Primary and secondary school programmes launched to engage pupils in Census 2021

The next generation is set to learn all about the census and how it benefits their local area as part of two new, engaging educational programmes launching this term.

With just 6 months until the next census, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has developed a series of census-related lessons and activities for both primary and secondary schools across England and Wales. Now it is calling on schools to sign up.

The primary school campaign, Let’s Count! is a cross-curricular programme developed in conjunction with Family and Education and their education resource centre, iChild. The education programme is designed to excite children and families alike about the census.

Let’s Count! has achieved accreditation from Mathematics in Education and Industry, National Association for the Teaching of English, and the Geographical Association. With maths and statistics at its core, the programme provides flexible lesson plans and engaging activities for pupils to learn how they can use statistics across many topics.

British historian, Professor David Olusoga OBE, is also on board and he will be delivering a special live stream lesson on equality and representation.


 Professor Olusoga said: “I am thrilled to be part of this campaign. I passionately believe in   public history and above all in making the stories of everyone and every community in the UK   accessible to children. 2020 has been a year in which young people have shown us that equality   and representation, the issues my lesson will explore, are issues that acutely matter to them.   The census - as ever - will provide a snapshot of who we are as a nation. History explains how   we got here.”

 Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: “These programmes offer a great   opportunity for children to learn about the importance of the census. They help children learn   more about maths and their own local area, and they will also raise awareness of the census,   which informs many important issues like the number of school place or hospital beds. By   running programmes in primary and secondary schools across England and Wales, we want to   engage pupils of all ages in the census and by doing so make Census 2021 a huge success.”

The Let’s Count! primary school campaign was piloted during the 2019 Census rehearsal, with many schools taking part within the rehearsal areas. A selection of schools also took part in the Let’s Count! competition, creating school-centred census displays, with Jubilee Primary School in Hackney being crowned the winners.

George Gould, Head of Year 6 at Jubilee Primary school, said: “This competition was a great way of developing all of our children’s statistics and citizenship skills, speaking and listening to members of the local community and collecting and presenting data.”

Meanwhile, a secondary school campaign has been developed by EVERFI EdComs.


Nick Fuller, President of EVERFI EdComs said: “It’s great to be part of this historic campaign and we at EVERFI EdComs want to ensure young people and their families understand what Census 2021 means for them and the communities they live in."

It is hoped the school campaigns will help raise awareness of the digital-first census, happening on 21 March 2021. The census occurs once every ten years and provides a snapshot of households in England and Wales, helping to plan and fund public services.

Schools can sign up to the education programmes now, by visiting

About Census 2021
Everyone benefits from the census. It informs decisions nationally and locally on vital services and issues like diversity. Ultimately it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GP’s and dentists’ services based on the information people give. We’ve made it easier for people to complete the census online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.

The next census will be held on 21st March 2021 in England and Wales and results will be available the following year. However personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

About Let’s Count!

Let’s Count! was developed to help drive awareness, understanding and trust in the census within schools and in key audiences who are part of the school ‘ecosystem’ in order to increase participation in 2021 Census. The programme is provided to schools completely free of charge and there is a series of lessons plans and activities that will help children learn about the census, and will link to various areas of the curriculum. The lesson plans will offer ideas for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 stages in England and will support the Welsh Curriculum with dual language resources for the first three Progression steps. There will be strong links to the Year 6 curriculum in order to support the end of Key Stage assessment (SATs) preparation in England.



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