School Census - Summer 2019
10 May 2019
This is a final reminder that the Summer Term School Census Day is Thursday 16 May 2019.
Preparing for Census Day
Hopefully you would have completed your dry-run and are addressing any issues that this has highlighted.
A common issue that arises is relating to Free School Meal (FSM) Entitlement for Year 3 upwards. Please see a brief overview below:
Due to the rollout of universal credit and to minimise the impact of this, the criteria for FSM eligibility has changed to ensure that no pupil loses a meal. The DfE guidance advises that if a child was eligible for FSM on 31 March 2018 or becomes eligible on or after 1 April 2018, this entitlement will continue until at least Summer 2023. This is relevant even if their circumstances change and they would usually no longer have been eligible of FSMs.
The DfE specify that FSM end-dates are not expected during this transitional period with only a few exceptions:
- If a parent has specifically stated they do not want their child recorded as FSM, even though the above changes have been explained and they have been informed that they are still eligible even if their circumstances have changed.
- If a pupil transfers from another UK country so their non-English FSM should be end-dated.
- If a child previously qualified through the ‘Immigration and Asylum Act 1999’ or through an element of the ‘Pension Credit’ as these are not covered through this protection and are not replaced by universal credit.
If any child is not appearing on your entitlement list provided by the Free School Meals Team, but you believe they fulfil the above protection requirements, please investigate this further before adding end-dates. If you have any queries, please contact us to clarify the above policy requirements, or the Free School Meals team for any other queries.
Census Day - Maintained Schools
All files from Maintained schools should be sent to Management Information through the secure method of Perspective Lite by Friday 17 May 2019. If you think you will have difficulties in meeting this timescale then please contact us at MIDataCollection@kent.gov.uk.
Census Day - Academies and Free Schools
All files from Academies and Free Schools must be sent directly to the DfE through the web-based system called COLLECT. Guidance on how to use COLLECT and various reports can be found on the DfE website.
You will need to send us any explanations for the queries in your census return so that we can add them to the file on the DfE website. Please send them to MIDataCollection@kent.gov.uk as we cannot see the notes that you enter in the authorisation box in SIMS.
KCC are required to maintain a central record of all pupils not accessing full-time education in the usual way, and schools have a responsibility to record and submit that information so that it can be monitored centrally. You should already be recording this information through the online form so that KCC can monitor the information in schools. Part of this monitoring is to record those schools that do not have reduced timetable information at census time for the current census term.
In order to collect this information, we will send an email during census week asking that if you have a nil return for the current school term. Please reply to the email stating your DfE number and “NIL RETURN”. If you do not have a Nil Return for the current term, then you should record the information through the online form (details below) as soon as you have the information.
Thank you in advance for your help with this statutory return.
Telephone: 03000 42 24 70