Education Information Team
Date: 1st September 2022
School Census – 2022/23 academic year
- Post Looked After Arrangements – from Autumn 2022 the DfE have added another option ‘O – ceased to be looked after through adoption from state care outside of England and Wales’.
- Learner Funding and Monitoring – this year, the school led tutoring element is expanding to include all tutoring funded through the National Tutoring Programme irrespective of the route. Schools should record tutoring that was delivered via tuition partners, academic mentors or school-led tutoring. Sims users: the column previously named ‘school led tutoring’ is now called ‘tutoring’.
- Alternative Provision placement module – these data items are voluntary in the autumn census but will be mandatory from Spring 2023. See our census quick guide or DfE school census webpages for further information.
- Attendance – ‘sessions coronavirus’ will no longer be collected from Spring 2023, as regulations for ‘not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ are only in place until the end of the 2021/22 academic year (attendance collected in the autumn census).
- Attendance – code X ‘not attending in circumstances related to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ will no longer be applicable for pupils aged 5 to 15 from Spring 2023. It is only in place until the end of the 2021/22 academic year (attendance collected in the autumn census).
New Data Items – Spring 2023
- Young carer indicator – this will be collected for the first time in the Spring 2023 census and will record whether the pupil has been identified as a young carer and by whom. Options are ‘identified as a young carer by parent or guardian’ or ‘identified as a young carer by the school (including where the pupil self declares)’.
Section 17ZA of the Children Act 1989 says a young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (which isn’t to a contract or voluntary work). Formal identification of young carers will help to understand their needs and provide early help as outlined in the statutory guidance on keeping children safe in education.
- School time – this is an optional data item that records the total compulsory time pupils spend in school in a typical 5 day week. The data should be representative for pupils aged 5 to 16 in the school. It will be collected for the first time in Spring 2023. It includes the total time each day from the official start of the compulsory school day (morning registration) to when the compulsory school day ends (official home time). It will include time for breaks, as these form part of the compulsory school day, but will not include option activities either before or after school.
- Alternative provision company number – this records the Company House company number, where applicable, of the establishment within which the pupil has taken up an alternative provision placement. Please see separate guidance on alternative provision placements.
- Alternative provision placement postcode – this records the postcode, where applicable, of the establishment within which the pupil has taken up an alternative provision placement. Please see separate guidance on alternative provision placements.
Further information on both the changes to existing items and new data items can be found in the DfE school census webpages.
Clarification on recording mental health absences
Recent communications from the government’s Supporting Families suggests that some clarification is needed on how mental health related absences should be recorded and authorised in schools. The Supporting Families communication advises that some schools have been recording mental health related absence as unauthorised or have requested additional documentation to authorise this.
Paragraph 219 on page 58 of the DfE’s ‘Working together to improve school attendance’ guidance outlines that ‘schools must record absences as authorised where pupils cannot attend due to illness (both physical and mental health related).’ Schools should only require medical evidence to support illness in cases where they have a genuine and reasonable doubt about the authenticity of the illnesses. Following these principles, mental health related absence should only be marked as ‘unauthorised’ in specific cases where the reason for a pupil’s absence has not been provided and cannot be established.
On behalf of the government’s Supporting Families, we would be grateful if you could cascade this information to relevant staff within your school.
Education Information Team (EdIT)