Last updated:

2nd October 2023

Workforce census

Schools workforce Census 2023

The School Workforce Census is an annual return for the DfE intended to collect a variety of workforce related data at one place and time, replacing the previous practice of numerous surveys throughout the year. The data has been collected in this manner since 2009. The reasons for the Census are:  

  1. To improve and standardise the data on members of the school workforce.
  2. To reduce and rationalise surveys and data collections currently being sent to schools

There is one census return per year, in the Autumn term. The census date for 2023 is Thursday November 2nd. The return for your school must be submitted to the LA by Friday 24th November.

The return now needs to include whether each teacher on the return is a Newly Qualified Teacher in the first year, second year or Not an NQT, as this is how schools will claim funding for their newly qualified teachers.

PLEASE NOTE - Schools need to submit their returns via COLLECT. There is no requirement to send a paper copy of the return into the LA and there is no requirement to upload it onto S2S.

Important notes on data completion

 A correct DfE teacher reference number (TRN) must be provided for every teacher. For teachers that have recently started in your employment the TRN can be obtained in 3 ways: 

  • By checking with the NCTL register of qualified teachers 
  • Notifying Capita teachers pensions of the appointment 
  • The teacher may have a record of the number that they can provide from their  award of qualified teacher status or teachers pensions benefits statement.

Please note that schools direct trainees (salaried) are within the scope of the school workforce census and must be included in schools’ returns where they are in service.

It is a statutory requirement under section 67 of the Children and Families Act 2014 for every mainstream school and maintained nursery to have a designated special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) who is a qualified teacher working in the school. Please identify the designated SEN-Coordinator for each school in the role field in the school workforce census return. More than one role can be attached to each staff members contract information as appropriate.

The base pay provided for part-time staff must be the actual annual salary in payment and not the full-time equivalent salary upon which the actual salary is based.

Please do not report individual staff contracts in the school workforce census showing zero hours worked per week. This could include any staff employed on flexible ‘zero hours’ arrangements where the hours worked cannot be determined or teachers listed in a local authority supply pool. Where this applies to a teacher and they are in school on the day of the census they should be included in the occasional teacher count.

Privacy Notices

The School Workforce Census requires that all members of school staff are given a Privacy Notice. See separate webpage for more information:

Guidance and Support

The DfE guidance documents for schools provide comprehensive information about the requirements of the census.  All information about preparing data for the census can be found within your SIMs software and is updated regularly.  Please ensure you download any relevant guides for assistance in completing the census.

If you would like help completing the school workforce census, or you have any questions about the return or submitting the data, please use the service request form service request form, making sure you: 

  • Check the data collection enquiry button
  • Select ‘school workforce’ in the drop-down box

The LA will be providing all necessary data for staff that visit your school regularly but are employed by the LA. You do not need to input any data on centrally employed staff in Personnel 7 unless you require this information for your own purposes. 

Contact Information

School workforce census