School-level annual school census: guide to submitting data

How independent schools must collect and submit data for the school-level annual school census (SLASC).

Applies to England

SLASC is an annual, statutory census that takes place every January. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless there’s a good reason not to.

SLASC collects the following information about registered independent schools:

  • their contact details
  • the number of pupils on the attendance register
  • the number of teaching staff
  • the courses of study
  • the number of pupils with special educational needs (SEN)
  • the number of pupils in local authority care
  • annual fees
  • details of accommodation
  • the number of staff members who have joined or left since the last census
  • the school’s proprietors

Do not confuse SLASC with the Independent Schools Council annual census, which also takes place in January each year.

Important dates

2024 census dates:

  • census day: Thursday 18 January
  • deadline for submitting your data: Sunday 18 February

Submit your data

You’ll need to:

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

Contact your school or local authority approver if:

  • you want to request a DfE Sign-in username or password so you can access COLLECT
  • SLASC is not on the list of collections you can see in COLLECT

Get help using DfE Sign-in

If you do not know who your approver is, use the DfE Sign-in request form.

If you’ve forgotten your password, use DfE Sign-in to reset it. You’ll need to click ‘Start now’ and then ‘Forgotten your password?’.

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.

Census documents

The following technical document is available for software suppliers:

Do you need help?

Submitting data

Use the service request form if you have any questions about your data. We aim to answer your question within 5 working days.


Use the feedback form if you have any comments about our data collection service, including COLLECT and the helpdesk service.

Updates to this page

Published 25 March 2014
Last updated 16 October 2023 + show all updates
  1. Updated the important dates to show dates for the 2024 census.

  2. Updated SLASC 2022 guide is available.

  3. Updated the important dates to show dates for 2023 census. Updated a link to the 2023 version of the business and technical specification.

  4. Added link to: 'School level annual school census (SLASC) - registered independent schools 2022 Guide for completing the census'.

  5. Updated with the census dates for 2022.

  6. Added a link to the 'SLASC guide' which is guidance for independent schools to help them with the 2021 school level annual school census (SLASC) return.

  7. Added 2021 business and technical specification and 2021 census dates.

  8. Added link to the 'School-level annual school census 2020: guide'.

  9. Updated 'Important dates' section with the dates for 2020. Replaced 'business and technical specification' link with the new 'SLASC 2020: technical specification' page.

  10. Updated 'Submit your data section' and DfE Sign-in help links.

  11. Added link to the 2019 guide for the school-level annual school census (SLASC).

  12. Updated COLLECT link from secure access to DfE sign in.

  13. Added the new census dates for 2019 and a link to the 2019 business and technical specification.

  14. Link added to new school-level annual school census 2018: guide.

  15. Added the new census dates for 2018 and a link to the 2018 business and technical specification.

  16. Added link to 'School-level annual school census 2017: guide'

  17. Added link to new generic COLLECT guides for schools and local authorities.

  18. Added the new census dates for 2017 and a link to the 2017 business and technical specification.

  19. Added link to 'School-level annual school census 2016: COLLECT guide'.

  20. Updated the census deadlines for 2016. Added a link to the business and technical specification for registered independent schools.

  21. Added a link to the 'SLASC 2015: guide for independent schools and general hospital schools' document.

  22. Added a link to the 2015 COLLECT user guide.

  23. Updated the link to the technical guide and census deadlines for 2015.

  24. First published.

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