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Scouting Census – Information for Parents

What is the Census?

Every year, The Scout Association undertake an annual census of its members to collect statistical information across the UK. All the information collected is anonymous.

What information do we collect?

We collect the numbers of young people in Scouting, their age, gender and which Section they are in and what top awards have been gained. We also collect details of ethnicity and additional needs.

We collect this information via Online Scout Manager (My.SCOUT), collating and anonymsing the data for entry into the national census system.

Why do we conduct a census?

This information is collected as it can be used locally and nationally to provide a clear understanding of Scouting. It helps us to:

  • Develop a clear understanding of our membership, its make‐up and where it happens
  • Identify where we need to create or improve guidance, support and training offered
  • Better understand potential barriers to accessing Scouting
  • Measure our progress towards Scouting For All, enabling us to recognise successes
  • Budgeting and planning for the upcoming year and beyond
  • Negotiate appropriate insurance cover for all members of the Scout Association.

How can you help?

The Scout Association and our Group are currently working towards our exciting strategic plan. To help in delivering and measuring the success of this plan we need to collect accurate information in regard to ethnicity and additional needs. Whilst we have collected this in previous years, we are aware that the information is not as accurate as we would have hoped and would like your assistance to make it more accurate.

To this end I would invite you to complete the ethnicity and additional needs information via the email sent to you by My.SCOUT so the details can be collated. There is an option on both forms to ‘Prefer not to say’. All the details are collected anonymously and the data is added to the census.

Thank you for your help with this information which is important to us to help our continuing work to develop Scouting for the future.

What about data protection?

All of the data collected is anonymised so there are no data protection concerns. The form we use to collect ethnicity and disability information is collected electronically and shows no one – not even the leaders collating the form, the data against a name. The only exception to this is that we request the contact details for the person completing the Census return. This data is kept for so that they can be contacted if there are any questions that need to be answered in regard to the return. This personal data will be removed from the Census website no later than September.

Details of the Scouts Data Protection Policy can be found on the website and our Group’s policy can be found here.

Additional Information

If you need anything clarifying, please don’t hesitate to speak to your section leader, or email us by reply to any My.SCOUT email or (replacing the AT with @).


The ethnicity and additional needs data we collect via our electronic system can be seen here – please do not print and fill in the form, it is for information only. If we don’t already hold this information from you for previous years, you will automatically receive an email.

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