Census at School is an international statistical literacy project.  The Statistical Society of Canada manages the Canadian section of the project.

Voluntary participation

Individual student participation is voluntary in the Census at School project. If students object to answering any questions, it is their right to refuse.

Collection of personal information is limited

In the on-line survey, students are not asked to provide personal information such as names, addresses or any other individual identification numbers.  In fact, the questionnaire content has been developed so no student should feel uncomfortable answering the questions.

Access to class results

Access to class results is limited.  When teachers first register for the project, they are sent a password that allows them to access the summary results for their classes.  These results are available in the form of a spreadsheet and do not contain student names or class or school identifiers.

Confidentiality of the results

When using their class results in teaching and learning activities, teachers should be sensitive to the confidentiality of the information provided by the students. Although students may recognize themselves or other classmates from certain information (physical characteristics, languages spoken at home, etc.), they too should be respectful and keep the information confidential.

Use of information

The use of information collected from students is limited to the educational purposes outlined in the Census at School project’s objectives.

Use of information in publicity

For purposes of promoting the Census at School project, analysis of aggregated results from Canadian students may be used to highlight Canada’s participation.  No individual student or class can be identified from these summary results.

The Canadian database

Survey results from schools across Canada are added to a national database maintained by the Statistical Society of Canada.

The international database

As part of the Census at School project, an international database is maintained by Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.  Canadian results have been added every year to this international database since 2004.  This database also has a number of security features to prevent unauthorized access.

Although teachers and students can retrieve information from the international database, they only receive randomly selected records which make it impossible to identify any student, classroom, or school.