Attendance FAQ

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There are pupils with no name on menus, registers, etc.

These are pupils who were expected to attend the school this year and had timetables etc. configured. They subsequently have not been admitted but have group memberships left in the database. To resolve this, log in to SIMS and go to:

Tools > Validate memberships

My lessons are missing from my timetable

If timetables are missing from PARS despite being imported into SIMS then the might timetable need to be applied. To check if this is necessary, you will need to log in to SIMS. Go to:
Focus > Person > Staff

Enter the surname of a teacher with missing lessons. Next click "Staff Timetable" under "Links" on the right hand side. Can you see a timetable here? If so click the "Current week" button - if the screen now shows a blank timetable then follow these steps:

In SIMS go to:
Tools > Academic Management > Apply Timetable

If you have a two week timetable, check that the "XX/09/2014 maps to timetable day" drop-down is set to the correct week and then click "Apply". The "Timetable day" column on the right of the window should now contain week days. Important - any attendance marks entered for dates after the "From" date will be lost. Click "Save" to complete the process.

If you have done this and some lessons are still missing, log in to PARS and go to:
PARS main menu > System management > Preferences

There is a preference under the "General" section called "Ignore component delivery dates when loading timetable". Turning this on will usually fix the issue.

If the classes are still missing, it could be due to their component delivery information being missing from the database. Component delivery information links classes with courses and subjects. To check for this, go to:
PARS main menu > System management > Management reports > Subjects > Missing component delivery

A list of all active class groups will be displayed. Any groups that may have a problem are displayed at the top of the screen in a "Missing from table: True" section. Also check the "Missing from table: false" section for any groups that have invalid dates for this academic year. If you find any of these groups, log in to SIMS and go to:
Tools > Academic management > Course manager > Maintain course

Search for the course that the classes belong to. Go to the "Classes" section and make sure that the course contains all of the correct classes and that the classes have valid dates for this academic year and teachers assigned to them.

All previous attendance marks have disappeared in SIMS and PARS

This is most likely due to someone applying the timetable in SIMS (This is done in SIMS via: Tools > Academic Management > Apply timetable).

You will have to go back to the backup version of SIMS (which will bring back all past marks up until that backup was made). In future if you need to apply the timetable in SIMS, then in the "Apply timetable" box please check the date range begins no earlier than today's date.

In Attendance View why is there a pink triangle on one of the cells for a student?

A pink or blue triangle indicates more than one attendance mark has been recorded for a pupil in a single period (because they were in two different classes). Common causes for this are:

  • Pupils being added as an "unexpected arrival" in a different register to their normally scheduled register.
  • Pupils having a future mark entered for a scheduled class (e.g. to record a planned medical appointment) and then being moved from that class into a different one. The mark is still associated with the old class at this point.
  • Lesson marks are all recorded with a class_period_id number that identifies the exact lesson period that the group's marks are recorded against. If the group in which the marks are recorded changes (e.g. the teacher is swapped or pupils leave the group) then the class_period_id number may also change as details of the timetable are changed in SIMS. In this case the mark has been recorded with a class_period_id number that is no longer valid.

How do I add a Y or # code?

The Y or # codes cannot be entered via a normal register or attendance view. You can only enter a Y or # code using the exceptional circumstances page, which can be accessed via:

PARS main menu > Attendance > Exceptional circumstances

Can comments be added to attendance marks?

You will always be able see attendance comments, but there is a permission that governs whether or not you are allowed to add comments of you own. This permission can be found via:

PARS main menu > System management > Permissions

For more information about managing and updating permissions, follow this link.

How to record AM and PM marks during a lesson

Each school day is broken into two parts - AM and PM. These are the statutory marks that the government use to calculate your attendance data, and is required by law. The AM and PM sessions are often taken by form tutors, however some schools prefer not to have two periods with the form tutor each day. The AM and/or PM marks are sometimes taken from lessons instead - these lessons are known as "mapped lessons".

If you want to set this up, go to our mapped periods page for instructions.

Our AM or PM registration times are wrong

The times for your registration periods need to be set in PARS. This can be performed via:
PARS main menu > System management > Registration preferences

I want teachers to only take one register for double/triple periods

This will happen automatically, so long as the following conditions are met:

1. There is no more than 5 minutes between the end of one period and the start of the next. If one lesson is before break and the next period is after break, PARS will not count them as a double/triple lesson.

2. There are no periods in between the lessons.

You can check this by going to:
PARS main menu > Attendance > Attendance view

Does the AM or PM session sit in between the periods of the double/triple lesson, as below? If so you need to change your registration times so that the lessons in the double/triple are uninterrupted.
Double010.jpg

3. The periods must have the same class name and take place in the same room.

The marks for our AM/PM sessions keep changing unexpectedly

There are several reasons that this may happen:

1. Someone is overwriting the old marks. To check this, go to:

PARS main menu > Attendance > Attendance view

Click on a mark that has changed, and then click "History" to see a log of all changes made.

2. One of your lessons is mapped. This means that any attendance mark entered into one of your lessons (i.e. period 1) will also be copied to one of the sessions (i.e. the AM period). Go to our mapped periods page for more information about this.

3. Automatic lateness is switched on. This means if a pupil is absent to their AM session in the morning and then arrives later to one of their lessons, their AM session in the morning will automatically be updated to an L or U code with the number of minutes late they have arrived to school.

To check for this and switch it off, go to:
PARS main menu > System management > Registration preferences > Session modification

4. Best Mark for Session is in effect

This means that pupils' session marks (AM and/or PM) will automatically update to match their 'best' attendance mark for that session. Please see our group manager page for more information.

Staff can't see notifications in their registers for pupils who are On Report

For staff to receive these notifications, there will need to be at least one pupil in the class who is a member of an on report group. There needs to be at least one on report element linked to that group and the element must be scheduled for the date that the lesson takes place, and associated to the lesson. See our configure on report elements page for more information.

I can't save an N code for a pupil in my register

Sometimes you may find that after you have saved your register, a pupil who had been given an N code now has a missing mark. If this happens, hover your mouse over the missing mark. If you can see a staff member's name, as in the screenshot below, then your mark did save but has either been overwritten by another member of staff, or replaced because the pupil has been added to another register as an unexpected arrival.

Markowner01.jpg

Attendance marks are unexpectedly changing

Sometimes attendance marks will automatically change - there are a number of reasons that this may happen in PARS. When you save your register, marks may change in your register or in other registers.

If your AM mark is updating to an L or U code after a pupil has been marked absent in the morning, go to:
PARS main menu > System management > Registration preferences

Go to the "Session modification" tab and set "Allow automatic session lateness" to "Disallow".

If the mark that you give to pupils during a lesson (e.g. period 1, period 5, etc.) is automatically being copied to the AM or PM session, then go to the mapped periods page for information.

If the two options above do not relate to your query, go to the best mark for session section of the group manager page for further information.