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School Census

DfE Fileset






DfE Fileset 803 for Spring Census 2018


What is School Census

The submission of a School Census return, including a set of named pupil records, is a statutory requirement on schools under section 537A of the Education Act 1996. The reason for putting School Census on a statutory basis is only partly to help ensure compliance by schools. It also means that schools do not need to obtain parental or pupil consent to the provision of information and schools are protected from any legal challenge that they are breaching a duty of confidence to pupils.

School Census

In order to incorporate termly surveys, ie Attendance and Exclusions, it is necessary to collect data three times a year in a Autumn, Spring and Summer Census. Exclusions and attendance data are used to monitor schools’ performance in these areas and, to enable any necessary timely interventions to be made, must be collected and reported on a termly basis.

These are all data items that a well run school would be expected to keep up to date on an event driven basis and so their collection should not be an additional burden to schools. Different modules will be collected in each Census. Your school’s MIS software will be able to extract from your MIS the relevant data items for each census.

Census Course Opportunities

The course, will allow delegates to carry out the processes contained in the school census documentation we send to schools, on their own school data, enabling delegates to complete the process with guidance from an Information Services Consultant. Delegates will be in a quiet uninterrupted environment. Delegates should have a basic familiarity of SIMS and have their own login to the system. Shortly before the course, delegates' schools will be provided with instructions for setting up the remote connection. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that these instructions are followed and it should be noted that failure to do so may result in the delegates being unable to work on the school’s own data during this session.

To Book click here


Known Issues





Table 15 for Attendance on the Summary Report

The DfE has warned schools in it’s latest bulletin that Table 15 on the school census summary is including 4 year olds when it should not be. However, we believe that the problem is wider than this and that they are also excluded 15 year olds when they should not be. For accurate information please refer to you Attendance detailed report and ignore this table on the Summary report.








Documents for Download


Documents for download



S1654 – School Census Spring 2018 Primary (Primary/Special/Nursery)



S1653 – School Census Spring 2018 Secondary (including Middle deemed Secondary), All through and Pupil Referral Units



S1655 – School Childcare Explained



Validation Errors and Resolutions for School Census 2017-2018 (Capita Document 7.178)




S1581 - School Census FAQs




DfE Census Preparation and Guidance

Use this link for up to date DfE information on School Census


Catholic School Census

Catholic schools are reminded that the Catholic Education Service conduct their own census on the same day as the January DfE School Census. This census is supported in SIMS, which provides most of the information required. For further advice on how to prepare this census and return the census file to the Catholic Education Service, please refer directly to the Catholic Education Service Census support website at

Funding Guidance New

Please refer to the EFA Funding Guidance for full guidance


SITSS Created SIMS Reports


Report contents



School Census SITSS Missing Marks for DOB Range report

You can run this report from SIMS with the following parameters for Summer 2017:

Attendance - start of academic year to 31/12/2017

Date of Birth between – 01/09/2000 – 31/08/2012



School Census Pre-check Reports

All Phases



School Census EAL Report - Please note this report runs from the group focus.



Downloading and Importing Report files




School Census - SEN Review

August 2015

Post 16 Learner Agreement report. If you imported these reports last year and amended them to suit your needs they should work fine this year. If you did not use them last year and want to start using them this year, then last years version should be imported and then edited to ensure working reflects the advice given in your school.

August 2015

Reports for Secondary schools to show number of periods per week for classes of Year 12 and 13

Please note these reports are not specific and should continue to work for future academic years

When running these reports please specify a date when the students were on roll.



Reports for Secondary Schools to check Course Numbers