The ‘selected time’ is based on the last digit of a school’s departmental establishment number.

We need details of all classes running at the selected time on spring census day.

If different parts of the school use different timetable structures, then systems should allow the school to return class information for the timetable structure that applies to key stage 1.

For example, where lunch is at midday for pupils following a primary timetable but at 1pm for pupils following a secondary timetable, then the end of morning school should be taken to midday and not 1pm.

0, 1 or 5 the selected time is one hour after the start of afternoon school
2, 3 or 6 the selected time is one hour after the start of morning school
4, 7, 8 or 9 the selected time is one hour before the end of morning school

Where the selected time is not appropriate to the school timetable, for example, where the selected time is when the whole school or a large proportion of the school is in an assembly with the head teacher; schools can choose an hour / period that reflects a ‘normal’ class situation that applies at the selected time each Thursday of the term.

Do not record unusual situations (such as class amalgamation or school closure) which may have occurred on census day due, for example, to staff training or absence, severe weather conditions or religious observances.

Any group of pupils receiving instruction outside the normal class framework at the selected time, including pupils in a SEN unit or special class, are treated as a separate ‘class as taught’ unless this is an atypical or temporary arrangement.

Infant class guidance
Only primary and all-through schools need to send us this information for key stage 1 and / or reception classes.

The School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations 2012 limit the size of an infant class during an ordinary teaching session to 30 pupils per schoolteacher. Infant classes are those in which most children turn 5, 6 or 7 during the course of the school year (reception and key stage 1 classes).

Primary and all-through schools with infant classes are asked to ensure that the selected period is one in which their infant classes are engaged in an ordinary teaching session.

An ordinary teaching session does not include school assembly, or any other school activity usually conducted with large groups of children such as:
  • PE / games
  • music
  • singing
  • drama
  • watching television
  • listening to the radio
Where, at the time of the count, infant class children would be involved in such an activity, the count is deferred to the next ordinary teaching session. This change of selected time is enacted for all classes in the school, not just the infant classes.

From spring 2020, where a key stage 1 and / or a reception class reports 31 or more pupils per teacher, schools must record in their MIS where this is due to:
  • any pupils within the class recorded as excepted
  • a teacher being on planning and preparation time or learning manager time and the class is being supervised by a teaching assistant
The calculation is based on the pupil:teacher ratio not pupil:adult ratio therefore, regardless of the number of teaching assistants, if there are no exceptions or teachers on PPA reported, the class will be treated as unlawful in DfE publications if there are over 30 pupils to 1 teacher.