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Information Management Systems

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Welcome to the IMS Support Team SharePoint pages... 

The purpose of these pages is to tell you about topical issues to do with IMS support and to make a library of resources available to subscribers.  We post resources on the appropriate pages so you can sign in and download them at your convenience. Whenever we post resources on our website, we email subscribing schools to let you know that new resources are available.  The news items below tell you about the latest issues and the resources available for support. 

Latest IMS news, advice and resources​​

Help during extreme weather

- news item posted Thursday 1 March 2018

We will be available to deal with your IMS queries, during the adverse weather conditions on Friday 2 March. Please email the team inbox for any non-urgent SIMS-related queries, or if you have an emergency to do with your IMS, we have staff available to respond quickly.


Marking school closures in your attendance registers

- news item posted Wednesday 28 February 2018

Guidance on how to manage school closures due to exceptional circumstances in SIMS can be found here.


Handy hints for SOFIE users

- news item posted Tuesday 20 February 2018

HHFSU.png (SOFIE is the name of the secure file transfer system in use across agencies in South Gloucestershire - settings that work with other local authorites may need to refer to alternative system documentation.)


Table 15 of the DfE Summary Report 

- news item posted Thursday 18 January 2018

The DfE has warned schools in its latest bulletin that Table 15 is including 4 year old pupils when it should not be.  However, we believe that the problem is wider than this and that the table also excludes 15 year olds when they should not be.

This will not be corrected by the DfE in SIMS.  However, you will find that the correct information can be obtained from the appropriate detail report.


fileset 803 has been released by Capita

 - news item posted Thursday 11 January 2018

Following the update of the validation rules released by the DfE, dealing with errors in their baseline version, Capita have updated fileset 803, which we have emailed to all subscribing secondary settings.


Documentation for the spring census is ready

 - news item posted Monday 8 January 2018

Phase appropriate guidance notes are available on the Primary and Secondary Census pages. Advice for all-through, special schools and the PRU can be found on either page.


Support Desk opening hours

 - news item posted Thursday 21 December 2017

The IMS team Support Desk will be closed over Christmas from 22 December at 1.00  We will be available again on Thursday 28 and 29 December, between 8.00 to 16.00.  If you have any queries outside those hours, please send an email to the team inbox.


Next school census is due on January 18...

 - news item posted Wednesday 20 December 2017

Notes and advice on the latest fileset will follow as soon as testing is completed.


DfE's Secure Access website - broken link

 - news item posted Wednesday 13 December 2017

School users report an issue with the Secure Access portal where they are advised to confirm that the data on their entry in the Get Information About Schools web page is up to date.  Clicking the link on the Secure Access page takes the user to a page with an error message. This means you won't be able to continue to the S2S page, for example if you want to upload a CTF.  If you need to upload a CTF, please ring us for advice and we can provide a workaround for you.


Data managers' meeting - postponement!

Friday 12 January, 9 - 12am

 - news item posted Tuesday 28 November 2017

The date of the data managers' meeting has been changed from December 6, to Friday 12 January. The principle reason for the change is to give as much notice as possible to recent subscribers to our service. We apologize for any inconvenience that the change has caused to colleagues who had already put the December date in their diaries.

The venue has not changed - it will still be at the Somerdale Pavilion, in Keynsham.


The Capita accreditation process

 - news item posted Thursday 9 November 2017

Integra's IMS support team has been accredited by Capita since 2007.  Accreditation means that subscribing settings can be confident of receiving a high level of service.  The process is repeated every two years and includes Capita emailing our subscribers to invite them to complete a questionaire. Their email will go out in the next two weeks.  Although we let Capita know the most appropriate email address to use for your school, you may need to keep an eye open for Capita's email in case it's directed to your Spam inbox - or even worse - the Junk inbox!

There is an FAQ for the accreditation survey process here.

Schools subscribing to Integra's IMS support from 1 September this year will be included in the accreditation survey next time around.


Data managers' meeting - provisional date

Wednesday 6 December, 9 - 12am

 - news item posted Thursday 26 October 2017

The second of our two annual meetings for data managers at all subscribing secondary phase settings is pencilled in for Wednesday 6 December and will be held at the Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham. Invitations, as well as the agenda, will be sent to all data managers in due course.


Sofie file transfer system

 - news item posted Monday 23 October 2017

Please note that South Gloucestershire Council's secure file transfer system (Sofie) will be off-line for maintenance from 5.30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday), 'till 8.00 am the following day (Wednesday).


The School Workforce Census is due on Thursday 2 November

- news item posted Friday 13 October 2017

Guidance notes are available on the primary and secondary personnel pages.


Top Tip for returning your census via Sofie (note this advice does not apply to the School Workforce Census)

 - item posted on Monday 9 October 2017

When preparing to upload your census xml file, choose the options shown below.  (Settings used to submitting their census via Collect should continue to do so.)


Guidance notes for your autumn census are now available

 - item posted on Tuesday 26 September 2017

All the guidance notes you need to complete your autumn census are ready now. There are the usual reference notes from the DfE and Capita as well as our own must-read summary notes, available on the primary and secondary census pages.


DfE's new school database has been launched

 - item posted on Monday 18 September 2017

The DfE has made its new education setting database available from this morning. It replaced Edubase as the master list of English and Welsh schools. You should visit the website in order to check, or amend the details held in the list for your setting. We plan to be able to give advice on this subject, once we are familiar with the website and how it works.



DfE's secure access website

 - item posted on Wednesday 13 September 2017

The DfE reported issues with their secure access website yesterday, 12 September - see below.



Guidance notes for SOFIE, the replacement for RM SecureNet

 - item posted on Wednesday 23 August 2017

South Gloucestershire Council's replacement * for RM SecureNet will be launched on Wednesday 30 August. It's called SOFIE, which stands for Secure Online File Information Exchange. As soon as SOFIE is available, RM SecureNet will become inactive and should not be used. From then on, all secure file transfers across South Gloucestershire should be carried out using SOFIE. Guidance notes available are:

For support with SOFIE, please contact the IMS support team for help using the product, or if you need support with your SOFIE account, logging on or want to check your account credentials, you should email South Gloucestershire Council's Information Management team. They have a dedicated inbox for account issues, which is

* Schools subscribing to Integra's IMS support, working with councils other than South Gloucestershire should continue to use the secure file transfer system in place locally.


Guidance notes for the summer 2017 exam season are now available

 - item posted on Wednesday 12 July 2017

See the Secondary Exams page here.


Guidance notes for end of year procedures are now available

 - item posted on Wednesday 7 June 2017

The guidance notes you need to complete your end of year procedures are ready now. There are notes for primary and secondary settings.  The procedure has not substantially changed since last year, so if you already have notes printed out from last year, there is no need to print this year's, as the steps are the same - although you should give regard to suitable dates, of course!

Term dates for 2017-18

  • The South Glos approved term dates are here.
  • North Somerset approved term dates are here.
  • Banes approved term dates are here.


Guidance notes for your summer census are now available

 - item posted on Tuesday 8 May 2017

All the guidance notes you need to complete your summer census are ready now. There are the usual reference notes from the DfE and Capita as well as our own must-read summary notes, available on the primary and secondary census pages.


2017 SIMS assessment wizards are available now

 - item posted on Wednesday 26 April 2017

The IMS support team has imported all the wizards to use for this year's Statutory Data Collections. See the guidance notes on the Primary | Assessment page for full details about how to complete each process.


SIMS information days

 - item posted on Wednesday 8 March 2017

A day to pencil into your diaries! We are planning two meetings for early May, when we will have several product managers from Capita going through the benefits of their latest new products.

Further details will be posted on the CPD online site. Emails will go out to all subscribing settings as soon as the events go live on the CPD site.  Booking will be via the CPD pages.ces_thumbs.png

Each event will cover half a dozen different topics which will be of interest to your senior leadership team as well as school business managers, assessment coordinators and data managers. The intended audience for each segment will be clearly marked so you will be able to plan your attendance on a drop-in, or all-day basis, to suit your particular diary.

The venue (on both days) is the Kendleshire Golf Club

The dates are:

  • for secondary phase settings - Tuesday 2 May
  • for primary phase settings - Wednesday 3 May


Data collection about autism

- news item posted on Monday 20 February 2017

The IMS support team have collaborated with the Inclusion Support Service to create a report in SIMS .net. The purpose of the report is described in an email that went out to all South Gloucestershire schools on the morning of Monday 20 February.


 New pupil premium reports available

- news item posted on Tuesday 7 February 2017

Two new reports have been imported into every subscribing primary setting's SIMS .net - see the guidance notes. The reports are available for secondary settings to import here.

An email was sent out to all subscribing settings on this subject on Monday 6 February, at 16:56


Notice from the DfE about recent additions to census data fields

- news item posted on Tuesday 10 January 2017

See information on the individual census pages - here for primary phase settings and here for secondary phase settings (although the information is the same!).


The next census is on Thursday 19 January 2017

- news item posted on Wednesday 4 January 2017

We're completing the dry runs for you this week, so you can be confident your data is as far as possible ready for the census.  We have been alerted to the fact that there are a number of issues still to be resolved by the DfE and the software providers, so there maybe another fileset made available - we'll keep you posted.



Service Desk opening hours

- news item posted in December 2016

Over the Christmas holiday, the service desk will open on certain days:

  • From Monday 19 December until Friday 23 - 8am - 4pm, closing at midday on the Friday.
  • All public holidays, including the South Glos statutory day on Wednesday 28 December - closed
  • Between Christmas and New Year, the Thursday and the Friday, 8am - 4pm.
  • and back to normal opening hours on Tuesday 3 January.


Attendance letters in SIMS

- news item posted in December 2016

We will be making some configuration changes to SIMS directories over the Christmas break related to Attendance Letters. For full details, see the email sent to all subscribing school Thursday 8 December at 15.28. Contact the team if you have any questions about sharing the letter templates across more than one workstation.


Secondary phase data managers' meeting

- news item posted in November 2016

The date and venue for the next data managers' meeting has been fixed for Tuesday 6 December, at the usual venue, the Yate Armadillo.  The proposed agenda will be sent out by email, to all data managers, along with joining details, in the next few days.


Home Language field has been removed, effective from 14 November

- news item posted in November 2016

For further details, please see the email sent to all schools today at 9.54.


Home language - its use in your SIMS .net

- news item posted in October 2016

During the most recent census, it became apparent that the existence of two fields in the pupil record, First Language and Home Language, can be confusing as well as making extra work.  It is only the First Language field that's important for the census, so we're proposing to remove the Home Language field from all primary and special SIMS databases. If you want to keep the Home Language field for any reason, please contact the IMS Helpdesk on 01454 86 5300.


A pupil's first language is defined as any language other than English that a child was exposed to during early development and continues to be exposed to in the home or community. If a child was exposed to more than one language (which may include English) during early development, a language other than English should be recorded, irrespective of the child's proficiency in English.

from DfE's School census 2016 to 2017 Guide 


The School Workforce Census is due on Thursday 3 November

- news item posted autumn 2016

See guidance notes on the appropriate pages:


The Autumn Census - notes and dates

- news item posted autumn 2016

The autumn census is next Thursday 6 Ocotober - for full guidance see either the primary census page here, or the secondary census page here. All-through schools will need to refer to both pages, whereas guidance for special schools and PRUs can be found on the primary page.

There is helpful guidance available here specially on the subject of the new data fields required by the census, nationality and country of birth.



Privacy notice templates

- news item posted autumn 2016

We now link users to the council's privacy notice page so you have access to the most up-to-date versions of the templates.

The template on the council's website was amended on Monday 3 October to include advice on sharing pupil data with third party software.


Welcome back to the new academic year!

- news item posted summer 2016

Primary phase settings should look out for a useful email from the IMS support team, which highlights a number of important issues to consider, as we move towards the new academic year.

The email was sent out on Wednesday 31 August, at 14.04.

This year's PPI calculation spreadsheet is available now here. The spreadsheet is designed to help schools check and understand the pupil premium information provided by the DfE in a csv file.


Summer exam season's resources are available now

- news item posted summer 2016

There are several documents, spreadsheets and an import file ready to download from the Secondary | Exams page.


Updated Data Collection Sheet for the new academic year

- news item posted summer 2016

We have updated your data collection sheet (DCS) for this coming academic year, adding required fields for the October and subsequent censuses.  The new fields are Country of Birth and Nationality.  The report is titled Data Collection Sheet – Summer 2016.

The updated DCS was included in the SIMS upgrade we applied this summer, so primary schools already have the new report ready to use. Secondary schools can download the report repdef file, ready to import into your SIMS .net..


Data Managers' Meeting this Wednesday 6 July, for all data managers at secondary settings

 - news item posted summer 2016

​The minutes and slide presentations from the meeting are now available here.​


Statutory data collection deadlines

 - news item posted summer 2016

The final dates for submission are as follows:

  • EYFS, Y1 phonics, Y2 phonics - Friday 24 June
  • KS1 and KS2 - Thursday 30 June

See the guidance notes on the Primary | Assessment page for full details about how to complete each process.


Resources to support the end of year procedures, in preparation for the new academic year, are available now!

 - news item posted spring 2016

The IMS Support team has published two sets of guidance notes that'll guide you through the tasks you need to complete in order to get ready for the new academic year in your SIMS .net. There is one each for primary and secondary schools.

To find these resources, please go to How To...| Guidance and look for the files that begin with End of...

The Approved School Term & Holiday Dates for 2016-17 pdf document is here.



Resources to support your preparation for the summer census are available now!

 - news item posted spring 2016

The IMS Support team has published a full set of guidance notes to help you prepare for and produce the summer census, which is on Thursday 19 May.

To find the notes, both from Capita and the team, go to the Primary | Census page or the Secondary | Census page.  All-through schools should use the resources on the secondary page  - special schools and the Pru should use the resources on the primary page.


2016 SIMS assessment wizards are available now

- news item posted spring 2016

The IMS support team has imported all the wizards to use for this year's assessment data transfers. See the guidance notes on the Primary | Assessment page for full details about how to complete each process.

An email from the team, summarising the process was sent to all subscribing primary phase schools around 11.30am on Friday 29 April.


Slides from the IUG meetings now available

- news item posted spring 2016

Following the most recent IMS User Group meetings, the slides used to accompany each segment, and questions/answers from the two sessions are now available on the User Group page.



Admission files now available to download

 - news item posted spring 2016

The admissions team at South Gloucestershire Council posted the ATF files on Friday 15 April, so they are available to download via RMSecureNet now. See the guidance notes​ for full details about how to set up an admission group and download the file.

An email from the team, summarising the process was sent to all subscribing schools on Thursday 14 April, at 14.08.


Spring 2016 SIMS .net upgrade 7.168

- news item posted spring 2016

The spring upgrade has been applied to all schools subscribing to the upgrade service. On the next occasion you log on to your SIMS .net, you should see the release information PDF (shown below). The document summarises the new features to be found in your upgraded SIMS .net. To begin using your SIMS, simply close the document.



Spring 2016 Upgrade Notes

- news item posted on spring 2016

The 2016 spring upgrade for SIMS .net is now available to all subscribing schools.

  • The upgrade for primaries will take place on Tuesday 5 April.
  • The upgrade for secondary schools is now available.  All secondary schools will have received an email detailing the process.

To find the upgrade notes for both primary and secondary schools, go to How To... | Guidance.  There is also a summary document for primary users with a brief synopsis of the changes.  To find these resources, look for files that begin with SIMS...


SIMS .net User Group meeting

- news item posted on spring 2016

To see info. about this year's primary school SIMS User Group meetings, go to Events | User Groups.


Resources to help with end of year dinner money balances

- news item posted on spring 2016

On Friday 11 March David Orpen and Kevin Ford wrote to South Gloucestershire primary schools on the subject of year end closing balances for dinner money.  Resources were developed by the IMS Support Team working in collaboration with the catering team here at Integra Schools to help primary schools return data to Integra Schools.

To find these resources, please go to Primary | Dinner Money and look for files that start with DM...


Resources for help with pupil premium grants

- news item posted in spring 2016

Reports suitable for use in both primary and secondary phase settings are available, along with detailed guidance.  These resources were developed by the IMS Support team working in collbaration with the Schools Finance team.

To find these resources, go to How To...| Guidance and look for the files that start with PPI...


Guidance for the 2016 Spring School Census

​- news item​​ posted in spring 2016

​The 2016 Spring School Census is on Thursday 21 January. Several new documents have been published to assist in the completion of the return.  They include notes for preparing and producing the return.

Go to the appropriate page - Primary | Census or Secondary | Census to find these resources.​​



Data Managers Meeting material available now!

 - news item posted in December 2015

Slides and minutes available  - go to Events |User Groups.


St Andrew's School wins a Canon IXUS 160 camera bundle!

- news item posted autumn 2015

We have successfully renewed our Capita accreditation. As part of the process, schools were invited to provide feedback to Capita and so were entered into a draw to win a Canon camera - and the winners are... St Andrews!
To read more about our accreditation, including about our scores, go to Our Support | The Team.


School Workforce Census - latest advice

- news item posted autumn 2015

When creating and validating the SWC, you will be confronted with a question regarding Spot Allowances.  Our current advice is to select 'Yes' at this point.​


Guidance for the 2015 School Workforce Census

​- news item posted autumn 2015

​The annual School Workforce Census (SWC) return is on Thursday 5 November. Several new documents have been published to assist in the completion of the return. 

They include notes for preparing and producing the return. There is guidance, too for this year's arrangments, compared with last year's.

Go to the appropriate page - Primary | Personnel or Secondary | Personnel to find these resources.​


Updated guidance for the 2015 autumn census

- news ​item posted autumn 2015

In addition to the email sent to all schools on Wednesday 14 October about the revised timetable and updated guidance for the autumn census return, there is a document summarising the advice.

Go to the appropriate page - Primary | Census or Secondary | Census.


Updated privacy notice templates

- news item posted autumn 2015

We have updated the 2 privacy notice templates to reflect the minor changes advised by the DfE.

The templates are available on the How to... | Guidance page.


Accident report form master for schools​

- news item posted summer 2015​

There is a new version of the electronic schools accident report form master that should be downloaded from the How To... |Guidance area of this web site and saved on your school server. This new version has a new user guide. The new Excel form​ does not make use of any macros or any ActiveX controls.​


To open or save any of our guidance notes, please make sure you are signed in (at top right of this page), then click on any of the links in the news items.

Alternatively, go to the relevant page by choosing from the menus above​. If you have any problems signing in, contact the team straight away for help - either ring us on 01454 86 5300 or by email​.

Access to the guidance documents and all other resources requires you to be Signed In - if you have any difficulty signing in, or any questions about the resources or our service, please email the team​.