7 helpful tips to simplify your Staff Workforce Census

The School Workforce Census is approaching on Thursday 7th November, so we’ve produced a list of helpful tips to guide you. Navigate to Office > DfE Returns > Autumn 2019 Staff Workforce Return when you’re ready to get started.

It’s worth noting that this census is purely for statistical reasons, so you don’t need to worry about losing any funding over the small details of your staff data. Although we do encourage you to make sure your return is as accurate as possible, all fields included in the Workforce Census are DfE-defined, and adopting a policy of best fit is recommended.

1: What to do if your Head of School is employed by the trust

If you are part of a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) and have a Head of School or Executive Head, you may or may not have them included in your Workforce Census. If they are employed by the trust, their contractual details don’t necessarily need to be included. As long as their details are kept somewhere in a school, which can be coordinated by the trust as they see fit.

If you upload a census to Collect without a Head of School it will return Query 6540Q. You can add one of the following notepad entries to explain the query:

  1. Executive head shared with (list schools). 
  2. Non teacher head teacher or CEO support staff role.

2: Leadership Pay Scales

Where a member of staff is in a Leadership post, their contract will open 2 boxes to enter in a Pay Scale. The DfE have asked that an upper and lower Pay Scale be recorded in the contract.

3: There are 2 new posts

There are 2 new posts for 2019, Leadership (non-teaching) and Apprentice Teacher, so if you happen to have any staff that would come under these 2 criteria, feel free to record them as such!

4: Support Staff post is no longer valid

This year, staff cannot be recorded as Support Staff. The role has been replaced by Other Support Staff. If you use Support Staff it will be flagged up in the Summary Sheet of your census, with the ‘Support Staff post no longer valid’ warning under the contract summary.

From here you have two options. You can edit it manually, in the staff profile under Salary & Contracts. Edit the contract and change the post to Other Support Staff.

Or you can make the same change to multiple Support Staff at once. On the Autumn 2019 Staff Workforce Return page within Pupil Asset we’ve added a handy red button which will do it for you.

5: Collect is telling me I’ve got no SENCo.

Firstly, this is fine, it will only appear as a query when you upload the census and there are a handful of solutions that will resolve the issue.

You could add a notepad entry into Collect, specifying which member of staff acts as SENCo, if you do not have a dedicated member in that role or they are shared out across multiple schools.

If you do have a staff record for your SENCo, if they are a dedicated SEN Co-ordinator or they divide a set amount of hours between that and another role in school; you can add that post into their contract.

If they work in another role in school but don’t have set hours for each role. You can add this information can be added under Additional Payments in a staff contract, with an allowance type of SEN allowances. You can find the Additional Payments section at the bottom of the Staff Contract.

6. Save a copy!

Often overlooked, but very important – download your census summary into your school’s files outside of Pupil Asset. The census is not saved within your Management System and can’t be recovered at a later date if it were requested from your head, MAT or an external entity during checks.

Your Summary Sheet includes a Print button at the top of the page, and you can save it electronically when you change the location to ‘Save as PDF’, which will then save to your computer (if in doubt, you can check where in your browser settings). You then have the peace of mind knowing that you have it stored away in an easily recoverable location.

7. Here’s a webinar full of tips!

Finally, here’s our webinar with Henry and Laurie, who explain the census process over the course of this 25 minute webinar.


So there are our handy tips to ensure that your census runs as smoothly as possible. If you have an issue that isn’t covered above, feel free to get in touch with our support team by calling 01603 631436, between 8:30-5pm on Monday-Friday, they will be happy to help guide you through any query that you have.