Importing pupil names (CTF or CSV)

Access: Office (for CTF), coordinator

eProfile supports standard CTF files but users must follow the instructions laid out by their MIS supplier for producing a CTF. CSV format files may also be imported, but the format requirements are strict.

Use a Common Transfer File (CTF) to provide accurate pupil names and details to import into eProfile.  Any maintained school will have a pupil database as part of their management information system (MIS) and creating a CTF will be one of its basic tasks.  The import can be done by any eProfile user with administrator or office roles.

A CTF contains information used in census returns and is the central pupil information resource in a school.  The CTF is the easiest and most reliable format for eProfile to read as it is a national standard.

Most MIS can provide a CTF that only contains the basic pupil details. If you do not have a MIS that does this then please see the information at the end of this section.

When you first start eProfile most of the buttons are greyed out, as their functionality depends on pupils being present in the database.

Under the Pupils tab click on Import Common Transfer File (CTF).  You will be prompted to locate the CTF on your system.  eProfile will open it and read in all pupil details.  See Annex 2 for more information

If you cannot produce a CTF (all maintained schools can) then you can create a CSV file for import.  See Annex 3 for details.

It is possible to enter names manually, though it is discouraged because of the potential for error.  You must check UPNs (for 4+ pupils) and pay attention to the styles and formats as represented in the CSV import section in Annex 3.  Click on Add/Edit (under the Pupils tab) to add names manually.

Creating a Common Transfer file

There are a number of software companies that provide school management systems, and each has their own way of creating a CTF.  You should consult the supplier’s documentation for this.

The CTF format can carry all sorts of pupil information that goes beyond that needed for eProfile (e.g., contact phone numbers), where only the most basic pupil details are required.  Your school system may have options to create just this level of information.

While we recommend that you use a Common Transfer File to import pupil names some independent and other EY providers may not have this facility in their office/school management software system.

Importing a set of pupils into eProfile does not clear out every other pupil already in eProfile.  This allows you to add new pupils (as well as update any pupils whose details have changed) without disturbing the other pupils in eProfile.  If pupils leave your school/setting then you will need to remove them manually from eProfile (see the section on removing pupils below).

The CTF only needs to have the most basic pupil details included (and of course only the pupils we want to import into eProfile), but postcodes will be needed if the final data set is transferred directly to your LA as opposed to being imported back into your office computer system (MIS – management information system) and thence to your LA.

Create the CTF and place it in a folder that can be accessed by eProfile.

Select Import CTF under the Administer tab

Navigate to the CTF and import the data.

Updating younger pupil records to include their UPN

If you are using eProfile with pupils who do not yet have a UPN it is possible that they may later be allocated a UPN, and this information should be reflected in the pupil records in eProfile.

Pupil IDs can be changed into UPNs by editing the pupil details manually.  This is not a safe procedure because it is prone to human error.

Importing a Common Transfer File (CTF) is the safest method.  eProfile will prompt you to match pupil records it holds against those you are importing.  If eProfile has any pupils without valid UPNs they will be listed alongside any unmatched pupil records from the CTF for you to join manually.

This functionality is also available in the CSV import, though CTF import is the recommended method for getting pupil names loaded into eProfile.

 Creating a CSV file

If you wish to create a CSV file then its contents should look like the following:

LA Estab Year (endFS) UPN Surname Forename Gender Dob Group1 Group2 Group3 Group4 Group5 Group6 Group7 Group8 Postcode
999 1234 2014 N999123413001 Smith Zac M 12/09/2011

Do not change or re-order any header column names.

Prepare a spreadsheet with information arranged in the order and format below.  Row 1 should be included as it aids visual checking.

Make sure there are no spare lines or gaps.

The LA and school numbers can be left as they are here – it is not essential to put your own numbers in.
The year is the year in July when the pupil’s EYFS profile is completed. In school year 2013-2014 reception year pupils would be marked as 2014 and N2 pupils as 2015.
DOB is dd/mm/yyyy

The Group1-8 fields may contain pupil group information if you wish to use them.  You do not have to use all of them.  The columns must, however, all still be in place even if they are not used. They can be left blank or pupil group information can be included, such as SEN, FSM, intervention groups, etc.  The column headings for these columns only may be edited in the spreadsheet and these will come across to eProfile.

Please note that if you already have pupil groups information in eProfile then this will be overwritten by the import.  It is possible to export a CSV file from eProfile (Data in/Out > Export CSV) and to copy and paste information from that into the new CSV import file so that your groups data is preserved.

Names rules:

  • no visible commas
  • no brackets with alternative names
  • no known-as names or nicknames – all names should be legal names

Making a “UPN” for younger pupils

Younger cohorts may not have UPNs, so it is up to you to devise and use a unique identifying code for each pupil. Try to make it like a UPN e.g. LLLEEEEYYNNN (LLL=LA; EEEE = establishment – may be six digits; YY=year – we suggest you make it the year the pupil will complete the profile; NNN is a number for the pupil) – 14 characters max.

You must be sure when using CSV files that the information is correctly laid out as you may corrupt the database with an incorrectly laid-out file.

Consistency in the format of names

When you enter or import names into eProfile it is good practice to have a consistency of format in surnames.  This is something that must go right back to the official pupil list held in the office.

Some schools place the surname in upper case, especially when forenames may not be obviously distinguishable as such. Others use Proper Case.

NB There is a discrepancy in the way the database sorts its names and the way eProfile does it. This can cause problems when there is inconsistency in the casing (upper or lower) of names.  The most likely is when all surname letters are upper case except where prefixes such as Mc or St are used.  These will not be sorted in the way you might expect, and eProfile and the database may not agree either.  This can lead to a situation in eProfile where selecting a single pupil may actually bring about the selection of a different pupil.

The golden rule is:
 maintain proper or upper case only in surnames, and proper only in forenames.

How to get UPNs or ID numbers for your pupils if you do not have a MIS

If your school is Local Authority maintained, an academy or a free school you should have this facility in your school’s management information system (MIS).

If your school/setting is independent you can use the DFE UPN generator Excel spreadsheet.  Select your Local Authority area and select a school number from the run of establishment numbers from 3950 to 3999 that can be used for this purpose.

Permanent UPNs can be produced against one of these dummy numbers, which will stay with the pupil throughout their academic life.

UPN generator