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CLA return 2018 to 2019: technical specification

Data submission specifications for the children looked after (CLA) return for 2018 to 2019.


Children looked after by local authorities in England: technical specification for the 2018 to 2019 data collection

Ref: DFE-00295-2017PDF, 1.44MB, 50 pages

Children looked after data collection 2018 to 2019: validation checks

Ref: DFE-00294-2017PDF, 1010KB, 124 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 2018 to 31 March 2019.

It is for:

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

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 23 October 2017
Last updated 10 October 2018 + show all updates

  1. Added updated versions of the technical specification and validation rules documents.
  2. First published.

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