General hospital school census: guide to submitting data

What data general hospital schools must collect and how to submit it.

Applies to England

The general hospital school census is a statutory census that takes place every January. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless there’s a good reason not to.

The census collects the following information from general hospital schools:

  • their contact details
  • how many pupils there are on the attendance register
  • the number of teaching staff and non teaching staff
  • how many pupils have special educational needs (SEN)
  • how many pupils are eligible for free school meals (FSM)

Important dates

2023 census dates:

  • census day: Thursday 19 January 2023
  • deadline for submitting your data: Friday 17 February 2023

Submit your data

You’ll need to:

  • register and log in with DfE Sign-in
  • use COLLECT to submit your school census data

Get help using DfE Sign-in

If you’ve forgotten your password, use DfE Sign-in to reset it. You will need to click ‘Start now’ and then the ‘I’ve forgotten my password’ link.

Note that we’ll only be able to change the status of your data submission to ‘authorised’ once you’ve cleared all errors in the data in COLLECT.

Completing the 2023 census

Read the general hospital school census guide on submitting the January 2023 census.


If you would like help completing the general hospital census, or you have any questions about the census, please use the data collections service request form.


If you have any comments about the Data Collection Helpdesk service, the COLLECT system or any other aspects of our data collection service please use the data collections service request form.

Published 20 January 2016
Last updated 24 November 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated with dates and link to guidance for 2023 census.

  2. Updating important dates and other information for 2022.

  3. Updated for the 2021 census.

  4. Updated with dates for the 2020 census.

  5. Updated 'Submit your data section' and DfE Sign-in help link.

  6. Updated page with dates for 2019. Updated general hospital schools census link to 2019 page.

  7. Updated COLLECT link from secure access to DfE sign in.

  8. Updated with 2018 census dates.

  9. Updated census dates with 2017 information.

  10. First published.