School Census 2022-23

Nursery, Primary, Secondary, Special and PRS/PRU Schools are required to submit  a Department for Education (DFE) Schools Census return every term, This should be done using COLLECT, it is a statutory requirement on schools under Section 537A of the Education Act 1996.  The Census is the key tool used to calculate the schools block of funding for April 2023-2024.  Schools should check their data carefully to ensure the data they are submitting accurately reflects and reports their return as it is also used to calculate, Post 16 funding, early years funding in schools, informs Pupil Premium, SEN funding and Performance tables.

The accuracy of Census data in each Census is also important because pupil addresses are used to assess the socio-economic characteristics of the pupil population, and so provide a context for the assessment of schools' performance. Accordingly, the DfE recommends that schools send parents (or older pupils themselves) a data sheet showing what information is currently held by the school about the pupil and have in place a process to update the MIS data. 

Data Protection and Privacy Notices

If your school has appointed Veritau as your DPO please ensure you update privacy notices and any model letters in line with any guidance from Veritau.  schoolsDPO@veritau.co.uk

Schools not using Veritau may wish to use those notices and model letters provided by the DFE

A web based version of the guidance notes to assist with the completion of the Census are available, these will be updated regularly throughout the year. This web-based version has a search option so you can easily search for any item included on the return.

It is really important that you check your return before submitting, resolving any issues before submitting.  The guidance notes and links regarding the errors codes are particularly useful to aid you with this.

Spring Census

  • Census date - Thursday 19th January 2023
  • Submission deadline (to Local Authority) Wednesday 15th February 2023
    • This submission deadline is absolute, you should ensure you submit your census either on the 19th January or as close to that as possible.

Summer Census

  • Census date - Thursday 18th May 2023
  • Submission deadline (to Local Authority) Wednesday 14th June 2023
    • This submission deadline is absolute, you should ensure you submit your census either on the 18th May or as close to that as possible.

New data items Census 2022/23

Young Carer Indicator

For all schools except nursery, first collection is Spring 2023

This data item records whether the pupil has been identified as a young carer and by whom.

The first collection of this data will be in the spring 2023 census.

See the young carer indicator section for full details.

School Time

For all schools except nursery, first collection is Spring 2023

This optional data item records for each school, the total compulsory time pupils spend in school, in a typical 5 day week.

For all schools except nursery.
The first collection of this data will be in the spring 2023 census.

See the school time section for full details.

Alternative provision company number

This data item records the Company House company number, where applicable, of the establishment within which the pupil has taken up an alternative provision placement.

The first collection of this data will be in the spring 2023 census.

See the alternative provision placement setting type section for full details.

Alternative provision placement postcode

This data item records the postcode, where applicable, of the establishment within which the pupil has taken up an alternative provision placement.

The first collection of this data will be in the spring 2023 census.

See the alternative provision placement setting type section for full details.

Changes to existing items

Post Looked After Arrangements (PLAA) codeset

From autumn 2022, we have extended the codeset, to include ‘O - ceased to be looked after through adopted from state care outside of England and Wales’.

See the codes for post looked after arrangements.

Alternative provision (AP) placement modules

From spring 2023, the AP modules will become mandatory.

See the alternative provision placement section for full details.

Learner funding and monitoring (FAM)

From the start of the 2022 to 2023 academic year, code ‘01’ will include all aspects of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), rather than just school-led tutoring. Therefore, the description has been updated to reflect this.

In addition, the description and eligible pupils for code ‘22’ have also been updated following the return to business as usual for repeating part or full year of post 16 students.

See the learner funding and monitoring (FAM) section for full details.

Deleted data items

Sessions coronavirus

From spring 2023, this data item will no longer be collected. Regulations for the category ‘Not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ are only in place until the end of the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

Attendance code ‘X’

From spring 2023, this code will no longer be applicable for pupils aged 5 to 15. Regulations for the category ‘Not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ are only in place until the end of the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

Useful information

Unusual Circumstances

Where unusual circumstances such as severe weather conditions or religious observances affect census day, schools may find that the numbers of pupils or staff who are not present on that day are abnormally high.

Where ‘free school meals taken’ or ‘school lunches taken’ are affected, a day and time when the situation is regarded as normal is to be substituted. You could use the next normal day, an earlier day in census week or the previous Thursday where that reflects the normal situation. Where other days or times are used, schools must record these for audit purposes.

Census Summary gives the school an overview of the data included in your return.  Review this carefully, compare it with the reports available on COLLECT.  This may reveal issues with data entry at the school and will give a summary of information on

  • numbers on roll – check part time pupils are correct
  • FSM eligibility – are the numbers correct for those eligible since the previous return

Autumn – collects those currently eligible and any that have ended eligibility since May Census

Spring – collects those currently eligible and any that have ended eligibility since Autumn Census

Summer – collects those currently eligible and any that have ended eligibility since the May Census

There should not be many, if any pupils with an ended eligibility because of the protected status for FSM until at least June 2023. Please contact us about any that are recorded as ended to discuss.

  • Numbers of pupils with SEN – EHCP or K Sen support
  • Post looked after arrangements – vital in Autumn for PP funding
  • Service Children – vital in Autumn for PP funding
  • Attendance data – Summer 2022 this should be checked carefully noting that attendance and absence data on early years and post 16 pupils is not collected.   

Please note as the summary varies each term so some of the tables will not be populated

This summary is often a useful source of information to assess funding received and the situation but note there are additional reports available on the COLLECT website which also provide useful checks and confirmations of the data submitted to the DFE.

Adding Explanation notes for unresolved queries

The DFE provide a list of acceptable notepad entries to be used when schools have queries that cannot be removed for example 1760Q where your schools does not have any pupils eligible for FSM.  Using the correct notepad ensures your return will be authorised by the DFE.  Download the list of notes from the section here. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU USE THE EXACT WORDING SUGGESTED OTHERWISE IT MAY BE REJECTED BY THE DFE.

Submitting your census

You need to upload your Census file to COLLECT. It is advised to check your login in advance of Census day. Please ensure you do press submit after loading and validating your return.  You will also need to check your return once you have submitted as COLLECT performs further validation checks and may result in an error code.  You may need to make further amendments or add notes at that point.

The Schools Census helpline number is 01609 536086

For support on what to include in your Census before or after Census day

Please email: bi.operations@northyorks.gov.uk or for Technical support call 01609 536086