School census

Census dates for this academic year:

  • Autumn: Thursday 7 October 2021
  • Spring: Thursday 20 January 2022
  • Summer: Thursday 19 May 2022.

Autumn school census

The Autumn School Census data is used in the calculation of the Schools Block of the Dedicated School Grant (DSG) for 2021 to 2022.

It is important that schools are happy with the accuracy of their returns before uploading them, and that they're uploaded by the deadline.

Spring school census

The Spring School Census is the largest of the three census collections that take place each year.

It collects a variety of data on both pupils and schools, such as Free School Meals, SEN, Ethnicity and Language which are used for things such as monitoring a school's performance or allocating funding.

Summer and autumn school census

The Summer and Autumn censuses are smaller and only collect the basic pupil information, such as attendance and address details.

For secondary schools with sixth forms, the post-16 learning aims are also collected.

If schools have any queries about the School Information Management System (SIMS), they should contact EIS by logging onto the ServiceNow Portal to use the Chat facility or log a ticket. Or phone the Service Desk on 03000 658 888.

The Department for Education (DfE) requests that all schools make their initial census return as soon as possible after the collection portal opens.

This is to help ensure local authorities have the maximum time available to check, and approve, all submissions by the database closure.

The DfE have updated their website, it is now more interactive. The information you need for the census is broken down by category to make it easier to find information. Please familiarise yourself with the web page before the autumn census is due. 

See school census guidance on GOV.UK