The ICT service

Helplines EXTRA July 2016

The ICT Service Helpline - Support During the Summer Holidays

For Primary and Secondary Schools

The ICT Service Helpline will continue to be available throughout the summer holidays.
There will be some occasions when the team will be attending inset or team meetings, but if you leave a voicemail on 0300 300 0000 or email us at we will get back to you as soon as we can.
From all of us on The ICT Service Helpline, we hope that you have a good summer and that you find some time to relax, recharge your batteries, and be ready for September 2016.

Remote Working from Home

For Primary and Secondary Schools

With the school holidays coming up soon, many of you will be wanting to remote work from home.

Please familiarise yourselves with the new Remote Access solution. 
Download our Guidance notes.

Removing and Adding Accounts

For Primary and Secondary Schools

We would like to stress the importance of maintaining accounts for staff leavers and new appointments.
Accounts that need investigating:
  • Active Directory Accounts  -  these allow users to log onto machines on the school network
  • Central Hosting/Email Accounts
  • SIMS/FMS Accounts
As soon as staff leave, their accounts should be deactivated/deleted.
Please note: if these leavers have folders or data that will be required by replacement staff, please make sure this data is moved or copied before the accounts are deactivated/deleted.
Do not deactivate or delete any generic account for Office, Head or Finance etc.
All schools should have people who are able to administer these accounts:
  • Technician/ICT Co-ordinator for Active Directory
  • Admin Tool Operator for Central Hosting/Email
  • SIMS Administrator for SIMS access
  • Finance Officer for FMS access
Don’t wait for new staff to arrive before setting up accounts; they will not become active until the new user logs on for the first time and selects their own passwords.
It is much safer and more efficient for schools to maintain their own accounts.  If, for some reason, this is not possible, The ICT Service Helpline can carry out these procedures; however, requests should be made in writing (email, giving specific details of the name, role and access requirements of the new user.
As schools are able to maintain their own accounts, at busy times these requests could be classed as lower priority cases for The ICT Service Helpline; we would therefore recommend that requests for new accounts should be submitted before or during the holidays whenever possible.
The following documents are available on the Portal at – they provide very useful guidance and checklists:
School Admin Reference Guide
Staff Starters Checklist
Staff Leavers Checklist
Pupil Starters Checklist
Pupil Leavers Checklist

SIMS Summer Upgrade

For Primary and Secondary Schools

  • Centrally Hosted schools were upgraded during the latest downtime on 9 July 2016.
  • The upgrade has been released to locally hosted schools on SOLUS 3.
  • BSF schools will be upgraded when their data is migrated during the first two weeks of the summer holidays.
ALL schools should import the latest Report Definitions in SIMS by going to Reports | Import and browse for PreDefined_Reports_v7170RptDef
Changes have been made to the Documentation Centre (accessed from the top right of the SIMS Home Page). Documentation is now relevant to your school phase.

Primary and Secondary Schools:
It is now possible to specify start dates for Attendance when running the School Report.
CTF Version 16 from 1 August 2016 onwards will include data items:
  • Country of Birth
  • Proficiency in English
  • Nationality
Assessment Results accessed from Student Details Links can now be exported to Excel.
Pre-defined Data Collection Report includes Country of Birth and Nationality.
Includes data necessary to generate the School Autumn Census and the School Workforce Census.
New data fields available to record additional items required for Census 2016-2017 – via the Ethnic/Cultural panel:
  • Country of Birth
  • Nationality (in Nationality and Passport Details)
  • Proficiency in English
These data fields can also be updated using bulk update – Routines | Pupil | Bulk Update
Years E1 and E2 can now be added to the Pastoral Structure (note: only applicable where schools have approval to admit these pupils onto the school roll).

Secondary Schools only:
Exam or Assessment Results accessed from Student Details Links can now be exported to Excel.
Exam Numbers and UCI numbers are now visible on Student Details (but not editable).
Additional Levels made available for Nova-T6:
  • GCSNS = GCSE 9-1 short course
  • GCSNF = GCSE 9-1 full course
  • GCSND = GCSE 9-1 double course.

Working in School during the Holidays

For Primary and Secondary Schools

Are you intending to work in school during the summer holidays? 
If you are, do you know what to do if you turn on your machine and are unable to log onto the school network or the Internet?
  • A simple power cut could mean the school server has powered down – do you know where it is and how to turn it back on? 
  • Do you know the Admin logon for the school network – or do you know how to reach your technician or someone else who does know? 
  • Can you reach them at any time during the summer holidays? 
  • Do you know who can unlock accounts and reset passwords for your school – can you contact them during the holidays? 
  • Do you know where your Network Cabinet is and where its power switch is?
If you are unsure about any of the above, please check your procedures before the holidays begin.

Year End Procedures

For Primary and Secondary Schools

Guidance notes on Year End Procedures in SIMS are available for download.

It is essential that the new academic year has been defined before the end of August 2016.
Please note: great care should be taken to record term dates accurately – once the year has been created, try to avoid editing the academic year again as this process can take hours to complete and usually causes problems for any other users logged into SIMS. 
To avoid this problem, Staff Training Days can be added in the School Diary in SIMS.
The promotion routine must also have been run before the end of August 2016, so that pupils will be moved onto their next year group automatically on the first day of the next academic year.

Dinner Money

For Primary Schools

Please ensure that Dinner Money refunds are paid to any pupils who are leaving in July 2016, and that outstanding debts are collected before the end of term. 
CCS meal charges will remain unchanged in September 2016 – therefore no changes are required before the new academic year.

Enhancements to Links between AGORA and FMS

For Primary Schools

You may have noticed a red cross against your FMS Link in Agora. In the latest upgrade, Capita added two NEW tabs in the Tools | Payment Systems Management | Payment System Parameters area (only visible to schools running the link between FMS and Agora).
The two additional tabs (Surcharges and VAT on Surcharges) have been provided to enable the management of Surcharges within the Payment System Mapping in FMS.
These two new tabs should be set up as soon as possible.  Synchronisation between the two systems will fail, and a red cross will show against FMS in your Agora system, until this has been completed.
All Agora FMS linked schools should have received an email containing a Guidance Document from Kath Ryans to the Office account. If you have not received this, you can download it here. 

Exams Organiser - Preparing for Results Day

For Secondary Schools

Secondary schools using Examinations Organiser must upgrade to the SIMS 2016 Summer Release. 
A new Performance Measures file can then be imported in readiness for processing results in the summer.
Failure to upgrade to the SIMS 2016 Summer Release will result in PI values being wrong, missing functionality in PI reports and the latest business rules not applied throughout the SIMS Exams software.
The Performance Measures file is available for download from the Portal (search using the key words ‘Performance Measures’).
The summer upgrade has been released to locally hosted schools; and Centrally Hosted schools were upgraded during the latest scheduled downtime on Saturday 9 July.
Various sets of guidance notes that exams officers might find useful have been uploaded to the Portal Learn Together website (search for keyword – ‘Exam Organiser’).


Central Hosting Downtime - 13 August & 10 September 2016

For Primary and Secondary Schools

On Saturday 13 August & 10 September 2016 The ICT Service will be carrying out scheduled maintenance on Centrally Hosted Systems.
The following systems will therefore be unavailable between 7.00am and approximately 11.00pm on Saturday 13 August & 10 September 2016:
  • Centrally Hosted Email (Email sent to accounts during this time will still be delivered)
  • Remote Access
  • School based systems via Remote Access
  • Video Conferencing
The full calendar of scheduled downtime dates can always be found on our website

Monthly Tasks & Recently Uploaded Documents

For Primary Schools

  • Year End Procedures in SIMS
  • Administer accounts for new staff and staff leavers
Documents recently uploaded to the Portal 

Monthly Tasks & Recently Uploaded Documents

For Secondary Schools

  • Administer staff accounts – leavers and new appointments
  • Summer Upgrade
  • Exams – Import Performance Measures
Documents recently uploaded to the Portal 


Key Dates and Training Coming Up Soon

For Primary and Secondary Schools

Ensure you receive our latest Training dates by signing up to receive our regular newsletters. Visit The ICT Service Website and sign up with your own email address.

SIMS Courses

SIMS for New Users
Sessions 1 and 2: Wed 31 August 2016,
9.30am - 4.00pm
Session 1: Tues 13 September 2016,
9.30am - 12.00pm
Session 2: Tues 27 September 2016,
9.30am - 12.00pm
Session 1: Tues 8 November 2016,
1.30 - 4.00pm
Session 2: Tues 22 November 2016,
1.30 - 4.00pm
SIMS Basic Reporting
Thurs 22 September 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Preparing for School Census
Fri 23 September 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
SIMS Advanced Reporting
Thurs 6 October 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Managing SEND in SIMS
Mon 10 October 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
SIMS Personnel & Working towards School Workforce
Tues 11 October 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Wed 19 October 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Attendence & Dinner Money
Thurs 13 October 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Admin Roadshows
Admin Roadshows - Autumn 2016
Weds 28 September 2016, 1.30 - 3.30pm
Hemingford Abbots Village Hall, Hemingford
Tues 4 October 2016, 1.30 -3.30pm
Meadows Community Centre, Cambridge
Finance Courses
Barclays 3 Day Payments Workshop - Reporting & Beyond
Tues 20 September 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Wed 30 November 2016, 9.30am - 12.00pm
Budget Adjustment & Profiling and CFR Mapping
Tues 20 September 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Tues 18 October 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
FMS for New Users
Day One: Weds 21 September 2016,
9.15am - 12.45pm
Day Two: Weds 5 October 2016,
9.15am - 12.45pm
Day Three: Weds 19 October 2016,
9.15am - 12.45pm
Day Four: Weds 23 November 2016,
9.15am - 12.45pm
Bridging the Gap between Agora and FMS
Tues 27 September 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm
Paperless Finance Office PLUS 3 Day Payments set up Workshop
Thurs 29 September 2016, 1.00 - 4.30pm
Thurs 20 October 2016, 9.15am - 12.45pm
Tues 29 November 2016, 1.00 - 4.30pm
FMS Equipment Register
Weds 5 October 2016, 1.30 - 4.00pm

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  • Scheduled downtime is complete, all services are back online. For support, contact The ICT Service Helpline on 0300 300 0000 #ICTDowntime

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