Autumn Census 2021
If you prefer to watch our video guide on how to complete your census, please click here
- Collection Date: Thursday 7th October 2021
- Deadline for returns: Wednesday 3rd November 2021
If you have any specific questions about what data to enter, please consult your Local Authority or MAT leaders for guidance.
*Please read through sections 5-10 BEFORE submitting your School Census return
Changes introduced for 2021-2022 Census
New - Learner Funding and Monitoring
- Pupils whose learning has been supported by the school-led tutoring programme must be recorded with the learner funding and monitoring (FAM).
- Pupils deemed eligible for this funding are in NC Year 1 to 11 or aged 5 to 15, as at 2021-08-31 and NC year actual ‘X’.
- This is recorded in ScholarPack on the Student Profile Extended tab as “in receipt of school led tutoring” as shown
Updated - Termly Exclusions Module
- Data is required for both on and off roll pupils and should include All suspensions and permanent exclusions with start dates between 2021-01-01 and 2021-07-31.
- From Autumn 2021, in line with government advice, fixed term exclusions will be referred to as suspensions.
Updated - Termly Attendance Module
- Autumn 2021 Summer term 2020 to 2021 data is collected from Easter Monday 2021-04-05 to the Sunday 2021-05-30 before the late Spring bank holiday
- Autumn 2021 Summer second half-term data is collected from the late Spring bank holiday Monday 2021-05-31 to 2021-07-31
The Autumn School Census looks at all pupils on the school register on census day, and all pupils with exclusions start dates between 01/01/2021 to 31/07/2021 (on and off roll students, with fixed period and permanent exclusions).
It is required for:
- maintained nursery
- middle-deemed primary
- middle-deemed secondary
- special schools (including non-maintained special schools)
- pupil referral units / alternative provision (PRU / AP)
- academies (including free schools, university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools)
- city technology colleges (CTCs)
Registered independent schools, alternative provision and early years settings (private, voluntary and independent) do not participate in the school census.
What data will be used from the Autumn Census for funding purposes?
This is a reminder that the data collected via the 2021 Autumn school census will be used in the calculation of elements of the school funding:
Changes to funding schedule
The DFE have implemented the following change to improve the operation of schools funding:
- Decreasing the funding lag for the “FSM6” deprivation funding factor by 9 months, by moving from using the previous year’s January census to the October census for measuring eligibility. This increases the amount of funding allocated for deprivation in the NFF through this factor to £1,369 million in 2022-23.
It is also important to have the correct information in the census for the 15 hours extra funding (extended hours) for working parents, as this is used to match against the Early Years Portal System.
1. Where to find Census in ScholarPack?
1.The census module can be found in Admin > Census > Autumn Census
The table that appears in the census area provides links to editable areas in ScholarPack for required fields. These should be checked to ensure your data is current and complete.
Click the buttons in the View/Edit column to check your information before calculating your census return.
Each button will take you to the area of ScholarPack where you can view or update your information. If the notes are in RED no data has been recorded for the required item.
Click the image below to enlarge.
2. Census Validation
Check your census for any queries and errors
Once you have worked your way through the buttons in the View/Edit column you can click the Calculate New Census Return button on the right side of your screen.
This will take you to a validation page where any queries or errors can be viewed. Where possible, the query or error will provide a link to take you to the area in ScholarPack where you can resolve the issue.
Click the image below to enlarge.
Although the data checks are very important, you cannot assume that successful completion guarantees that all the necessary data is present and that your school census return is correct. The absence of any validation errors or queries also does not guarantee a successful return. You must ensure that you have fully entered into your system all data required by the DfE specification
Data submitted to the department should be authorised by the head of school.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are still unsure how to resolve your errors or queries.
3. Generate School Summary
Check your data before submitting
Once you have resolved all of your errors on the validation page, you can click on the button labelled 'Generate ScholarPack Summary'. This will display all data entered into ScholarPack that is ready to be submitted. The ScholarPack summary differs from the Official summary by giving the option to see which students are behind the figures (via their UPN).
Please thoroughly check the separate tables with a colleague/headteacher to ensure that you are confident with your data before sending the return.
If you wish to print or save this page, please click on Print in the top right of this screen.
When you click Print a pop up box will appear. You can either select the blue print button or 'Change' (in the destination section). Clicking 'Change' will allow you to choose Save as PDF instead of printing.
4. Download your Census file
Download the final census file
Once you have validated your census return and checked your school summary you can select the Download census file button. This will allow you to download your xml file with all necessary information.
You will then need to access COLLECT to upload your completed file. The system that you use to sign into COLLECT has changed and you will now need a DfE sign in to access it. You can log into COLLECT here or create a DfE sign in with a link on the same page. If you need guidance on how to use COLLECT the DfE have produced guides here.
It is worth asking if your school office has the relevant username and password credentials to log in already.
Please note: some local authorities may require schools to submit their census return to the LA before sending to the Collect website. Please check with your local authority.
The DfE are no longer producing pdf booklet guidance, instead guidance is available on the following links:
This next section will show you what information the DfE will collect and where to specifically update this data in ScholarPack.
5. School level data
What school information will be collected?
School level data required for the Autumn census is as follows:
For all school types:
- LA number
- Establishment number
- Unique Reference Number
- School name, address, phase, type
- Highest/lowest national curriculum year
- Intake, governance
- School email
- School phone number
For Special Schools only:
- Maximum day pupils: The maximum number of day pupils for whom the school is approved to make a provision.
- Maximum boarding pupils: The maximum number of boarding pupils for whom the school is approved to make a provision.
- Minimum age – boys: The minimum age for which the school is approved to make a provision for boys.
- Minimum age – girls: The minimum age for which the school is approved to make a provision for girls.
- Maximum age - boys: The maximum age for which the school is approved to make a provision for boys.
- Maximum age - girls: The maximum age for which the school is approved to make a provision for girls.
- School SEN type: The type of special need for which the school is formally approved to make provision.
Updating school level data in ScholarPack
Your school level data can be added and updated in ScholarPack by clicking on Admin>Config>Core set up>School. If you need to make any amendments, click on the 'Edit' button at the top of the screen. You can also access this area by clicking on Admin > Census > School (in the View/Edit column).
6. Pupil level data
What pupil information will be collected?
Click here for guidance on all pupil level data.
For the Autumn 2021 Census the school is requested to record the number of UFSM meals taken on a normal Thursday. If any UFSM students attending during lockdown (vulnerable/keyworkers) are absent for reasons other than Covid, or opt for a packed lunch rather than school meal on Census day, then their count is to be removed from the total meals taken that day. Please check the guidance attached at the base of this article for full details.
This is a manual entry to be entered in Admin > Census > Autumn Census > School Lunch Taken for years R, 1, and 2.
Update: many students will have an X code this Census and meals will need to be recorded for a normal day when students were present in school.
Once selected you will be presented with a list of all those students in years Reception to Year 2. If you have taken the register in ScholarPack on census day then the attendance code for each student will be displayed together with any meal choice if using the meals module. You can then choose to pre-populate the School Lunch taken column with those students who were marked as present for the AM session (/) or late before register closed (L) or as absent due to Government Restrictions/Local Lockdown (X) as having had a UFSM on census day. Remove meals for those who usually have a home packed lunch.
Click the image below to enlarge.
Note: pupils in school on census day must be recorded as not having taken a school lunch if they are absent for other reasons not connected to coronavirus.
If you'd like to edit any pupil information in bulk, please our Guide to Group Updater
If a student does not have a UPN you can allocate one in their extended tab, which will normally stay with them thereafter. A temporary UPN can be allocated when a student may already have a UPN but you do not yet have it on file.
A student of 14 or older must also have a ULN. The ULN is a unique 10-digit number, and most learners aged 14+ have one. It is designed to work with your PLR (Personal Learning Record), helping to give you proof of your learning and achievements from the age of 16 onwards. These are allocated by the e Learning Records Service
Check for termly attendance.
Attendance data is provided for any pupils aged 4 to 15 years as at 31st August 2021 who were on roll for one or more session(s) during the term for which data is collected. This may include pupils who have left the school prior to census day.
The Autumn census looks at attendance data from 05/04/2021 to 31/07/2021 .
Attendance data for the 2021 to 2022 academic year will include categories of school attendance, rather than just those that equate to authorised and unauthorised absence.
The census gathers the number of sessions possible per student, and where there are absences, the reason(s) for absence and the number of sessions lost for that reason.
One or more attendance codes need to be marked against each student along with the number of sessions. Schools are not required to provide the number of sessions missed due to authorised absence, unauthorised absence, exceptional circumstances, not attending in circumstances relating to coronavirus or those attending an approved educational activity.
From Autumn 2021, the attendance codes returned for the census include categories of school attendance, rather than just those that equate to authorised and unauthorised absence.
Here are the full range of attendance codes – contained in codeset CS066 of the CBDS.
|CS066||Pupil Attendance Codes||Applicable collections 2020/21|
|/||Present (AM)||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|\||Present (PM)||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|B||Approved education activity as pupil being educated off site (not dual registration)||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|C||Authorised absence as pupil is absent due to other authorised circumstances||Included in school census|
|D||Dual registered (at another establishment) - not counted in possible attendances||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|E||Authorised absence as pupil is excluded, with no alternative provision made||Included in school census|
|G||Unauthorised absence as pupil is on a family holiday, not agreed, or is taking days in excess of an agreed family holiday||Included in school census|
|H||Authorised absence due to agreed family holiday||Included in school census|
|I||Authorised absence due to Illness (NOT medical or dental etc. appointments)||Included in school census|
|J||Approved education activity as pupil is attending interview||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|L||Late (before registers closed) marked as present||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|M||Authorised absence due to medical/ dental appointments||Included in school census|
|N||Unauthorised absence as pupil missed sessions for a reason that has not yet been provided||Included in school census|
|O||Unauthorised absence as pupil missed sessions for an unauthorised absence not covered by any other code/description||Included in school census|
|P||Approved education activity as pupil is attending an approved sporting activity||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|R||Authorised absence due to religious observance||Included in school census|
|S||Authorised absence due to study leave||Included in school census|
|T||Authorised absence due to traveller absence||Included in school census|
|U||Unauthorised absence as pupil arrived after registers closed||Included in school census|
|V||Approved education activity as pupil is away on an educational visit or trip||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|W||Approved education activity as pupil is attending work experience||Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|X||Non-compulsory school age absence - not counted in possible attendances
Not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)
|Included in school census - from the start of the 2020/21 academic year|
|Y||Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances - not counted in possible attendances||Included in school census|
|Z||Pupil not yet on roll - not counted in possible attendances **||** These are not included in School Census|
|#||Planned whole or partial school closure - not counted in possible attendances **||** These are not included in School Census|
The following attendance codes are used for monitoring attendance in systems but are not counted as part of national attendance statistics.
• Attendance code ‘Y’: Unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances – not counted in possible attendances. Whilst this code is included in the census collection it is not included in possible sessions and is excluded from counts of
absences and not included in national attendance statistics
• Attendance code ‘D’: Dual registered (at another educational establishment) – not counted in possible attendances. This code is used for monitoring attendance in systems. Whilst this code is included in the census collection it is not included
in possible sessions or absence figures
• Attendance code ‘X’:
a) Non-compulsory school age absence – not counted in possible attendances. This code is used to record sessions that noncompulsory school age children are not expected to attend.
b) Not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19) – not counted in possible attendances. This category must only be used to record sessions that take place in the 2020 to 2021 academic year where a pupil does not attend because their travel to, or attendance at, school would be:
i. contrary to guidance relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) from Public Health England (PHE) and/or the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
ii. prohibited by any legislation (or instruments such as statutory directions) relating to the incidence or transmission of
coronavirus (COVID-19) Full information can be found in the school attendance guidance.
• Attendance Code ‘#’: Planned whole or partial school closure – not counted in possible attendances. This code should be used for planned whole or partial school closures where the dates are known to the school at least a term in advance. This code is not collected in the census.
Dual registered pupils - each school records attendance and absence for the sessions the pupil is required to attend at their setting. Use the 'D' code where the pupil should be attending the other school.
Zero sessions possible are recorded where a dual registered pupil has all of their previous attendance (term or half term) for which attendance data is collected at the other registration. For example, where a dually registered pupil has all of the attendance at his / her subsidiary registration, the main registration would have zero sessions possible recorded for that period in the census.
For dual registered pupils please check the 'Enrolment Status' is recorded correctly. The count on census day includes all pupils whose enrolment status is:
• ‘C’ (current - single registration at this school) [ALL schools]
• ‘M’ (current main - dual registration) [ALL schools]
• ‘S’ (current subsidiary - dual registration) [ALL schools]
• ‘F’ (FE college) where pupil is registered with the PRU / AP but is taught for the majority of their teaching time at the FE college [For: PRU / AP only]
• ‘O’ (other provider) where pupil is registered with the PRU / AP but is taught for the majority of their teaching time by the other alternative provision provider (which is not a school) [For: PRU / AP only]
Pupils recorded as "Guest' will not be included in your return.
Persistent absenteeism for the Autumn Census is based on a threshold of 10 percent absence from the start of the academic year to the end of the period in question.
You are able to view an individual pupil's attendance by clicking on the Attendance tab on their personal profile:
Click the image below to enlarge.
To enter and amend pupil attendance information, go to Register > Manage Register
Check for termly exclusions
A full explanation of exclusions and suspensions as well as the timeframes and reasons can be found over on the DFE census guide here
Pupil exclusions are entered into ScholarPack via the pupil's profile within the Conduct tab. For fixed period exclusions, each full day counts as two sessions.
Click the image below to enlarge.
Once entered in here, a report can be generated by going to Reporting > Reports > Conduct > Exclusions
Attendance and exclusions data is required for pupils who are no longer on roll on census day but fit the above criteria.
9. Free School Meals
Check for periods of FSM eligibility
Free school meals eligibility indicates eligibility in England on the grounds of social deprivation and is independent of any universal entitlement or of eligibility in another country.
To minimise the impact of the rollout of universal credit and the introduction of a net earned income threshold to determine eligibility for free school meals, transitional arrangements have been put in place to ensure that no pupil loses a meal as a result of these changes.
Transitional protections should be awarded as follows:
• any claimant who is in receipt of free school meals on 31st March 2018 should continue to receive free school meals until the end of the universal credit roll out period, and then until their phase of education ends. This covers until at least Summer 2023, and applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria.
• any claimant who gains eligibility for free school meals from 1st April 2018 will continue to receive free school meals until the end of the universal credit rollout period, and then until their phase of education ends. This covers until at least Summer 2023, and applies even if their circumstances change and they would no longer meet the eligibility criteria.
For the Autumn Census 2021 the relevant periods from which the DfE is collecting periods of eligibility are as follows:
An FSM eligibility Start Date and no FSM Eligibility end date; or,
An FSM eligibility end date since the previous census, that is, on or after 7th October 2021 and up to including the Autumn census day.
The Early Years Pupil Premium is collected in the Autumn census.
To view your pupil's FSM eligibility periods you can go to Admin > Students > Manage FSM or click on the FSM Eligibility tab in the census area under the View/Edit header.
Universal Infant Free School Meals
Pupils who are only in receipt of a free school lunch due to the infant pupil universal entitlement should not be recorded as FSM as they are not eligible for pupil premium funding.
Infant pupils who are eligible for pupil premium funding due to means testing should be recorded as FSM in the usual way (as above) even though they are eligible for free meals because of their age.
See the attached link for further pupil premium conditions of grant information:
Adopted from Care details are collected. Please note: Children adopted from care are eligible for the pupil premium (£2345 per pupil).
This data item can be edited in the child's profile area within the 'Extended' area.
Please choose from the following values:
- Ceased to be looked after through adoption
- Ceased to be looked after through a special guardianship order (SGO)
- Ceased to be looked after through a residence order (RO)
- Ceased to be looked after through a child arrangement order (CAO)
Service Child indicator - this is now collected at every census. The information is recorded in ScholarPack within the child's profile in the 'Extended' area.
What SEND information is collected?
A SEN Provision can be entered via the student's profile in the Support tab (the SEN permission role is needed to access this resource). Click onto the white cog next to the SEN header to enter your provision.
- When entering a SEN Provision for SEN Support or Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), you will also need to have at least a Primary SEN Need associated with that provision.
- When changing a SEN Provision type you will need to end the current provision prior to adding a new one.
Top up funding - This is a true / false flag to indicate those pupils on roll for whom the school receives, on census day, top-up funding - either from a local authority or, in the case of a PRU / AP, a local authority or another school. This can be recorded in ScholarPack via the child's profile within the 'Extended' tab, under Support Information.
Some local authorities have their own submissions deadlines.
Academies are generally unaffected by LA deadlines but please check with your local data team.