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).

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

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

Important dates

2019 census dates:

  • census day: Thursday, 17 January 2019
  • deadline for submitting your data: Sunday, 17 February 2019

Submit your data

You can submit the data in 1 of 3 ways:

  • manually enter data directly into COLLECT, our centralised data collection and management system
  • use your school’s management information system to produce an XML file to upload to COLLECT
  • send a paper copy of the census to us - please note that you must have our permission before using this method

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

Census documents

The following technical document is available for software suppliers:

We’ve also produced a video that takes independent schools through the process of completing SLASC.

If you are looking for guides from past SLASC collections, visit the ‘School-level annual school census: 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
  • SLASC’ 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 7 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added the new census dates for 2019 and a link to the 2019 business and technical specification.
  2. Link added to new school-level annual school census 2018: guide.
  3. Added the new census dates for 2018 and a link to the 2018 business and technical specification.
  4. Added link to 'School-level annual school census 2017: guide'
  5. Added link to new generic COLLECT guides for schools and local authorities.
  6. Added the new census dates for 2017 and a link to the 2017 business and technical specification.
  7. Added link to 'School-level annual school census 2016: COLLECT guide'.
  8. Updated the census deadlines for 2016. Added a link to the business and technical specification for registered independent schools.
  9. Added a link to the 'SLASC 2015: guide for independent schools and general hospital schools' document.
  10. Added a link to the 2015 COLLECT user guide.
  11. Updated the link to the technical guide and census deadlines for 2015.
  12. First published.