This page contains answers to questions that crop up each census. If you would like to see any other items on the website, please contact the Information Management Team


  • All Schools are able to signpost to Childcare if they are not directly supplying it on site.
  • If you are not directly supplying childcare that is Before or After School, or taking place During the School Holidays, and is not for Pre-School or Nursery aged pupils, you are able to signpost parents and carers to the Childcare Provision available on the Nottingham City Council Website
  • Please note the DfE definition of Childcare is: 'Where there is a regular offer of childcare or supervised care of a child. The offer is reliable and would enable parents or carers to work and would normally be paid for by parents or carers.
    Schools who offer pupils 'breakfast' before school starts do offer 'before school' childcare - please note though it is expect that parents pay for this service we are aware some schools do not charge.
    School sports and activity clubs are classified as 'extra curriculum' activities and therefore should not be record as 'after school childcare'.
  • We are still waiting for responses to questions about Respite Care, whether Care has to run every day to be included, or where Provision has stopped part way through the year.

Hours at Setting

  • The validation of the data on the number of hours of nursery education in maintained settings allows up to 25 attended hours to be input. The relevant figure is the number of hours in the Census week, and validation will be to the nearest half-hour. This will allow the Department to monitor the hours attended at maintained settings on the same basis as private/voluntary/independent provision. It also enables LAs to implement an accurate Single Formula for all those children who are eligible for the Free Entitlement, funding for the actual hours attended at the settings.
  • This item will be collected each term.
  • Schools should exclude extended schools services, for which the parent pays.
  • The Early Years headcount will run from a sims report as it has in previous years and will incorporate all pupils of the required ages for Nursery funding until we know that this change collects all of the pupil information that is required for termly nursery funding.

Dual Registrations

  • In the case of a pupil regularly attending a part of course at another school that isn't its main school, that is not just a 'one off' the LA considers this to be a pattern and so the pupil should be dual registered.
  • Please also note from the Keeping Registers guidance (June 2008) page 37 (Related Primary Legislation) Appendix 1 point 216: 'The regulations are made under Section 434 of the Act which requires every school to keep registers of all their pupils. Under this law ... there is no such thing as a "guest pupil" and such pupils must be entered in the attendance and the admissions register. If pupils are educated at more than one school they must be on the admissions and attendance register of each school.'
  • As guest is not recognised as a registration status for pupils attending another school on more than on occasion, and these pupils are being educated at more than one school on more than one occasion we would expect to see them on the register of each school with dual registrations.
  • This means that the attendance mark these pupils should have when attending at the alternative school setting from your own is D for dual registered.
  • Schools are expected to ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby the school where the pupil is scheduled to be, can notify the "other" school of any absences by individual pupils so that both schools can record the pupil absence using the relevant absence code. For safeguarding and educational reasons, one of the schools must follow up all unexplained and unexpected absence in a timely manner, such as through the "First Day Calling" procedures.

For more information on Keeping Pupil Registers and the Absence and Attendance Codes, please see the Absence and Attendance Page

Census Summary

  • Section B of the Summary Report shows the number of pupils by age and part time/full time status
  • Please note that Sims is counting the pupils' age based on their age on 31st August
  • If your numbers of part time and full time pupils are not showing correctly please check in the pupil details if you have part time start and end dates entered correctly

PO Box Addresses

If you have pupils who are living in refuges, these should be able to stay anonymous. As the PO Box number is not a complete address, please enter the school address into Sims as the pupil's primary address.


  • The guidance document on the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 (entitled Keeping Pupil Registers) provides that 'Pupils join the school roll on the expected first day of attendance and must be listed in both admissions and the attendance registers from that day'.
  • Local Authorities and suppliers have asked for further guidance on how schools should implement this requirement. In particular, guidance has been requested on the actions to be taken by schools where a pupil does not arrive on the expected start date and effect on the 'other' school when it is found the pupil has started at another school.
  • Actions by schools where a pupil does not arrive on the expected start date and effect on the 'other' school when it is found the pupil has started at another school
  • Additional guidance has now been produced by the DfE and can be found on the school-attendance website.
  • This explains how your attendance is calculated and which pupils in your school are included in the calculations


Free School Meals

Free School Meals are calculated using any pupils who are of statutory school age, and any full time nursery pupils. So if you have:

  • 200 pupils of statutory school age who are full time
  • 50 pupils of statutory school age who are part time
  • 10 pupils in the nursery who are full time
  • 100 pupils in the nursery who are part time

and they are all eligible for FSM, the count that would be taken would be 260 as the 100 part time nursery pupils are not brought into the equation.