/2021 to 31/07/2021
  • Exclusions collected from 01/01/2020 to 31/07/2021
  • Free School Meal Eligibility collected from 21/05/2021 to 07/10/2021
  • Learner Aims collected from 01/08/2020 to 07/10/2021

Changes to the School Census Autumn Return include the following:

Update Funding and Monitoring

Tools | Statutory Return Tools | Update Funding and Monitoring

Not applicable to Nursery

The funding and monitoring functionality has been provided to enable schools to record and extract information about pupil/students who are in receipt of parts of the Education Recovery Package.

Funding and Monitoring Detail Report

Routines | Statutory Returns | School Census

Not applicable to Nursery

The Funding and Monitoring report displays funding and monitoring information for pupil/students during the collection period 01/08/2021 to 07/10/2021. The report has been provided to enable schools to check that the data is accurate before supplying the census file to the DfE.

Enhancements to the Reporting Dictionary

Reports | Design Report

Not applicable to Nursery schools

When designing a report based on Students | Additional information, a new Funding and Monitoring sub-group has been added.

The following data items are available from this new sub-group:

  • FAM Type
  • FAM Code
  • FAM Description
  • Academic Year
  • Autumn Hours
  • Spring Hours
  • Summer Hours

Programmes of Study and Learning Aims

Applicable to All-Through and Secondary schools, and Pupil Referral Units only

The Post-16 Programmes of Study and Learning Aims report replaces the Post-16 Programmes of Study – Programmes Report. Each programme for a student is displayed in the new report with a light-yellow background. The associated learning aims are displayed below the programme.

Learning Aims Panel

Applicable to All-Through and Secondary schools, and Pupil Referral Units only

The new Programme Type column displays the programme type values from the Programmes of Study screen (via Tools| Academic Management | Course Manager | Post-16 Programmes of Study). The additional column has been provided to enable the same learning aim to be reported in two different programmes and to enable users to distinguish between the two based on the programme type. This additional column is read only.

The Add Learning Aim wizard now provides the functionality to add a Programme Type to a new Learning Aim record (displayed in the Learning Aims panel only).

Changes to Exclusions Terminology

Tools | Lookups | Maintain

Applicable to Maintained schools in England only (not Nursery schools)

The DfE is changing exclusions terminology:

  • 'Permanent exclusion' is remaining.
  • 'Fixed period exclusion' is changing to 'Suspension'.
  • 'Lunchtime exclusion' is changing to 'Lunchtime suspension'.

To accommodate this change, amendments have been made to the Exclusion Type lookup in SIMS. One code has been added: SUSP – Suspension.

One description has been changed: RFIX – Reinstated from Fixed Period/Suspension. Schools are required to record suspensions from September 2021 in preparation for the forthcoming returns: Both fixed term exclusions and suspensions will be collected in the School Census Spring 2022 Return.

Suspensions only will be collected from the School Census Summer 2022 Return.

Change to the Student Ethnicity Lookup

Tools | Lookups | Maintain

WNIR - White - Northern Irish has been provided as an additional extended code and has been added to the student Ethnicity lookup. This new code maps to the main code of WBRI - White - British.

School Arranged Alternative Provision Placements

Focus | Pupil (or Student) | Pupil (or Student) Details

This new data item can be recorded in the Registration panel of the Pupil (or Student) Details page from September 2021 in preparation for the first voluntary collection of data in the School Census Spring 2022 Return.

The collection period for these placements is from the day after the previous census return to the 'current' census day inclusive.

In most cases, placement information should be recorded by the school that arranged the placement. For more information, please refer to the DfE guidance click here

Fileset 1907 is now available

The latest Fileset (1907) is now available, so hit the download button and unzip the folder. Then open SIMS and go to Tools | Setups | Import and click the yellow folder button to browse to the fileset, simply highlight it and choose' Open' then use the 'Import Fileset' button.

Please note: The previous filesets were 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904 & 1905! 

Remember, you'll need to close and open SIMS again for it to take affect. 

Download the latest fileset

Download the 'Producing the Summer Autumn guides from Capita


Download now


Download now!


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If you require any assistance please call us on 0345 222 1551 | Opt 3. or email

Would you like us to do your Autumn Census for you?

Let us take it off your to-do list this month by contacting us. We're taking orders for the Autumn Census until 30th Sept. Looking ahead, we can do ALL of this year's returns for you - whether you are already an SBS customer or not!

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