1. Czone
  2. School management
  3. School census and workforce census

School census and workforce census

Key dates

School census dates 2023 to 2024

Autumn school census

5 October 2023

Spring school census

18 January 2024

Summer school census

16 May 2024

About the census

The school census collects pupil data and takes place three times a year. The census applies to primary, secondary, special schools and pupil referral units.

Data from the school census determines which pupils get the pupil premium grant. For funding rates, see: pupil premium grant.

The census identifies:

  • disadvantaged pupils - eligible now or in the past 6 years for free school meals
  • post looked after children
  • service children

Looked-after children and pupil premium

Looked-after children (LAC) also qualify for pupil premium, but they are no longer identified in the school census. Their pupil premium data is collected from another source.

Class sizes

Spring census collects information on class sizes for pupils at a selected time on spring census day. The selected time is based on the last digit of the school establishment number.

Last digit of your departmental number

Selected time

4, 7, 8 or 9

One hour after the start of morning school

0, 1 or 5

One hour before the end of morning school

2, 3 or 6

One hour after the start of afternoon school

Privacy notices

Your school needs to send a privacy notice to

  • the parent or carer of every pupil
  • all members of teaching and non-teaching staff you employ

This is to inform them that you hold personal data about each pupil or member of staff. You must explain how you intend to use the data and who you may share the data with.

Guidance on completing the school census

Complete the school census | GOV.UK explains how schools and local authorities should submit school census data to the Department for Education

Use the document as a handbook throughout the year, not only on census day. It covers data collected for the school census and stored in school management information systems (MIS).

Changes for Summer 2024 onwards

Early Years data, previously collected in Spring census only, will now be collected termly in census returns from May 2024 onwards. New items for 2 year old pupils are - expanded hours, eligibility code, basis for funding, EYPP, DAF indicator.

How to load school census return to COLLECT [713.6 KB] [pdf]

Checking your data guidance

Complete the school census - Check your data | GOV.UK

This covers:

  • validating your data
  • resolving errors
  • checking any funding reports that use your school census return


For ARBOR, SIMS guides and 'live data' training courses for school census returns, contact Schools ICT Services:

Email: schoolsict@eastsussex.gov.uk

Phone: 01323 463 133

Contact Schools ICT

Email: schoolsict@eastsussex.gov.uk

Phone: 01273 482 519

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:

Email: schoolsict@eastsussex.gov.uk

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

Was this page helpful?

Click or tap the rating which best represents your experience.