Managing the Spring Census 2022

The Spring census includes information specific to this term and is more fleshed out than the Autumn specification. Data iItems included in the upcoming census range from Admissions Appeals, Pupil Reconciliation and Class Activities, income-based Free School Meals taken, School Childcare Provisions and expansions to the Funding and Monitoring introduced for the Autumn 2021 census.


Admissions Appeals are taken for the Spring census and consist of the number of appeals lodged, heard, withdrawn, rejected and decided in the parents’ favour for infant and primary appeals and applies to appeals lodged after the previous Spring census, up to and including 31st August 2021.

According to DfE guidance, the total appeals withdrawn and heard ‘should be a subset of the number of appeals lodged’ – or in layman’s terms, the number of withdrawn and heard appeals must equal the number of appeals lodged when added together. Similarly, the sum of appeals rejected and decided in favour of the parents must equal the number of appeals heard.


Another field required uniquely for the Spring census is the Class Activities data item. This consists of a description for each class in school, with a dropdown to select the class activity at the prescribed census time for the school – this depends on the last digit of the school’s DfE Establishment number. Below are the criteria that decide a school’s census time based on the Estab number’s final digit.

Further to this, there is a footnote for each class activity to record the number of pupils on roll in the class, as well as the number of teachers and support staff in the class. Should the number of pupils be higher than 30 in a class where there is one teacher, a box will be provided to give an exemption reason.


The Spring census will also require a reported number of Free School Meal-eligible pupils who took a meal provided by the school on census day. This applies to both KS1 and KS2 pupils who are FSM-eligible, but does not include those who are only eligible for Universal Infant Free School Meals. If your day’s meal selections are entered into Pupil Asset, this number can be automatically generated from the Additional Data tab of the census and counts the number of FSM-eligible pupils present and in receipt of a school meal. Otherwise, a number can be entered manually.


School Childcare Provisions will also be collected in this census; these fall into four categories, being: Before School; After School; Holiday and Under 5s. 

For each of these, school’s will be asked to provide information on whether Childcare is provided on site, is signposted to direct parents to other providers, or both. 

Where the school hosts Before School Childcare, the census will collect information on the time of opening, how many places are available, who provides the service and whether it is open to children attending other schools. 

After School Childcare will require the same information, apart from the opening time which is changed to the time of closing. 

Holiday Childcare will ask for the opening and closing times, how many weeks it is available, how many places are available, as well as who provides the service and whether it is open to other schools. 

An Under 5s Childcare service refers to one that is available for at least 9 hours a day and does not apply to a setting that is only available for children to attend either a morning or afternoon session. 

If the school has regular, on-site Childcare for Under 5s, the opening and closing times will be required, along with the number of weeks it is open, how many places are available and who provides the service. 

There are four categories of signposting that apply in this case. Those fall into the following:


New for the Autumn census was a field relating to ‘Learner Funding and Monitoring’ (FAM). To begin with, the only information collected for the new validation was a FAM Code for those receiving school-led tutoring to help pupils catch up due to lost time from the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

That field has now been extended to include FAM Hours and can be entered for each pupil in bulk. To do this, go to Pupils > Pupil List > Muti-Edit and under the Display Options tick the option(s) for Learner Funding and Monitoring Code and/or Learner Funding and Monitoring Hours. This information can then be entered by going down the list, and will be included in the XML Return File when it is exported. Alternatively, The FAM Hours can be edited at a pupil level via the Edit tab in a pupil profile. FAM hours can be entered under the Learner funding and monitoring area: