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Information and guidance for the upcoming Pupil Census.

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 date 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.

Authorisation by the headteacher

The census summary sheet fulfils a number of purposes and the importance of this is often overlooked.

It allows school staff preparing the return to check its accuracy and completeness before passing it to the headteacher. In addition to summarising FSM, funded hours, number of pupils with SEN, it also contains information about persistent absenteeism. This is the only opportunity to check the data before it is used by the DfE for funding purposes and published in performance tables. Once the data has been submitted to the DfE it will be deemed to have been authorised by the headteacher.

Uploading and submitting your return

Census returns are uploaded by schools into COLLECT via DfE sign-in. Please refer to the guidance to assist with the process on uploading, entering notes at return level and submitting your return. DfE notepad entry guidance will be released by the DfE.

COLLECT test site

The test site is now available and will remain open until 4pm on Friday 25 September 2020.

School census guide

A guide for the 2020 - 2021 academic year is now available from GOV.UK. We would also ask that you look at the section which covers changes since the previous census, in particular the changes to attendance and exclusions.

DfE Sign-in

Please ensure the person responsible for uploading your school's return to COLLECT has access to DfE Sign-in. This is particularly relevant to those schools where a recent change in staff has taken place. Please don't leave it until the last minute to generate a DfE Sign-in account if the new member of staff does not already have one.

RM Integris Guide

Guidance for completing your census return will be available for all RM Integris schools on the Census page. 

Please remember you must be logged in to S4S to view the information.

Get Information About Schools (GIAS)

Schools and academy users will be reminded to check their GIAS record on a periodic basis. If you see a reminder displayed within DfE sign-in you should access GIAS and check your details are up-to-date.

After making any amendments simply click apply and then confirm. If the record is already accurate then simply click 'My establishment record is up-to-date'.

Keeping the GIAS record up-to-date helps us to help schools in key areas including funding, data collection and departmental communications.

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