The recent heatwaves have certainly been a regular reminder that it’s summer release time at Capita One. If you’ve had a chance to look at the release notes on My Account, you’ll see that this summer we’ve focused on supporting local authorities to meet the latest Department for Education and Welsh Government requirements.
I thought it might be useful to draw your attention to some particular elements within the 2017 summer release which are essential for meeting your statutory obligations:
1. Further enhancements to support the 30 hours extended childcare entitlement
We’ve enhanced our Provider Self-Update Portal, Headcount Portal and Early Years solutions to support you with managing the 30 hours extended childcare entitlement from 1 September 2017.
Earlier this year, in our spring release, we focused on enabling providers to perform the check to see if a parent qualifies for the additional entitlement. For the summer release, we’ve included a customisable automatic recheck facility, with an expiration dashboard for providers and authorities to easily monitor parents whose eligibility is close to expiring, or has expired. We’ve added functionality to help authorities with the collection of extended hours from providers, and the subsequent management and payment of these.
Our aim has been to ensure the system is as configurable as is practical, so that each authority can set up and manage the extended entitlement based on local requirements. This includes a choice of whether to collect combined hours or separate universal and extended hours from your providers; whether to apply additional supplements, such as early years pupil premium to the first 15 hours or to all hours; whether to only allow extended hours to be recorded by providers who offer the additional hours and when to fund children who become eligible part way through a term.
Additionally, to support providers and to reduce their burden in providing this information, we’ve added the option to choose whether to show providers carried over weeks and hours onto their headcount task. Each time a provider opens their headcount task it will be updated to show any new children added by back office processes, such as One B2B.
2. Supporting the new Children Missing in Education requirements
The recent alterations to the information required by DfE in relation to Children Missing in Education (CME) are around strengthening the flow of information between teams when a child leaves school unexpectedly. The new requirements are based on common transfer files, the generic statutory files which ensure the commonality of information transferred between schools, and from schools to local authorities.
The key principles of the CME requirements revolve around how information should be transferred between the school the child leaves or joins and the local authority, including two new files – the leavers file, or CML – and the joiners file, or CMJ. When a child leaves a school, that school must send a CML to their local authority who can import that file and learn information about their intended school. The new school then sends a CMJ file to their own local authority who can confirm to the other authority that the child is now attending school in their area.
In response to these changes, we’ve modified our existing CTF functionality to support the import of these new partial CTF files (CML and CMJ). The student core details are imported as per existing CTF functionality, with the address details, including future addresses, stored to a new database table and a new Crystal Report to identify these addresses.
3. SEND start and end dates in the new common transfer files
Other statutory changes to the common transfer files include an additional process for the start and end dates to SEND status and needs. It’s recognised that the support provided to a child with special educational needs can have a significant effect on their attainment and the new arrangements make better provision for higher quality SEND data to be transferred between schools by allowing an accurate, dated record of a child’s SEN history to be transferred.
We’ve modified a number of different areas within Capita One to support the additional data needed, including the import and export of end dates in SEN Stage and Need details so that local authorities can report on this information. Areas of Capita One in which we’ve included additional functionality to support this are Children in Entertainment and Employment, Grants & Benefits, Admissions and Transfers (back office), Training Manager, Transport, Youth and One Analytics. We’ll also be modifying B2B:Student, the XML Data Exchange and B2B:Open in the autumn release later this year.
I hope this has given you a flavour of our enhancements and developments for summer 2017 – see the full release notes here and do let me know what you think of the new functionality using the blog comments box below.