School workforce census

How local authorities, local-authority-maintained schools and academies should collect data for the school workforce census.

The school workforce census is a statutory data collection each autumn under sections 113 and 114 of the Education Act 2005.

The census collects individual-level data for all teaching and support staff in regular employment, including those employed by:

  • local authorities on central contracts
  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • academies
  • free schools
  • studio schools
  • university technical colleges
  • pupil referral units

Local authorities are responsible for:

  • co-ordinating the submission of returns by all maintained schools in that authority
  • approving returns for all maintained schools in that authority
  • submitting returns for centrally-employed school staff

Academies are responsible for the submission and approval of their returns.

Full details of the information local authorities and academies need to collect can be found in the school workforce census documents collection.

Data collection

Census data is submitted to us using COLLECT (Collections Online - Learners, Education, Children and Teachers), our centralised data collection and management system.

Local authorities should co-ordinate the submission and approval of data for all maintained schools in their region.

Academies should submit and approve their returns directly into COLLECT.

Data usage

This census collects individual staff data including:

  • personal details, such as ethnicity, gender and disability
  • contract or service agreements, including pay
  • qualifications
  • curriculum areas taught
  • absences
  • destination for those leaving employment during the year

This allows us to:

  • review the success of equal opportunities policies
  • monitor the qualification levels of the workforce
  • plan headteacher succession guidelines
  • develop better staff recruitment and retention strategies
  • identify potential demand for teaching staff in schools

We may also share the information with approved researchers and the following third parties, to allow further analysis:

  • Local Government Association
  • Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills
  • Audit Commission
  • Office of Manpower Economics
  • Teachers’ Pension Scheme

Schools and authorities are responsible for issuing privacy notices to all staff informing them about the details of the census, and their rights under the Data Protection Act.

Important dates

The following are important deadlines for the 2014 census:

  • census day: 6 November 2014
  • deadline for returns: 5 December 2014

Census documents

Instructions for schools, academies and local authorities to complete the 2014 school workforce census:

The following technical documents are also available:

Publications from the 2013 census are available on the school workforce document collection.


If you would like help completing the school workforce census, or you have any questions about the return, please use the service request form, making sure you:

  • check the data collection enquiry button
  • select ‘school workforce’ in the drop-down box

Please contact your school or local authority approver, if you:

  • want to request a secure access username or password to access COLLECT
  • require school workforce census added to the list of available collections you can see in COLLECT

If you do not know who your approver is, please use the secure access service request form, making sure you select ‘I do not know who the approver is for my organisation’.


If you have any comments about the Data Collection Helpdesk service, the COLLECT system or any other aspects of our data collection service please use the feedback form.