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Pupils: Nationality

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL2515, tabled on 21 October 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 12 October (HL Deb, col 1889–90), what steps they have taken to inform parents that the provision of information about their child's nationality for inclusion in the school censure is optional and that they can decline to provide that information without any adverse consequences.

Answered on

4 November 2016

The Department for Education publishes guidance for schools on administering the school census. It is up to schools to then work with parents and guardians to collect this data. As stated in the guidance (section 5.3.5) the requested information on nationality is as declared by the parent or guardian. The parent or guardian may decline to provide this information to the school without consequences. In such a case, the school would record this as ‘refused’ to meet its statutory duty to make a return.

However, the Department is aware that a number of schools have not implemented the collection in accordance with the guidance. We will, therefore, work with the sector to consider how it can better support schools in collecting school census data for future rounds.

To address any uncertainties, I have placed an information note in the House Libraries. This note has also been published on the Department’s public website.

The guidance is available on the Government’s website,, by searching for ‘School census 2016 to 2017: guide for schools and LAs’.