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School Census

DfE Fileset






DfE Fileset



What is School Census

The submission of a School Census return, including a set of named pupil records, is a statutory requirement on schools under section 537A of the Education Act 1996. The reason for putting School Census on a statutory basis is only partly to help ensure compliance by schools. It also means that schools do not need to obtain parental or pupil consent to the provision of information and schools are protected from any legal challenge that they are breaching a duty of confidence to pupils.

School Census

In order to incorporate termly surveys, ie Attendance and Exclusions, it is necessary to collect data three times a year in a Autumn, Spring and Summer Census. Exclusions and attendance data are used to monitor schools’ performance in these areas and, to enable any necessary timely interventions to be made, must be collected and reported on a termly basis.

These are all data items that a well run school would be expected to keep up to date on an event driven basis and so their collection should not be an additional burden to schools. Different modules will be collected in each Census. Your school’s MIS software will be able to extract from your MIS the relevant data items for each census.

Census Course Opportunities

The course, will allow delegates to carry out the processes contained in the school census documentation we send to schools, on their own school data, enabling delegates to complete the process with guidance from an Information Services Consultant. Delegates will be in a quiet uninterrupted environment. Delegates should have a basic familiarity of SIMS and have their own login to the system. Shortly before the course, delegates' schools will be provided with instructions for setting up the remote connection. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that these instructions are followed and it should be noted that failure to do so may result in the delegates being unable to work on the school’s own data during this session.

To Book click here


Known Issues






Error 1920

Any school that has converted to an Academy may receive error 1920, Capita are currently working on a fix for this issue. Please see below a statement from Capita

Added 08/10/2018 at 18:10 Validation error 1920 for sponsor-led academies that converted from schools

As you probably know, where our Census application detects that an academy was allocated a new Establishment Number when converting from a school, e.g. conversion from a school to a sponsor-led academy, we ensure that the DOA for each pupil is no earlier than the first date a pupil could attend the academy. We now understand that there is an exception to this general rule, in that where a learning activity is reported that took place at the school that has been replaced, the DOA should be the DOA from the school that has been replaced regardless of when the Establishment Number changed. Failure to take account of this exception will trigger validation error 1920 and the DfE will NOT accept a note on COLLECT to explain this.


We are looking into how we can help schools to deal with this situation.

04/10/2018 New

Free School Meal End Dates - Query 1767Q

Since creating the School Census documentation the advice from the DfE has been updated (please see attached document). If the pupil that is eligible for a Free School Meal has been eligible from the 1st April 2018 they will remain eligible until at least Summer 2023.




Census Consolidated Patch V2

We have authorised Census patch (V2 – no. 24330) to all secondary schools. This supersedes Census patch (V1 – no. 24323) which is no longer required nor available. See below for what the Census patch V2 resolves:

  • Error 1992 – incorrectly produced when a Year 12/13 student has left the school during the 2018/2019 academic year prior to the Census date even though Planned Hours are present in the Post 16 Programme of Study area.
  • Error 2712 'Full-time employment indicator is missing or invalid' for all students with learning aims.

Fileset 1006 is also required in addition to the patch and is available now. Please see section DfE Fileset above.



Fileset 1006

Fileset 1006 available. Will resolve errors: 2712 & 1992 in addition to patches. See above for more information.



Fileset 1005

Fileset 1005 available (see above) Resolves the following Errors/Queries: 1925; 2005; 2502; 2712; 3080; 3090



S2S website

The S2S website and the ULN function has now been updated to accept CTF '18 files. The DfE apologise for the inconvenience caused by this delay.


Documents for Download


Documents for download



DMS049 – School Census Autumn 2018 Primary (Primary/Special/Nursery)


DMS048 – School Census Autumn 2018 Secondary (including Middle deemed Secondary), All through and Pupil Referral Units



DMS033 – Post 16 Autumn 2018

For secondary schools only.



Validation Errors and Resolutions for School Census 2018-2019 (Capita Document 7.182)



S1655 – School Childcare Explained




S1581 - School Census FAQs




DfE Census Preparation and Guidance

Use this link for up to date DfE information on School Census


Catholic School Census

Catholic schools are reminded that the Catholic Education Service conduct their own census on the same day as the January DfE School Census. This census is supported in SIMS, which provides most of the information required. For further advice on how to prepare this census and return the census file to the Catholic Education Service, please refer directly to the Catholic Education Service Census support website at

Funding Guidance New

Please refer to the EFA Funding Guidance for full guidance


SITSS Created SIMS Reports


Report contents



School Census Pre-check Reports

All Phases


School Census SITSS Missing Marks for DOB Range report

You can run this report from SIMS with the following parameters for Autumn 2018:

Attendance - 02/04/2018 to 31/07/2018

Date of Birth Between to 01/09/2001 – 31/08/2012



School Census EAL Report - Please note this report runs from the group focus.



Downloading and Importing Report files




School Census - SEN Review

August 2015

Post 16 Learner Agreement report. If you imported these reports last year and amended them to suit your needs they should work fine this year. If you did not use them last year and want to start using them this year, then last years version should be imported and then edited to ensure working reflects the advice given in your school.

August 2015

Reports for Secondary schools to show number of periods per week for classes of Year 12 and 13

Please note these reports are not specific and should continue to work for future academic years

When running these reports please specify a date when the students were on roll.



Reports for Secondary Schools to check Course Numbers