Phonics screening check data collection: guide to submitting data

How local authorities should collect phonics screening check data from all local-authority-maintained schools, academies and free schools.

The phonics screening check data collection is an annual statutory data collection that takes place each June. Local authorities must complete statutory data collections by law unless there’s a very good reason not to.

Phonics teaches people to read by relating sounds with letters and words. The phonics screening check is designed to check whether pupils understand phonics to an appropriate standard.

You must submit phonics screening check assessment data for year 1 pupils in all:

  • schools maintained by the local authority
  • academies
  • free schools
  • special schools (schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities)

Important dates

Dates for the 2018 data collection:

  • collection opens: Monday 11 June 2018
  • deadline for submitting data: Friday 27 July 2018

Submit your data

You should submit your data using COLLECT, our centralised data collection and management system.

When the data collection opens, we’ll publish a list of schools we expect to receive assessments from in COLLECT. Contact the helpdesk if any of the schools in your region are missing or listed incorrectly.

Note that we’ll only be able to change the status of your data submission to ‘authorised’ once you’ve cleared all errors in the data in COLLECT.

Collection documents

The following guides will help you complete the return:

If you are looking for guides from past phonics screening check data collections, visit the ‘Phonics screening check data collection: closed collections’ page.

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.

Accessing COLLECT

Reset your Secure Access login details using the forgotten password or username form.

Please contact your school or local authority approver, if:

  • you want to request a Secure Access username or password so you can access COLLECT
  • ‘phonics screening check data collection’ is not on the list of collections you can see in COLLECT

If you do not know who your approver is, please use the Secure Access service request form.


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 23 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added link to Phonics screening check data collection guide 2018.
  2. Updated information for 2018 phonics screening check data collection.
  3. Added a link to the 'Phonics screening check data collection 2017: guide'.
  4. Updated information for 2017 phonics screening check data collection.
  5. Added link to the 2016 COLLECT guide.
  6. Added a link to the 'Phonics screening check data collection 2016: guide'.
  7. Added dates for the 2016 collection and a link to the technical specification.
  8. Added link to 'Phonics screening check data collection 2015: COLLECT guide'.
  9. Added the 'Phonics screening check data collection 2015: guide'.
  10. Corrected 'deadline for returns' date.
  11. Updated deadlines for 2015 and added technical specification for 2015 data collection.
  12. Added links to phonics screening check data collection guide, COLLECT guide and input sheet for 2014.
  13. Link to 'Phonics screening check data collection 2014 technical specification' doc added.
  14. First published.