Just got this via email. Nothing official on SupportNet yet. Though i saw this issue mentioned in the forums where a school in Cyprus had this problem:
We have just been made aware of an issue when creating a new academic year when the start of year needs to be changed.
When the start of the next academic year is changed, the system tries to alter the attendance marks in the current year to match the new academic year. This results in all attendance marks in the current year being removed.
We are currently working on a solution and it is anticipated that a patch will be issued this week to resolve this issue.
Our advice is not to create a new academic year until the patch is available. Once available we will issue you with the patch to apply.
If you have already created your next academic year, please can you check the attendance history to ensure it is correct?
I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Just sent to our Data Manager to make sure she doesn't do it just in case!
"When the start of the next academic year is changed"
Key bit of info.
It's funny because only today, the timetabler asked if we were ready to sort Options for next year
I'm unclear as to which versions it affects. I was about to upgrade to Autumn revision 4/5 or whatever, but now i'm not so sure. Its pretty much been the Autumn from hell if it's in Autumn only.
@vikpaw, I thought only people who would change the academic year start would be independent schools and maybe some Academies, and they said it only affects people who do so. So the bulk of SIMS users wouldn't be affect. The reason I say this is because Capita would have posted this on SupportNet and contacted all the LAs if this was not the case, surely?
Just saying as it's important to get a head start and delaying it for a mythical patch that may or may not do anything (useful) is pointless. Not to mention the amount of communication required if such a problem exists. @PhilNeal - can you confirm??
@matt40k - i believe Phil is away on leave. You're right, only independents would change the year, and it did come from my Independent product manager, but it should be on SupportNet with that caveat then.
However, by default, SIMS makes it's year end / start quite loosely, adding 365 days to the previous year, and what with it being a leap year, perhaps there is some shuffling that needs to be done. Also, if you want to start the new year early, like in the summer term, then you may change the dates for that reason also.
The patch is not mythical, and waiting suits me at the moment.
Ok, so a Heads Up. Apparently, it only affects schools who have a different working week, so if you're in a traditional Mon-Fri school, you should be safe.
The message was generic and didn't mention the details, but was only sent to the schools in the middle east and a few select others.
The only discrepancy is that it's not affected us in the past so it must be something new, and that the Cyprus school runs a Mon-Fri week (as far as i know) but seems to have an identical problem.
The patch is undergoing testing now and will hopefully be released tomorrow with a fall back to the end of the week if anything else arises.
I still think it might be related to some new changes that have been implemented and / or the leap year, but we'll have to wait and see. I'll be doing some testing on my test system either tomorrow or sunday so will feed back if i have anything new.
Hi Vik (and others). I can confirm at the moment we only see this as an issue for International Schools who want to, and have been given a patch to allow them to start the week on a day other than on Monday and the start date of the academic year has been amended. Also, in this circumstance, the problem does not arise if you begin the new academic year on the day after the previous one ends, regardless of what date that is. Additionally, if you accept the offered default start date then the problem does not arise.
The issue arises if you overwrite the start of the next academic year with an earlier than suggested date, and specifically this date lies within the previous academic year. For example, suppose you set the current academic year to end on 31/08/12. The system would suggest you start the next one on 01/09/12. If a user decided to start this on, say, 31/08/12 (or earlier) then this would cause the problem described above - attendance and other data would be lost, not just for the overlapping dates, but potentially for the whole year.
The forthcoming patch will check if BOTH the week-start day has been changed from the default day (Monday) AND if the next academic year does not start after the previous one ended. If these conditions are met, the software will copy the attendance data from the previous year and put it back correcting the problem.
I'm not anticipating a large number of schools, especially in the UK, to have any problems as a result of the issue described in this thread.
vikpaw (22nd February 2012)
Thanks @Graham_Cooper - i was just going to update. The info i had didn't make it clear that it only affects you if you have run that patch to change start of the week. I'm not sure if i've run that patch now, as i don't believe we have, but it may have been done at setup. I've not had a problem with the start of the week before, it just works, and shows the active days where a timetable is applied. The year usually starts before the first day for students, and i fill in a pre-start holiday to fill the space. It could be a monday, saturday (my monday), or some other day altogether.
Can you let me know the patch number, as i know other schools who do want to run that patch.
Without knowing, if i've run the patch or not , i'm not sure whether it's safe to create a new year, because i need to move the default date (31st August) back a week for the new year.
I'll be waiting for the forthcoming patch.
and will unstick the thread as it's not as big an issue now.
i created my new year this morning, before reading any of this.
We are a "normal"* school, normal week etc and seems fine if that helps anyone.
* what is normal?
Vik, If you (or any school) is starting the week on any day other than an Monday then by definition a patch has been applied to allow this to happen (you can't achieve this in the SW without applying a patch). There is no patch number I can provide as these are issued as 'site specific' patches to schools that request this type of operation.
Correct Matt - sorry I could have made that clearer. I'd need to go and check with my colleagues in the escalation fix team to see if you school is on the list Vik. I'll check it out and drop you an email.
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