Just a couple of basic questions, I assume there is no technical reason why I can't add more registration codes into SIMS if I want? i.e it doens't muck anything up.
And what exaclty does the it it mean by the "Links to Reg Mark"? (Yes I have read the help but I still wasn't sure).
I want to add in a couple of extra codes to mark students who are here but out of lesson in a music lesson of off with the learing support. So they would be "Present/Approved Educational Activity" (Not decided which) and "In for whole session" Our Director Of Studies would like to be able to report on how many lessons students are missing for these extra lessons and how that compares to their performance in those subjects, which is why I think I need the seperate codes to identify them
Nope not at all, by law you need to record morning and afternoon attendance one way or another - this can be paper based or electronic
In the state sector the LEA would probably want you to stick with the standard approved codes but presuming your in the independent sector you're pretty much free to do as you please :)
Not sure what the links to reg mark relates to though.
I think state sector is not allowed to add additional as it affects returns. If you can they would be as a label rather than a whole new code. I'm allowed but even i can't remove codes, which i've wanted to do for a while. I've an open call for when i decide my final list, as we only want teachers to see certain codes, the 8-10 that we actually use. I can see a state school making changes could be painful as if the government changes what they want as they have done previously your history could get mucked up on a whim.
Back to topic though, the links to reg mark is because of the statutory nature of the codes. Session marks must be those of the preconfigured list. If you add your own code, which i'm not sure you will be able to, but if you do, if that gets written to the session or is reported on in a statutory capacity, it will need to be mapped to the linked code you choose otherwise there'd be no consistency in comparing schools.
It seems you can change the statistical meaning and the physical meaning, i think this is because they are used for internal reporting. So you can determine how the figures are affected when you run reports on attendance categories. The risk here is that when it's mapped back to the statutory session code the meaning will be the official one. So if you do succeed in adding a code, i would link it to a code that has the correct meanings already to save confusion. Otherwise, things could get messy if say you are justifying something to inspectors, a review board or truancy officer and your meanings are different.
For an example, for our IB students we wanted a code to show that they arrived at school not just late but severely late. For us this was after 10.30 am. We wanted them to appear to be present, because they were, and the marks to be updated back to the session, but for us to track and follow up on that. I added a code "A" and linked it to O. The reason for this is that then in the session stats it would appear as basically truanting, and we wanted to penalise the students for such a late arrival, as the attendance percentage makes up part of the award requirements for IB.
The default statistical meaning is Unauthorised Absence and this was fine. The physical meaning by default is Out for the whole session, i changed this to Late for session. I can't see that change has had an effect anywhere, as its not really relected in the reports we run (mostly analysis by code). It might come up in some group late reports.
So in the attendance certificate, they get penalised as truanting with an O, but we can internally track that they were late, and follow up on that if it's becoming a big problem, which we couldn't do if they were just marked absent or late.
If you can do it, i'd suggest using V for educational visit as the linking code for both examples, and then changing the meaning to be in rather than out. This way you can do a report on the category and choose whether to include approved activity as present or not.
I have seen other schools use their own codes linked to for example the present mark, such as K for kit (forgotten in PE) , and other such labels, but i don't remember if they were state or not, i think they were, but this was before the big revamp of codes 5 or so years ago.
You can use any unused Key on the Keyboard to create new Attendance codes but you have to map them to a current Attendance code - e.g. in your case you could use Key 'Q' and map it to '/'. We use the 'Q' Key to indicate 'Present but in an exam' - it maps a 'Q' to Lessons and '/' to sessions, where appropriate!
If the pupils are missing the odd lesson or two to participate in another activity then consider using the new Alternative Curriculum functionality which is delivered in this current SIMS Spring Upgrade. The Alternative Curriculum Groups have their own Register and can be linked to AM7 and Profiles via the Subject that you declare for the AC Group.