Schools Census Summer 2019

Schools Census Summer 2019: Preparation & Help Line

All schools will complete a Census in May 2019 including Pupil Referral Units/Services (PRS).  The Census collects general pupil characteristic information including termly attendance/absence and exclusion data. DFE state:

‘The school census is the department’s primary source of administrative data about pupils attending schools in England.  The data collected is vital in supporting a number of the department’s strategic objectives and is widely used for the purpose of improving and promoting the education or well-being of children in England. For example, the data collected helps us to make sure we are allocating funds where they are needed and that no groups of children are missing out on the education they deserve’

Good data quality is a legal requirement for Census returns, the DFE emphasises that the data should be 'right first time, and on time'. We are confident that colleagues in schools will do everything possible to achieve the DfE target.

For a detailed list of data items and their definitions please refer to the 2017-2018 DFE Census guidance notes which can be viewed at the link below.

May 2018 Summer Census

Items NOT included on the May Census;

  • Classes as taught,
  • Pupil Reconciliation,
  • Childcare Details,
  • Ethnicity,
  • SEN Need Type,
  • Free School Meals taken (note this is a separate item from school lunches),
  • Service Pupils,
  • Admission Appeals,
  • Proficiency in English,
  • EYPP Eligibility and EY basis for funding.

Listed below are the main items collected in this return along with basic pupil details, the sections referred to in brackets relate to the DFE guidance notes. 

‘Funded Hours’ and ‘Hours at Setting’ (DFE Guidance Section 5.3.11 & Section 5.3.12)

Date of birth ranges for Early Years pupils

N2 between 01/09/2013 and 31/08/2014

N1 between 01/09/2014 and 31/08/2015

E2 between 01/09/2015 and 31/08/2016

E1 between 01/09/2016 and 31/08/2017

Funded hours are collected for pupils born between;

1/9/2013 and 31/08/2016 inclusive in NC Year groups N2, N1, E2 or E1

Maximum entitlement is 15 hours

Pupils with dates of birth between 1/4/2015 and 31/08/2016 or younger may be eligible for funding but this eligibility for 2 year old funding must have been confirmed through the finance team. 

  • Pupils for whom no eligibility has been confirmed but attend your setting, please record ‘funded hours’ as zero but record the number of hours they attend your setting in ‘Hours at setting’.

1/9/2012 and 31/08/2013 with NC year groups E1, E2, N1 and N2 aged 4, (these pupils would normally be in Reception so there should be very few pupils in this age group with funded hours)

maximum entitlement is 25 hours

Funded hours are used to check the Early Years Headcount information for duplicate claims.



Introduction of 30 hrs Free Childcare

Schools will be aware of the introduction of the ‘extended entitlement’ to free childcare.  All providers including schools will input children who have been identified as being eligible for the ‘extended entitlement’, further guidance will follow shortly but this will be used instead of the EYPP spreadsheet used previously. 

The national rollout of 30 hours commenced in autumn 2017, parents are provided with an extended hours code number to give a provider which will be input into the Synergy provider portal.  It is important that parents ensure they apply for their funding one term in advance of when the funding is required and ensure they comply with any instructions with regard to confirmation of the information required by the DWP

Hours at Setting are collected for any pupils born between;

Please enter the total hours spent at your establishment excluding breakfast, lunch and after school clubs, regardless of who pays.

1/9/2013 and 31/08/2017 inclusive in NC Year groups N2, N1, E2 or E1

1/9/2012 and 31/08/2013 with NC year groups E1, E2, N1 and N2 aged 4 (These pupils would normally be in Reception so there should be very few pupils in this age group requiring hours at setting)

Part Time Pupils (Section 5.4.5)

Your school Census summary (Table 2) displays how many full/part time pupils are recorded on your return – please check pupils in the 2, 3 and 4 year old age ranges.  It is unusual for pupils aged 2 and 3 to be full time unless they are attending for more than 25 hours.

Pupils in NC year groups E1, E2, N1 & N2 must be marked as part time if they attend;

  • less than 25 hours (if your school offers 2 x 12.5 hour sessions) or
  • less than 30 hours (if your school offers 2 x 15 hour sessions).

Please check the part time details for Reception pupils is correct, by the summer term we would expect the majority of Reception age pupils to be attending full time. In Table 2 the age categories for 4 year olds are the reception age pupils. Pupils of compulsory school age must be recorded as full time, i.e. the term after a pupil’s 5th birthday.

  • For Capita Sims users please check the part time date details and ensure the relevant dates are entered in the Part time details box in the registration panel.
  • Scholar Pack and Integris – please contact Schools ICT for details on how to mark a pupil as part time

Class type Primary only (Section 5.4.2)

This is collected on each census even though ‘classes as taught’ are collected in January only.  Class type ‘Nursery’ should be used if you operate a Nursery class which consists of nursery age pupils only.  Foundation stage classes which have both nursery and reception age pupils are not a nursery class and should be ticked as ‘Other’.

Pupil enrolment status and Dual Registrations (Section 2.4.1 & 5.4.1)

Early years only record an early year’s pupil as dually registered if they attend more than one maintained nursery/primary/infant school. Playgroups, childminders and private voluntary providers do not submit a Census in the same way as schools so a pupil attending this type of establishment in addition to attending your school is recorded at your school as current single registration because the pupil is attending only one mainstream school.

Secondary schools are reminded to check any pupils recorded as dual registration in January are still correctly recorded, for example pupils on a managed move or that were trying a new school may have completed the move to that school and should be off roll, or those attending PRS may now be back in school full time.

Universal Infant Free School Meals - School Lunch Taken (Section 5.3.8)

This applies to pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 only.  If a pupil is in receipt of a Universal Infant FSM (i.e. school lunch taken is TRUE) this does not mean that the pupil should also be recorded as eligible for ‘free school meals’ unless they meet the FSM eligibility criteria and have made a claim.

FSM Eligibility (Section 5.3.7)

Census will collect any period of free school meal eligibility that started on or before the 17th May 2018 where the FSM end date is not present (currently eligible) and any periods of eligibility that ended between 19 January 2018 and the 17 May 2018.  This will include any periods of eligibility prior to the pupils joining the current school if they meet the date criteria.  Please check this information carefully and ensure any periods of eligibility which were prior to the pupil joining the school are confirmed as continuing, these would have transferred with the Common Transfer File (CTF).  It is expected the parent should make a new claim when joining a new school particularly if the pupil has joined the school from another LA.

SEN provision type (Section 5.5.1)

Census collects the provision type only;

  • N - no special educational need,
  • K - SEN support,
  • S - Statement, or
  • E - Education and Health Care Plan.  Please note an EHC plan is not just the rebadging of a statement. For those pupils on a Statement a transition review must take place before a pupil is moved to an EHC plan.

Please note primary schools will have very few, if any, pupils still on a Statement as these are no longer being issued.  Any new assessments will be for an Education and Health Care Plan.  There were a number of pupils recorded on the January School Census with an SEN provision of S – Statement, our records show that the majority of these have already been transitioned to an Education and Health Care Plan.  If your school still has pupils recorded with a Statement please check with your SENco and amend the information before submitting your return.  A Statement is not the same as an Education and Health Care Plan.

Top-up funding (Section 5.3.19)

Top-up funding is awarded to pupils with a Statement or an Education and Health Care plan and for those with high needs which cannot be met within the school budget.  This funding is shown as a separate item on your funding schedule.  (Element 3 high needs funding)

    • 1990Q this query indicates a pupil who does not have a statement or an EHCP has been recorded as being receipt of ‘High needs Top-up funding. Please confirm this with your bursar or Headteacher, generally pupils without a Statement or EHCP will not be in receipt of High Needs Top-up funding.
    • 1991Q this indicates you have pupils on roll with a statement or an EHCP who you have not recorded as being in receipt of ‘High needs Top-up funding’.  Please confirm this with your bursar or Headteacher

Post Looked After Arrangements (PLAA) Previously Adopted from Care (Section5.3.20)

Census collects information on any pupils that have left local authority care in England and Wales through either adoption, a special guardianship order, a residence order or a child arrangement order.  Please ensure any pupils who you have confirmed meet the criteria are included in the return and should be shown in Table 9 of your School Census Summary document.  These should be recorded in each census.

  • N - Not declared
  • A - Ceased to be looked after through adoption
  • G - Ceased to be looked after through a special guardianship order (SGO)
  • R - Ceased to be looked after through a residence order (RO)
  • C - Ceased to be looked after through a child arrangement order (CAO)

Attendance (Section 5.8)

All schools (excluding Nurseries) but now including Special schools are required to provide individual attendance data including absences by reason; for all non-boarder pupils aged 4 to 15 as at 31/08/2017 with DOB between 1 Sep 2001 and 31 Aug 2013 (incl. reception pupils)who were on roll for at least one session during the Spring term.

Spring Term Attendance dates 01/01/2018 and Easter Sunday 01/04/2018.


N – Reason not yet obtained Use of this code should be temporary and should be amended as soon as possible to an appropriate absence code, if a reason has not been obtained for absences in the spring term the code should be amended to Code O unauthorised absence.

Please remember persistent absence rates for 17/18 academic year remain at 10%.  

Warning messages may appear in the summary attendance section regarding high absence rates. These may be caused by data errors that need to be eliminated before submitting the Census returns.

Special Schools

Special schools are reminded that attendance data is now collected termly so please ensure your attendance data for the Spring Term is up to date and any missing codes or N codes have been checked and updated.

Exclusions (Section 5.6)

These are required for all exclusions in the Autumn Term 2017, i.e. those where the start date for the exclusions is between 01/09/2017 and 31/12/2017.  Please ensure any permanent exclusion is correctly recorded as these form part of the published statistics and impact performance figures

Learner Support Code (Section 5.3.18) Not Primary

This is collected for secondary, special and PRS.  This indicates the type of financial support awarded to pupils beyond compulsory school leaving age at any point in the academic year of the schools census and collects information on two types of financial support awarded via the 16-19 bursary funds.

    • 55 Vulnerable group bursary
    • 56 Discretionary bursary


Pupil Country of Birth (Section 5.3.4)

Country of Birth is to be collected for both pupils on roll and for pupils no longer on roll.  It will record the country in which the pupil was born, as stated by the parent/guardian and/or child (in the case of a child without a parent/guardian). The country of birth would be expected to be as appears on, or as can be derived from, the pupil’s birth certificate. It may also be as appears on, or as can be derived from, the passport (schools cannot insist that parents provide a birth certificate or passport)

In the unusual circumstances where a child is born outside of national boundaries, e.g. in international water, they may be classified as 'Stateless'.

Pupil Nationality (Section 5.3.5)

Pupil Nationality is to be collected for both pupils on roll and for pupils no longer on roll  It will record the nationality of the pupil, as stated by the parent/guardian and/or child (in the case of a child without a parent/guardian). The pupil's nationality would be expected to be as appears on, or as can be derived from, the pupil’s passport or EEA (European Economic Area) identity card. For pupils with ‘Multiple Nationality’ (also known as ‘Dual Nationality’) more than one nationality may be recorded.

In the unusual circumstances where a child is born outside of national boundaries, e.g. in international water, they may be classified under the nationality of the parent or as 'Stateless'.

Language (Section 5.3.2)

Language has been expanded to include nursery schools so now applies to all schools.  The age restriction which previously limited this item to those pupils aged 5 or over has also been removed. As such this item now applies to all schools and all pupils.

Note: Schools are reminded that a parent/guardian/pupil can refuse to provide any of the items Ethnicity, Language, Country of Birth and Nationality.  These items are collected to ensure schools are receiving appropriate levels of funding and the DFE have confirmed that this data is not passed to the Home Office in a way that would allow identification of an individual though aggregate data about the statistical nature of schools may be.

Privacy Notices (Section 1.2.2)

The DFE have updated their privacy notice template which schools can use to create a Privacy Notice for their school.  Schools that are using Veritau as their Data Protection officer will be able to get support from them with the production of their Privacy notice.

There are a number of resources available to support schools with GDPR, please see the following links:

Data protection guidance from the ICO

How the DFE use and share Schools


Youth Support Services Agreement (YSSA) (Section 5.3.9)

This data item should be returned for all pupils who are aged 12 and above (as at 31 August 2016). If it is not completed the system will default to ‘unsought’. The census mechanism is used to transfer this data item from schools to their local authorities who pass on the data to the youth support service. The codeset is located in section 8. The department uses data collected by local authorities for destination measures and therefore it is important for schools to inform the local authority if a student drops out of the sixth form. 

There is a legal requirement under the Education and Skills Act 2008 for schools to pass information on request to the youth support service for pupils in or approaching the age of 13. Privacy notices need to be issued to parents advising them of their (or their child’s) right to instruct the school, by opting in, to provide information beyond name, address and date of birth.

UNS - The default code Unsought.  No information, other than name address and date of birth will be passed to the Youth Support service

SNR – Sought no reply should be selected once the Privacy notices have been issued to parents.  No information, other than name address and date of birth will be passed to the Youth Support service

No Information, other than name address and date of birth will not be passed to the Youth Support service

Yes - A value of ‘Yes’ should only be recorded if the parent specifically says they are happy for you to pass on information to the YSS.

IMPORTANT Secondary Schools must ensure that this information is correctly on your school MIS system, please ensure that pupils that are recorded with a value of Yes are those that have responded to awareness of the new privacy notice under the new GDPR guidelines.

The LA again will provide a dedicated Census telephone helpline. Capita SIMS rigorously date-stamps some data, alterations after the Census date may require amendment to the 'history' of the data item(s). To minimise effort, schools are advised to submit their Census return on the Census day itself.

The Schools Census helpline number is 0844 875 3922 (4 extensions).

The Census helpline will operate on Census day only:

Thursday 17 May from 9.00am to 4.30pm

For support before and after Census day please contact:


Performance and Intelligence,

Alison Busby 01609 532324

Mark Grosvenor 01609 532956                                                 


Main SICTS customer services helpdesk number is 01609 536086


Instructions for the production of Census return are available on the NY Schools ICT Services website at . Schools need to login to get access to these documents and are available to schools who purchase their system support from SchoolsICT


Changes To your Census after submission

Schools are reminded changes can be made to your Census after submission, please contact us and we can advise the best course of action. This may be a resubmission or we will amend your return for you. In most cases you will still need to make the change on your MIS.

Print and retain a copy of the School Census Summary so that it is readily available when required by auditors or Ofsted.  We recommend that any changes made to your Census following submission are noted on the original printed summary or if you resubmit then we recommend you re-print the Summary.

  1. DFE have provided a familiarisation site so schools wishing us to check their return against Collect validation can run a return and send via Anycomms and I will upload the file to Collect and advise you of any issues with your data. You will need to make a copy of your return to validate on Census day to make your actual return

Schools are asked to submit their summer 2018 Census returns to the LA using the Anycomms secure data transfer system as usual. Schools who have transferred to new systems in recent years will have been advised if they can use Anycomms or need to upload their file directly to COLLECT.  Please contact us if you need any help to upload a file to COLLECT there is a guide available

Forthcoming Census dates

School Census 2018-2019

Autumn Census 2018     Thursday 4th October 2018

                                    Attendance dates          02/04/2018 – 31/07/2018

                                    Exclusion dates           01/01/2018 – 01/4/2018

                                    FSM Eligibility             18/05/2018 – 04/10/2018

Current and ceased periods of fsm eligibility during that date range

                                    Learning Aims             01/08/2017 – 05/10/2018

January Census 2019     Thursday 17th January 2019

                                    Attendance dates          01/08/2018 – 31/12/2018

                                    Exclusion dates           02/4/2018 – 31/08/2018

                                    FSM Eligibility             05/10/2018 – 17/01/2019

Current and ceased periods of fsm eligibility during that date range

May Census 2019          Thursday 16th May 2019

                                    Attendance dates          01/01/2019 – 21/04/2019

                                    Exclusion dates           01/09/2018 – 31/12/2018

                                    FSM Eligibility             18/01/2019 – 16/05/2019

Current and ceased periods of fsm eligibility during that date range