For links to other useful guides and webinars, click here.
You will need the School: Data Returns: Administer permission to be able to access and run the Workforce census.
You'll also need specific permissions to resolve certain errors and queries, depending on the area you're resolving the error for. Some example permissions you might need are:
- Staff Profile: All Staff: Basic HR Administration to manage ID documents, update eligibility for staff workforce census
- School: HR Policy which will allow you to edit positions
- All Staff: Contract Management to be able to add positions to staff members
If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.
Changes this census
There are three changes this year:
- The Gender field has been replaced by Sex in Arbor. Please see our guidance here: Sex, Gender and Gender Identity in Arbor and statutory returns. Schools can choose to record Gender Identity but this is not returned in the census. Please note that the Census Summary (e.g Table A) will still refer to Gender.
- You can record Positions with the Position Category (aka Post) of School Business Professional (SBP). Anyone with this Post will need their Professional Qualifications recording, and a Destination and Leaving reasons when their contracts end: Set up your School Business Professionals (SBP) for the Workforce Census
- There's a new flag to identify members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) - this can be input while completing your census.
For full guidance from the DfE on what data your school must return in the census, click here.
Preparing your data
Manage your staff’s HR details
The DfE requires you to report on the pay scales, contract details and school roles. You can check all your staff’s HR and Finance is set up correctly in School > All staff > HR Admin. Go through each of these pages checking your data.
- For Additional Payments for staff members, you'll need to record these as Additional Payments in the Contracts section of the staff member's profile, with the right Additional payment reason.
- For payments that can be output as 'Other' payments in your census, you can add allowances. Check all allowances used by your school are recorded on the Allowances page and click each allowance to check it has been added to all the right staff member’s contracts.
For full details, see our guidance on Allowances and Additional Payments.
On the All Check Types page, you can view a list of checks and add additional checks if needed. On the Review page, you can see check review dates. For more details, see our article on Checks.
Check all the pay scales in use by your school are on the Pay Scales page.
The DfE requires you to report on the pay scales and spinal points for your leadership staff only. If you haven’t yet set up Pay Scales for Headteachers, Assistant Heads and Deputy Heads or updated the spinal point salary amounts for this year, take a look at this article.
To record contract details for the Census, you’ll first need to set up positions. This ensures all your contracted staff are linked to the right Position Category (aka Post) and Census Business Role, which are also required in the Census. See our article on Positions for how to set them up.
If you need to exclude certain staff or all contracts from the Census, you can find steps here.
The Workforce Census collects information on staff contracts for full and part-time teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff that are employed by schools. You can check all your contracts from the Contracts page.
To record contract details for the Census, you’ll first need to set up positions (see the section above). You can then add a contract to each staff member with the right position to ensure all your contracted staff are linked to the right Position Category and Census Business Role, which are also required in the Census.
Please note that for Fixed Term contracts, if no End date has been set, but an Expected end date has been recorded, this will be included as the contract's end date in the Workforce Census.
You can click into the Pay Review Dates tab to add pay review dates in bulk - more details about this here.
If you need to exclude certain staff from the Census, or if you don’t store your contracts in Arbor and report them to the DfE from an external source, follow the instructions in this article.
Check all superannuation schemes used by your school are recorded here. Click each scheme to check it has been added to all the right staff member’s contracts. For more details, see our article on Superannuation Schemes.
Set up your SENCo
Most schools are expected to have a SENCo set up on their site with a separate contract to prevent query 6550Q. To make sure you’ve set them up properly, take a look at this handy one-pager.
If your school doesn’t have a SENCO, you’ll just need to provide an explanation for these queries to COLLECT when submitting your census.
Set up your School Business Professionals (SBP)
There are specific requirements for recording School Business Professionals (SBP) on your site. To make sure you’ve set them up properly, take a look at this handy one-pager.
Check your data using the Data Quality Dashboard
Before the Dry Run facility opens, you can start preparing for Census by heading over to your Data Quality Dashboard. You’ll find three key areas to help you check and prepare your data, which you should work through in this order:
- Merge or delete any duplicate staff profiles in the Suspected Duplicates section
- Add and update basic details in the Staff section.
- Add in key Census information in the School Workforce Census section. Just click a cell to add the data!
You can see a list of potential duplicate students in School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard >Suspected Duplicates > Staff.
You can then merge or delete these. Take a look at this article to see how to do this.
Top Tip: If you know that two people are duplicates but they aren't flagging as such, make sure their names are identical.
To check that all staff have information entered for key Census fields, go to School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard > Staff. This will open up six sections where you can update and add all staff information. Click into each to check and update your staff data.
Absences - See and update missing data about dates of staff absence and working days lost.
- Dates - Errors in this section are rare, but can appear due to absences migrating over without a Start Date or Category. Just click the error to add the missing data.
- Working Days Lost - This section will flag any issues with the staff absences you’ve set. For example, to solve the issue shown below, make sure Working days lost is set to greater than 0. Then click the Save Changes button.
Contact Details - Click any field to resolve the error or add in missing information for Email Addresses, Telephone Numbers or Postal Addresses.
Identity - Click any field to resolve the error by adding in the missing information for Date of Birth, Ethnicity, National Insurance (NI) Number and Teacher Number.
Contracts - Click any field to resolve the error by adding in the missing information for dates, salaries, employment types, origin working hours, leaving reasons, staff destinations and last pay review date. You can see more about pay review dates, including how to update them in bulk here.
Pay - Click any field to resolve the error by adding in the missing information about pay scales, such as the last pay review date. You can see more about pay review dates, including how to update them in bulk here.
Teacher Status - If any of your staff have been given a position with a ‘Teaching’ Position Category (aka Post) you’ll need to set the staff member’s Teacher Status. You can see how to do this here: Adding Teacher Statuses to teaching staff
Top Tip: QTS route is only required for newly qualified staff so we'll only output QTS route for newly qualified staff in the census files.
Go to School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard > Select School Workforce Census to amend any missing data that the census could flag. Please note, there is no date range filter on this page, so you may see staff here that are no longer at your school.
Click the row that needs updating. A slide over will appear that will allow you to add or amend data. For a missing teacher number, you would add it in the Document number field.
Once you've checked your site and filled in any missing data using the instructions above, you can get started on your census.
Before generating your dry run, go through our Workforce Census Preparation Checklist. It will help eliminate a lot of the most common errors and queries schools encounter on the dry run.
Once the census dry run is open, you can run your dry run census and get it ready for submission. See here for when the dry run opens and to access your full census guide: Workforce Census help and guidance