Alternative Provision (AP) Census 2013 – Key information

A very useful article from the Data Development Unit


The census date is: 17 January 2013

The deadline for the census return to the Department is: Friday 8 March 2013

The main change from the 2012 Alternative Provision (AP) Census is that free school meal (FSM) eligibility is no longer being collected by a data item to indicate eligibility on census day. Two new data items – FSM Eligibility Start Date and FSM Eligibility End Date – are being collected instead. This will enable the Department to build up a full 4 picture of FSM eligibility throughout the year, rather than a snapshot of eligibility on census day. This picture is important for determining which pupils are eligible for the Pupil Premium.

The provision of additional funding via the Pupil Premium is mainly directed to those children from deprived backgrounds (based on their known FSM eligibility). Coverage of the deprivation element of the Pupil Premium is being extended to include those known to have been eligible for FSM at any time in the last six years – known as ‘FSM Ever’. For the 2013-14 financial year, this funding will be based on periods of eligibility returned in the 2013 census collection.

AP Census 2013 will collect, for pupils on roll on census day, any on-going periods of FSM eligibility and those that started or finished since the last census.

The provision of additional funding via the Pupil Premium only covers those educated in England. Any periods of known FSM eligibility in any other country do not count when determining a pupil’s eligibility for the Pupil Premium. The Country of UK data item will be automatically generated by systems to accompany any periods of known FSM eligibility. Its inclusion will allow for the identification of any periods of FSM eligibility that relate to time spent by pupils in schools which are not in England and which will not attract the Pupil Premium. This is a system generated data item and does not require data entry by providers.

An updated version of the 2013 Alternative Provision Census guidance (version 1.1) was published on the Department’s website on 30November. Appendix 2, ‘Guidance on groups to include as Alternative Provision’ has been amended to explain the ‘Definitions of pupils counted as Alternative Provision’ with regard to the element of fees paid by the local authority.

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