Annal Nayyar :Alternative Provision (AP) Census 2014

The Alternative Provision (AP) Census is a statutory annual collection of individual pupil data from English local authorities (LAs) and covers all pupils who are either:

  • attending a school not maintained by      an LA for whom the authority is paying full tuition fees
  • are educated under arrangements made      (and funded) by the authority, but not in a school or a pupil referral      unit

The AP Census collects information about individual pupils, including the type of provision they receive, free school meal eligibility, ethnicity and special educational needs (SEN).

How is the data used?

The data is widely used by the Department’s policy divisions, other government departments, LAs, external agencies and educational researchers.

Analysis of individual pupil records supports the drive to raise standards, the accurate targeting of funding, and the monitoring and development of policy.

For example:

  • pupil numbers are used for funding      LAs, including the Pupil Premium.
  • information regarding pupils with      statements, pupils with SEN but without statements, free school meals and      ethnicity, is used to monitor the government’s social inclusion policy

Without this information it would be very difficult for ministers, Parliament, central and local government, pressure groups and the public to monitor government policies and their effectiveness.

How is the data collected?

The data is collected via COLLECT, the Department’s centralised data collection and management system for education.

Important dates

The AP Census is an annual collection, which takes place on the third Thursday in January.

The following are important dates for the 2014 census.

  • census day is Thursday 16 January      2014.
  • the deadline for returns is Friday 7      March 2014.

LAs will want to check with AP providers in the weeks running up to the census that all appropriate pupils are included and that accurate data are supplied.


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