The purpose of this guide is to inform users of what statistical documents have been published over the years which relate to data collected in the School Census for schools in England and an overview of each topic area.


Data are published in a range of official statistical releases and include topic data such as:

  • general school characteristics (number of schools by type, status, religious character and size)
  • pupil characteristics (number of pupils by age, gender, free school meal eligibility, ethnicity, first language, mode of travel, and gifted and talented status as well as information on class sizes)
  • pupil absence
  • pupil exclusion
  • special educational needs
  • school admission appeals

The publications provide information at a national level within the text (PDF) document and Local Authority level tables have been placed on the website as downloadable Excel files.

What is it?

The School Census (SC) collects key data on around 8 million pupils and around 25,000 schools; and pupil level data have been collected since 2002. Similar pupil level collections for pupils in Alternative Provision and Pupil Referral Units began in spring 2008 and 2010, respectively. Independent schools (other than academies) and general hospital schools are covered by a separate school level collection.