School capacity survey: guide to submitting data

How local authorities should provide information for the school capacity survey (SCAP).

The school capacity survey (SCAP) is a statutory data collection that all local authorities must complete every year. You must complete statutory collections by law unless you have a very good reason not to.

Local authorities must submit data about:

  • school capacity (the number of places and pupils in a school)
  • pupil forecasts (an estimation of how many pupils there will be in future)
  • capital spend (the money schools and local authorities spend on their buildings and facilities)

The survey collects information about:

Important dates

Dates for the 2016 survey:

  • survey opens: 6 June 2016
  • deadline for submitting your data : 29 July 2016

Submit your data

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

You should submit your capital spend data using the capital spend data collection portal.

Survey documents

Our guidance will help you complete the 2016 school capacity survey:

If you’re looking for guides from past surveys, visit the ‘School capacity survey: closed collections’ page.

Do you need help?

Preparing and submitting data

If you would like help completing the return, please contact the pupil place planning team at

If you need help submitting your capacity or forecast data in COLLECT, please use the service request form. 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
  • ‘school capacity survey’ 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 10 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated COLLECT link from secure access to DfE sign in.
  2. Updated to include capital spend data portal guide
  3. Updated to include 2016 dates and links.
  4. Updated with information and links to documents for the 2015 survey.
  5. Added a link to 'School capacity survey 2014: guides for local authorities'.
  6. First published.