Latest Spring Census Guidance and Fileset


We have just received the latest guidance on the Spring Term 2021 School Census

The school census date is Thursday 21st January 2021 with a submission return by Wednesday 17th February 2021.

Key Points

  • Schools must provide pupil level data for pupils who are recorded on the school admission register as at census day, irrespective of whether they attend school on that day. So pupils who are absent from school on census day, whether the absence is COVID-19 related or for other reasons, should be counted in schools’ census returns in the usual way.
  • Current funding allocation through the national funding formula (NFF) and the pupil premium is calculated based on the number of pupils on roll and is not affected by pupil non-attendance on census day.
  • Schools should record free school meals taken and school lunch taken as the normal situation, for example if a pupil would normally have a school meal on a Thursday they should be recorded as such on the census.
  • Please note however, any vulnerable pupils or children of critical workers who are absent for reasons other than COVID related or who have chosen to have a packed lunch on census day should not be recorded as having taken a school lunch and any of this cohort of pupils who are FSM eligible should not be counted in the free school meals taken figure.

Early years – Funded hours. extended hours and hours at setting

  • Early years provision should remain open and continue to allow all children to attend full time or their usual timetable hours.
  • Funded hours, extended hours and hours at setting for pupils who are in attendance during census week should be recorded as normal.
  • Funded hours, extended hours and hours at setting should be recorded as the number of hours the pupil would normally be expected to attend during census week in the following circumstances:
  • 1. Pupils are absent because they are self isolating
    2. Parents have chosen not to send their children to nursery


  • Funded hours, extended hours and hours at setting should be recorded as zero in the following circumstances:.
  • 1. The nursery provision has chosen to close
    2. Where the child is not attending because the school has chosen to restrict nursery provision to certain groups of children (eg Vulnerable children and children of Key workers)

Recording a pupils funded hours as zero will have an impact on your funding.
Where the parent has requested a change to funded hours entitlement taken at the establishment, schools must record the revised funded hours.

Early Years Funding

By now you will have already submitted your Early Years estimates to the Early Years Commissioning via the provider portal. If, in light of the census guidance, your pupil numbers need to be revised, these can be captured as part of the actuals submissions that will be required shortly. We will use the actuals to inform any final adjustments to funding paid for this term .

And Fileset 1704

We do have the latest Fileset for you which is 1704 so hit the download button and unzip the folder. Now 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. Remember, you’ll need to close and open SIMS again for it to take affect.

Download the latest fileset now! →

Download the ‘Producing the Autumn Census’ guides from Capita

If you require any assistance please call us on 0345 222 1551 • Option 3 or email

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