The Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) Census is a statutory return for all local authority (LA) maintained PRUs and alternative provision (AP) academies, including AP Free Schools, in England. For the purposes of this web page, AP Free Schools and AP academies will be referred to as PRUs.
The PRU Census collects information about individual pupils and information about the PRUs themselves, such as their educational provision. The individual pupil information collected includes free school meal eligibility, ethnicity, special educational needs (SEN), attendance and exclusions.
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.
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.
The data is collected via COLLECT, the Department’s centralised data collection and management system for education.
There has been an important change to the method of access and password administration for COLLECT. There is new system called Secure Access (SA), which provides a single, secure point of entry to departmental IT systems and ensures that the data is protected. SA will also allow users to manage password resets on a self-serve basis, without helpdesk assistance.
The PRU Census takes place once a year, on the third Thursday in January.
The following are important dates for the 2013 census.
This return deadline is for approved submissions, and PRUs are encouraged to make their initial return as soon as possible after the collection opens. LA maintained PRUs should check with their local authority for any local return deadlines. Details of the when the database will be closed to amendments will be posted here in the coming weeks.
For census updates and reminders, please see the PRU Census 2013 news page, which you should check regularly while completing your return.
For instructions about completing the PRU Census, see:
For user guides about duplicate reports, the Pupil Premium funding report, notepad entries for queries and year-on-year queries, see:
For frequently asked questions, see:
For COLLECT user guides, see:
The following technical documents are also available:
Please use the service request form if you would like to change your contact details, request a COLLECT username and password or make any queries about the PRU Census.
Please use the feedback request form if you have any comments about the content on this web page, the Data Collection Helpdesk service, the COLLECT system or any other aspect of our data collection service.
Note detailing the changes made for the 2013 Pupil Referral Unit Census.
PDF, 43 Kb
Version 1.1 - Guide for use by LAs and PRUs to ensure they can complete the PRU Census in January 2013 - released 11 January 2013.
PDF, 488 Kb
zip, 770 Kb
PDF, 282 Kb
Excel, 74 Kb
PDF, 164 Kb
PDF, 337 Kb
PDF, 652 Kb
PDF, 867 Kb
Version 1.6 - released 18 March 2013.
PDF, 1 Mb
Version 1.5 - released 18 March 2013.
Excel, 297 Kb
Specification for the PRU Summary Report which is designed to provide key establishment level information in an easy to read format for the 2013 PRU Census - released on 31 July 2012.
PDF, 148 Kb
Version 1.1 - XSLT validation and summary report files for the 2013 PRU Census - released 23 November 2012
zip, 83 Kb
zip, 18 Kb
Information to help Secure Access users activate and log in to their accounts.
Updates and reminders related to Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) Census 2013.
Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) Census.