School workforce census: guide to submitting data

How local authorities, local-authority-maintained schools, and academies should collect and submit data for the school workforce census

The school workforce census is a statutory data collection that takes place each autumn. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless there’s a good reason not to. The census collects data on all teaching and support staff in regular employment, including those working for:

  • local authorities on central contracts;
  • local-authority-maintained schools;
  • academies;
  • free schools, including:
    • studio schools;
    • university technical colleges;
  • pupil referral units (local authority establishments that provide education for children who cannot attend a mainstream school).

Local authorities are responsible for:

  • co-ordinating and approving the submission of census data from all their maintained schools;
  • submitting data for centrally employed school staff.

Academies are responsible for submitting and approving their own census data.

Local authorities, local-authority-maintained schools and academies should issue privacy notices to all members of staff; these inform staff members about the details of the census and their rights under the Data Protection Act.

Important dates

Dates for the 2021 census are:

  • census day – 4 November 2021;
  • deadline for submitting your data – 3 December 2021.

Submit your data

You’ll need to:

  • register and log in with DfE Sign-in;
  • use COLLECT to submit your data.

Please contact your school or local authority approver, if:

  • you want to request a DfE Sign-in username or password so you can access COLLECT;
  • ‘school workforce census’ is not on the list of collections you can see in COLLECT.

Get help using DfE Sign-in

  • If you do not know who your approver is, use the DfE Sign-in request form.
  • If you’ve forgotten your password, use DfE Sign-in to reset it. You will need to click ‘Start now’ and then the ‘I’ve forgotten my password’ link.
  • Note that the DfE will only be able to change the status of your data submission to ‘authorised’ once you’ve cleared all errors in the data in COLLECT.

School workforce census documents

These documents will help you complete the census:

If you wish to request XSLT files for the validation rules and school summary report, contact the Data Collection Helpdesk via the service request form.

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