Detailed guide: School workforce census: guide to submitting data

Department For Education

October 4
15:33 2019

The school workforce census is a statutory data collection that takes place each autumn. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless theres 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. Privacy notices inform staff members about the details of the census and their rights under the Data Protection Act.

Important dates

Dates for the 2019 census:

  • census day: 7 November 2019
  • deadline for submitting your data: 6 December 2019

Submit your data

Youll 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, please use the DfE Sign-in request form.

If youve forgotten your password, use DfE Sign-in to reset it. You will need to click Start now and then the Ive forgotten my password link.

Note that well only be able to change the status of your data submission to authorised once youve 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.

If youre looking for guides from past collections of the school workforce census, visit the School workforce census: closed collections page.

Video: DfE School Workforce

DfE School Workforce

Do you need help?

Submitting data

Please use the service request form if you have any questions about your data. We aim to answer your question within 5 working days.


Please use the feedback form if you have any comments about our data collection service, including COLLECT and the helpdesk service.

Published 25 March 2014
Last updated 4 October 2019 +show all updates
  1. Added a link to XML converters and guides for school workforce census 2019.
  2. Added link to guides for school workforce census 2019.
  3. Added link to School workforce census 2019: summary report specification.
  4. Added a link to 'School workforce census 2019' and updated important dates.
  5. Updated 'Submit your data section' and DfE Sign-in help links.
  6. Updated COLLECT link from secure access to DfE sign in.
  7. Updated video in the guide.
  8. Added 'School workforce census 2018: notepad entries for COLLECT queries' guidance.
  9. Added 'School workforce census 2018: guides'.
  10. Added 'School workforce census 2018: business and technical specification'.
  11. Added 2018 census dates.
  12. Added 'Introduction to the School Workforce Collection' video.
  13. Added 'School workforce census 2017: notepad entries for C

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