General hospital school census: guide to submitting data

What data general hospital schools must collect and how to submit it.

The general hospital school census is a statutory census that takes place every January. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless there’s a good reason not to.

The census collects the following information from general hospital schools:

  • their contact details
  • how many pupils there are on the attendance register
  • the number of teaching staff and non teaching staff
  • how many pupils have special educational needs (SEN)
  • how many pupils are eligible for free school meals (FSM)

Important dates

2018 census dates:

  • census day: Thursday 18 January 2018
  • deadline for submitting your data: Friday 16 February 2018

Submit your data

You should use COLLECT, our centralised data collection and management system, when you submit general hospital school census data to the Department for Education (DfE).

Read the COLLECT guide for schools and local authorities for help submitting data using COLLECT.

Completing the 2018 census

Read the general hospital school census guide on submitting the January 2018 census.


If you would like help completing the general hospital census, or you have any questions about the census, please use the data collections service request form.

Please contact your school or local authority approver, if you:

  • want to request a Secure Access username or password to access COLLECT
  • need to add the general hospital school census to the list of available collections you can see in COLLECT

If you do not know who your approver is, please use the Secure Access service request form, making sure you select ‘I do not know who the approver is for my organisation’.


If you have any comments about the Data Collection Helpdesk service, the COLLECT system or any other aspects of our data collection service please use the feedback form.

Published 20 January 2016
Last updated 10 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated COLLECT link from secure access to DfE sign in.
  2. Updated with 2018 census dates.
  3. Updated census dates with 2017 information.
  4. First published.