School census: determining funding allocations

Data you submit in census returns is used to determine your school's funding. Read on to see which data is collected on each return. Also, learn how to address errors in census returns.

Last reviewed on 1 May 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 13467
  1. Only some census items are used
  2. Your core funding
  3. Your pupil premium allocations
  4. Your UIFSM funding
  5. Your free early years entitlement
  6. If you find an error in your census return

Only some census items are used

The guide to the school census published by the DfE marks the census items that are used to determine your school's funding allocations by including ‘[used for funding]’ in the section title.

The marker is there to let you know that those data items need to be especially accurate, because errors with these items can affect how much funding you receive.

Your core funding

Funding for pupils of statutory school age and post-16 pupils is allocated based on autumn census returns.

For children in the early years foundation stage (EYFS), funding is based on returns from the spring census.

See our articles on the national funding formula and post-16 funding, and guidance on EYFS entitlements, for further details. 

Pupil premium allocations are based on the number of eligible pupils recorded in the autumn census. Although for pupil referral units (PRUs) and alternative provision (AP) academies, it's still the spring