Data submission specifications for the children looked after (CLA) return for 2019 to 2020.


Children looked after by local authorities in England: technical specification to the 2019 to 2020 data collection

Ref: DFE-00303-2018PDF, 992KB, 48 pages

Children looked after data collection 2019 to 2020 validation checks

Ref: DFE-00304-2018PDF, 501KB, 120 pages


This is technical information about submitting and validating data for the children looked after data return (also known as SSDA903) for the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

It is for:

  • suppliers creating management information software (MIS) for local authorities
  • users of local authority MIS

The information includes:

  • a summary of the data items we collect in the return
  • an explanation of formats for submitting the data
  • a list of validation checks applied to the data return

A guide for local authorities, with detailed explanations of what information to include for each data item, is also available.

Published 15 October 2018
Last updated 22 July 2019 + show all updates

  1. Updated technical specification and validation checks guidance. Changes described in document version histories.
  2. First published.