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The Carval HR Software Blog

HR software to make your School Workforce Census return a doddle

Posted by Emma Clare

26/03/15 14:32

If you're struggling with your academy's school workforce census (SWF) then you're not alone. Academies are now responsible for the submission and approval of their own returns to the Department for Education (DfE)...and for the many that Carval has spoken with this process is hugely time consuming and a real pain.

SIMS_Technical_Partner_rw_2017-18.jpgLuckily Carval has developed HR software for schools with this in mind. It not only provides comprehensive human resource management functionality but enables schools to create their SWF with a single click. What's more the software integrates with your SIMS resource management system.

Read on for details of the SWF process and how Carval can help.



What is the school workforce census?

The school workforce census is a statutory data collection each autumn under sections 113 and 114 of the Education Act 2005. It collects detailed individual-level data for all teaching and support staff in regular employment, including those employed by:

  • local authorities on central contracts
  • maintained schools
  • academies
  • free schools
  • studio schools
  • university technical colleges
  • pupil referral units

Why is it done?

The SWF allows the DfE to:

  • review the success of equal opportunities policies
  • monitor the qualification levels of the workforce
  • plan headteacher succession guidelines
  • develop better staff recruitment and retention strategies
  • identify potential demand for teaching staff in schools

Who has to complete it?

Local authorities are responsible for co-ordinating the submission and approval of returns by all maintained schools within their authority, as well as submitting returns for centrally-employed school staff.

Academies are responsible for the submission and approval of their own returns...and collecting all the necessary data to support it.

What information needs to be collected and how can Carval help?

The census collects individual staff data including:

  • personal details, such as ethnicity, gender and disability
  • contract or service agreements, including pay
  • qualifications
  • curriculum areas taught
  • absences
  • destination for those leaving employment during the year

Carval's HR software for schools not only records all the information required but ensures that it is in the exact format required by DfE on the SWF (supporting the Common Basic Data Set (CBDS)). 


Making sure your data is error-free

Carval's HR software for schools includes some nifty tools to help you validate your data. This means you can quickly identify any errors and put them right before you submit your return to the DfE. 


Submitting your data

Census data is submitted to DfE using COLLECT (Collections Online - Learners, Education, Children and Teachers), a centralised data collection and management system.

Carval's HR software produces a file that schools can submit directly into COLLECT.

There you go - Your School Workforce Census return made a doddle!


Book a Carval HR software demo  

Full details of the information local authorities and academies need to collect can be found in the school workforce census documents collection.


Topics: HR Software Guides

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