In September, schools were asked to start collecting data on the nationality of its pupils. However, this created widespread concern that the information could be intended to be passed to immigration officials or the Home Office in a bid to locate illegal immigrants.
The government has now confirmed that this is not the case. A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: "Collecting this data will help ensure our children receive the best possible education. It will be used to help us better understand how children with, for example, English as an additional language perform in terms of their broader education, and to assess and monitor the scale and impact immigration may be having on the schools sector."
In addition, the spokesperson said that the data is being collected "solely for internal Department for Education use", and will contribute to analysis, statistics and research. The data being collected includes a student's country of birth, nationality and level of English proficiency.
In some schools, the addition of country of birth within the census led to confusion, however, confirmation from the government of how the data will be used should clear this up. While this is not a compulsory addition, the government hopes the information will help to improve analysis of education for all pupils.