School capacity survey: guide for local authorities

How local authorities should submit data for the annual school capacity survey (SCAP).

The annual school capacity survey (SCAP) collects information on:

  • primary and secondary school capacity for the current academic year
  • primary pupil number forecasts for the next 5 academic years
  • secondary pupil number forecasts for the next 7 academic years
  • plans for changes to the number of primary and secondary places for the next 3 academic years

Survey returns must include mainstream schools with capacity in any of the year groups from reception to year 11 on 1 May. This includes:

  • local authority maintained schools
  • academies, including:
    • free schools
    • city technology colleges
    • university technical colleges
    • studio schools

The survey takes place every year in June and July.

SCAP is a statutory collection. You must complete statutory collections by law unless there’s a good reason not to.

Important dates

2021 SCAP dates:

  • collection opens on Monday 7 June
  • deadline for submitting your data is Friday 30 July

Submit your data

You’ll need to:

  • register and log in with DfE Sign-in
  • use COLLECT to submit your data

SCAP21 documents

Our guidance will help you complete the 2021 school capacity collection:

SCAP22 documents

In preparation for the 2022 collection, advice for local authorities on structuring planning areas will be published in summer 2021.

Do you need help?

DfE Sign-in

Read the help page for guidance on DfE Sign-in.


Use the service request form for:

  • issues accessing COLLECT
  • any technical problems

Data issues

Email for advice on the SCAP guidance or any other issues.

Published 18 May 2021