Get information about schools: FAQs

Answers to commonly asked questions about Get information about schools.

Why am I receiving an error when trying to validate my postcode?

GIAS uses the Ordnance Survey OS Places API to validate postcodes and the Ordnance Survey have recently made some updates to the API, which may result in users of older browsers receiving an error message.
The browsers that do not support the changes include:
Desktop browsers: Internet Explorer, all versions, on Windows XP
Mobile browsers: Android browser on Android 1.x and 2.x

Where is the GIAS guidance

What is an online provider?

The term online provider refers to a provider of online education services which operates online-only on a permanent basis, delivering a full-time education, a full curriculum, and representing at least one child’s main source of education.

For further details please see glossary.

How do I contact the DfE Sign-in service desk?

To contact DfE Sign-in please please submit a service request at:

How do I register as an online provider?

To register as an online provider you need to register with the department and the details will be passed to the quality assurance board (QAB).

The details of the process are still to be confirmed.

Who is the accreditation body for online providers?

The accreditation body for the online providers is still to be confirmed.

Why can't I use other DfE services?

Access to your applications within secure access may have been temporarily restricted because your Get Information About Schools (GIAS) establishment record has not been updated or confirmed as correct for at least 90 days.

To update or confirm your record please login to Secure Access, click on the link for the Get Information about Schools application. You will then be presented with your establishment’s record. Please check your details and confirm/edit the record as appropriate. Once this has been actioned, please go back in to your secure access account and refresh by pressing the F5 key. You will now find that the restrictions have been lifted and all your applications are available.

You will not be asked to check your record for another 60 days but please remember to update (GIAS) as changes occur.

Governor term of office end date

The system issues two alert/warning emails for the term of office expiry date. The first is sent 180 days before the term of office expiry date and the second is sent on the day the term of office expires.

Pupil number information and free school meal information

The figures for number of pupils, number of boys, number of girls, number of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) and percentage of children eligible for free school meals (FSM) are updated annually in July or August from the underlying data of the schools, pupils and their characteristics publication, usually published in July. This information comes from the January school census and the school level annual school census data collections respectively. We currently have data from the January 2020 census data collections on GIAS.

Ofsted rating and date of last inspection

The date of the last Ofsted inspection and the Ofsted rating on Get Information about Schools (GIAS) is updated on a monthly basis using management information published by Ofsted.

How do I get access to my services through DfE Sign-in?

Information of how to get access to your services please follow this link -

Why do I see a reminder when I log in asking me to confirm/update my GIAS record / Governance

Each establishment must confirm their GIAS record is correct every 90 days as a minimum. You will receive a reminder after 60 days which can only be removed by confirming the record is correct.

After 90 days you will not be able to access any other services in Secure Access until your record is confirmed.

Each establishment must update their record as changes occur and not wait for the reminder to appear.

Where is the statutory guidance about making organisation changes to local authority maintained schools, including school closure

There is no edit button/I am unable to amend my record

Should the school be due to close/convert to an academy, the GIAS record will be locked preventing any changes to be made.

My Academy record has not updated

Please be advised that GIAS record updates for academies are referred to the ESFA for approval, once they approve the changes your record will be updated accordingly.

My school is no longer converting to an academy – I am unable to update governance

In order to update your record to reflect you are no longer converting to an academy, please contact your project lead within the Department for Education. Once they have updated your school’s record you will have the facility to edit/ update your governance details.