School census

Autumn school census 2019

The autumn school census takes place on Thursday 3 October 2019. This is to give schools enough time to admit all their pupils and enter their details onto and to give students taking post 16 qualifications more time to make firm choices of courses.

We ask schools to return their census by Friday 4 October 2019.

We suggest that you perform a trial run after you have upgraded to the suggested software version and prior to census day. Then, hopefully on 3 October, it will just be a case of running the census and submitting it to the LA.

The DfE use the data they receive in autumn school census to decide how much dedicated schools grant (DSG) is allocated to the LA for pupils aged four and above (at 31 August 2019) in national curriculum year groups reception to year 11 at the time of the census. This informs the DSG to be passed onto schools in the following school year.

Schools are required to upload details of their on roll nursery pupils to the early years department monthly to receive funding, so please ensure that all the correct nursery pupils are admitted in time to be included in the first instalment of funding

DFE specifications

The DfE are no longer producing pdf booklet guidance, instead guidance is available on the following link:

Complete the school census (GOV.UK)

Capita instructions for school census 2019

You can download the handbooks from the Capita website:

SIMS publication centre - select 'handbooks' and then select 'England'

If you require any information regarding MIS file versions or where data should be entered, or how to run the census within your MIS please refer to your MIS technical support provider.


Jen Bull
School organisation officer
Phone: 020 8825 5986

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Last updated: 23 Sep 2019