2023/2024 Service Definition

SIMS Assisted School and Workforce Census Setup

What is it?

Our Assisted School or Workforce Census Setup Service assists schools with the preparation and creation of the School or Workforce Census return from SIMS. This service is delivered remotely and offered prior to each School and Workforce Census. Our SIMS consultants will support your school with ensuring that the preparation of your census return runs smoothly.

Why do I need it?

The consultancy will be scheduled at a date and time convenient to your school and a SIMS expert will guide you through the complexities of creating a School or Workforce return. Guidance and support will be provided ensuring you have the most up-to-date information available as it emerges from the DfE.

What are the benefits?

  • A SIMS consultant will help you to prepare SIMS for the School or Workforce Census return.
  • During the service you will receive immediate expert guidance and support tailored to your specific school's census return.
  • Save administration time and costs.
  • Timely completion of the statutory return.
  • The latest Fileset will be imported into SIMS allowing real-time validation for your census return.
  • Any valid future Filesets will also be imported into SIMS.
  • Any software issues can be identified and addressed early.
  • If you are new to working in schools you can be confident that the correct procedures are being followed.


"Thank you for your help with the Census. You made it all seem very clear and simple to complete.
I would certainly use your service again."

Hillside CP and St John's CP School


"I wanted to say thank you for the support I received from you for the school census. Your calmness and especially patience was very much appreciated. I would certainly recommend this service to colleagues in other schools and will be continuing this service myself."

Red Marsh School

What is included?

  • Checks to ensure the latest fileset is imported.
  • Creation of a School or Workforce Census return.
  • Using our remote access tool, we will connect to your school's SIMS.
  • Assists you in the preparation of your SIMS data for the School or Workforce Census return.
  • Guidance through each of the panels within the School or Workforce Census return.
  • Completion of the 'create and validate' routine.
  • Expert help to resolve errors and queries generated by the return.
  • Guidance on statutory data items and where to record them in SIMS.
  • Advice on how to run the School or Workforce Census detailed reports.
  • Advice and guidance on the remaining data items and procedures to be carried out on census day.
  • Create a successful School or Workforce Census return with the support and guidance of a SIMS consultant.
  • Copy of the completion notes and submission guidance transferred to the school's desktop for future reference.

What is excluded?

  • The school will be required to provide all the relevant data to be included in the School Census return.
  • The School Census return must be checked for accuracy and officially signed off by the head teacher prior to submission by the school to the Local Authority.
  • Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services will not be responsible for the data included in the return and submitted to the Local Authority.
  • Following sign-off of the service, no further amendments or support for the census return are included. Further issues or queries with the School Census return should be logged with our ICT Service Centre via our My ICT Incidents or 0300 123 6797 (option 3).
  • Amendments or new requests for assistance should be commissioned separately.

What does it cost?

Log-in to find out information on our pricing.

Additional information

How do I book this consultancy?

Please contact EducationDigitalServices@Lancashire.gov.uk to arrange a booking.

Is training available for staff on how to use SIMS?

Education Digital Services School Applications Team provide SIMS training courses to all schools, including schools outside Lancashire.

To view and book available SIMS training courses, please visit our SIMS Training Courses page or contact EducationDigitalServices@lancashire.gov.uk for more information.