School workforce census

The school workforce census collects data about teachers and support staff. It applies to primary, secondary, special schools and pupil referral units.

The Department for Education and the local authority use the data on school staff - such as age, gender and ethnicity - to inform strategies to support the school workforce.

It takes place annually in the autumn term.

Date of 2023 to 2024 census

Complete the school workforce census on 2 November 2023.

Staff changes and privacy notices

Remember to issue a privacy notice to new members of staff when they join your school.

If a member of staff left your school before they received the privacy notice and your return for the 2023 census will contain data about them, you need to send them a privacy notice.

If you do not send out a privacy notice to staff, you will not have cover under the Education Act 2005. 

Guidance for completion

School workforce census guide | GOV.UK explains how to collect and submit data for the census.

For SIMS guidance on completing the return, contact Schools ICT:


Phone: 01273 482 519

Web: Schools ICT | Services 2 Schools webshop

Staff to include in the workforce census

The school workforce census covers:

  • full and part-time teachers, including agency or service agreement teachers covering an employee
  • teaching assistants
  • other support staff employed by your school
  • casual staff without contracts if they are in school on census day

Teaching assistants include classroom-based support staff for learning and pupil support, such as:

  • higher level teaching assistants
  • special needs support staff
  • nursery officers and assistants
  • minority ethnic pupils’ support staff
  • bilingual assistants

Other support staff include those that are not classroom-based, like:

  • librarians, IT technicians and technicians
  • administrative officers, secretaries, bursars, administration and clerical staff
  • matrons, nurses and medical staff
  • premises and catering staff
  • cleaners

Include all staff whether they work before, after, or during the normal school day.

Staff not to include in the workforce census

Do not include the following people in your census data:

  • Staff whose contracts were ended prior to 1 September 2020.
  • Staff working in extended school service provision, such as breakfast and after-school clubs, and children’s centres.
  • Governors and voluntary staff.
  • Those centrally employed by a multi-academy trust and who spend less than half their time working in schools.

Temporary staff

If they are not in school on census day, do not include temporary staff:

  • with less than 28 days service
  • who are not expected to work for 28 days or more

Trainees and students

  • PGCE students on teaching practice
  • Trainee teachers on a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme

Council employees who support schools

These include:

  • Advisory teachers
  • Peripatetic music teachers
  • Educational psychologists
  • Educational welfare officers

The local authority will submit these.

Staff with no role identifier code for their duties

These include:

  • Clerk to governors
  • School crossing patrol staff
  • School improvement partners

Related information

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