School Workforce Census

Statutory data return to the to DfE that includes details of teaching and non-teaching staff.

For maintained schools about arrangements for the completion of the Schools Workforce Census (SWC) 2017.

Census day is 2 November 2017.
Deadline is 10 November 2017.

What is it and why do we have to do it?

It is a statutory census that will collect and record comprehensive data on all teaching and support staff in one secure database.

The School Workforce Census (SWC) is a statutory data return to the DfE that includes details of teaching and non-teaching staff who work in your school. It will give the DfE a single comprehensive data set on the school workforce and will streamline data collection by replacing other data returns.

Every school is required by law to submit a return.


As in previous years, the process for maintained schools will be as follows.

1. School updates records in their MIS and uploads their return

Whether you use SIMS (Capita) or Integris (RM), Brom Com or Scholar pack, you will need to ensure that records are complete in order to complete your return.

Your MIS support provider will be able to support you with the use of the Schools Workforce Census functionality to generate your return.

You can access information held on IBC which may be useful, if you have gaps in your MIS data (that need new data input.) Both Salary reports contain useful data and can be found in the Finance folder. The Attendance & Absence report in the Schools folder > Reports> HR may also provide useful information. In addition the maintain HR Data tile in the Schools Folder > Staffing is a place where you can find information about individual members of staff such as their contract type, additional payments, DfE number for example.

You will be able to upload your return to the Department for Education COLLECT website from 2 November and the deadline is 10 November 2015.

2. Oxfordshire County Council will check your return

When you upload your return to the COLLECT website, the county council will check your return. The council will identify any gaps or issues, ask you to resolve them and to upload your return again.

Once your return has been validated by the council, they will authorise your return within COLLECT.

3. Deadline for submission - 10 November 2017

You can find more information, including instructions for schools, academies and local authorities to complete the school workforce census 2017 by following the link.

In correspondence with local authorities, the Department for Education has drawn attention to the following guidance.

There are no changes from 2016

Important notes on data completion

A correct Department for Education 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 one of three 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 SWC return. More than one role can be attached to each staff member’s 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 SWC 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.

Please ensure that every role reported within a contract is appropriate to the post recorded. We find that in some contracts with the post of teacher they have a single support staff or teaching assistant role attached. This makes the true nature of the contract ambiguous. If, for example, a teacher also has a secondary support staff role this secondary role preferably should be recorded as a second contract. Alternatively a second support role may be added to the single contract with the first being a teaching role.

In advance of the Census day

The COLLECT (collections online for learning, education, children and teachers) familiarisation blade for the school workforce census 2017 is now available and can be accessed via Secure Access  and user guides and test data can be found by clicking on  COLLECT training guidance. The familiarisation blade mirrors the look, feel and functionality of the live COLLECT blade. All local authorities, academies and maintained schools are strongly encouraged to use this facility to assist in assessing the quality of their data in preparation for the live collection.

No data will be transferred from the familiarisation blade to the live collection blade and no data will be taken from it to be analysed or published. If you wish to take a copy of your data please do so before familiarisation closes on 24 October 2017.

Submitting your return

You must submit your data using COLLECT, our centralised data collection and management system. A separate COLLECT guide will be available to help you use the system to complete and submit your return, we will continue to publish and update information and guidance on the website as it becomes available so we suggest you continue to view the school workforce webpage.

You should contact your Secure Access approver(s) if you need a user name and password to submit data for the SWF 2017 collection.

Usernames and passwords for COLLECT are managed by the Secure Access system. Your school  has a delegated approver(s) who can allocate you access to departmental systems that use Secure Access.

More information is available on the Secure Access help screen.

You can also get help using the Secure Access service request form.

Absence Report and Starter and Leaver Information

Schools can request these reports by contacting

Full instructions will be provided on how to upload into Integris.