Privacy notice and pupil data items

Below you will find the suggested texts of the privacy notice and reminders about some of the pupil data items required for data collections.

These items are required by various agencies via the DfE and within the borough.

Under each sub-heading you will find information about who requires the data and in some cases how to add the new categories to

Data Protection Act

Since the Data Protection Act of 1998, individuals have the right to know:

  • What data is held about them
  • Why it is held
  • With whom it will be shared.

Privacy notices are designed to meet those needs of the Act with regard to the school census.

It is a single, short and easily understandable document that your school provides alongside or as part of other communications, for example:

  • Start-of-the-school-year information
  • Your schools brochure
  • Induction pack
  • School diary.

The suggested text for schools privacy notice* (word) includes links to the Ealing Council and DfE websites.

Any changes to the details of organisations with whom data is shared are published on these websites.

*The DfE have updated the privacy notice as part of the preparations for the new General Data Protection Regulations that will ‘come in’ in May 2018.

First language for pupils

The name of a pupil's first language is collected for all pupils in school census.

If you find that you do not have all the languages you need listed in the first language drop-down in, you can ask your SIMS support provider to install first language all codes next time they are making changes to your system.

Since no database could list every language, we have produced a document languages and the countries where spoken (pdf) which gives an extensive list of languages and the DfE categories to which they belong.

It also lists the names of countries and what languages are spoken there.


We encourage schools to use the Ealing ethnic list of codes and countries of origin (pdf).

If schools wish to use any other extended codes they can do this for their own purposes but we will recode the data centrally to the agreed Ealing list before the information is imported into the central pupil database / used for analysis

Religious affiliation

The Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) requests that schools should make an effort to record their pupil's religion.

This is in order to fulfill their brief that religious education in the borough should reflect the religious and philosophical affiliation of pupils.

The information is collected for use within the local authority in the May background report.

A list of codes and step-by-step instructions of how to add them to your can be obtained by clicking on the link below:
How to add religious codes in (pdf)

Full home address

Every pupil must have at least their apartment number (if applicable), number of dwelling and postcode entered in the pupil details in SIMS.

Home addresses (pdf)
How a pupil's home address should be entered into in order to avoid errors in the January school census.

The DfE will eventually want to collect in census the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) for all pupil’s addresses. There is a field to collect this in SIMS, although for the moment, the data item remains voluntary.

SEN need type

A new SEN code of practice was introduced in September 2014 and has meant some changes to SEN status and need codes.

The old status codes S, P and A have all but disappeared as pupils have their reviews, and if they are still judged as needing SEN interventions, they will have one of the new categories of:

  • E – Education, health and care plan (EHCP) or
  • K – SEN support.

The SEN need type BESD has been removed, and SEMH (social emotional and mental health) and NSA (no specialist assessment) have been added.

Although pupil SEN status is collected each census, SEN need type is only collected in the spring census. The DfE only requires information about a pupil’s primary need and their secondary need (if they have one).

Problems can arise in census if SEN need types that are no longer current are inadvertently selected for a pupil. This is easy to do as you only see descriptions of the need type in SEN pupil details in

De-activating the codes that the DFE have deemed are no longer valid can prevent errors in census.
De-activating outdated SEN need types in (pdf)

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Last updated: 28 Mar 2018