The importance of census data 2019/20

By School Finance Team on 18 Oct 2019

The census dates for the academic year 2019/20 are:

Autumn census (first Thursday in October)

  • Census date – Thursday 3 October 2019
  • Return date – Wednesday 30 October 2019

Spring census (Third Thursday in January)

  • Census date – Thursday 16 January 2020
  • Return date – Wednesday 12 February 2020

Summer census (Third Thursday in May)

  • Census date – Thursday 21 May 2020
  • Return date – Wednesday 17 June 2020

As well as recording attendance and absence figures that contribute to school performance tables, there is important data in each census that is used to calculate various elements of funding for the following year.

Schools Block Funding The Autumn School Census data will be used to determine the following financial year’s budget allocation. So, the October 19 pupil data is used for 2020/21 funding. 

Early Years Funding Early Years 15 hours funding is based on the nursery pupil data from the January census. Therefore, the January 2020 census will be used for the initial Early Years Funding for 2020/21 budget. This is adjusted each term using the May 20, October 20 and January 21 data.

It is also important to have the correct information in the census for the 15 hours extra for working parents, as this is used to match against the Early Years Portal System.

Pupil Premium The Pupil Premium Grant is calculated using the January census. So, the Pupil Premium data recorded in the January 2020 census will be used to calculate the funding for 20/21 budget. 

UIFSM (Universal Infant Free School Meals) Funding is based on ‘actual meals taken’ as recorded in the October 19 and January 20 census.

Schools received a provisional allocation UIFSM payment for 19/20 academic year, in July 2019; which was based on the January 2019 census. The final allocation for the 19/20 academic year will be based on actual take-up data derived from an average of the October 2019 and January 2020 census. The final allocation will be used to calculate a payment to be made in July 2020. Schools will receive a payment equal to the final allocation minus the provisional amount received in July 2019.

PE & Sports Grant The PE & Sports Grant funding is based on the pupil numbers in the January census. So January 2020 data will be used for 20/21 budget allocation.

If you would like any help, guidance or support about meeting the deadlines of your census data, or have any queries relating to any aspect of school finance, please contact the School Finance team on 08449671111 or email

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