Elementary-Secondary Education Survey (ESES)

Detailed information for 2015/2016





Record number:


The Elementary-Secondary Education Survey (ESES) is a national survey that enables Statistics Canada to provide information on enrolments, graduates, educators and finance of Canadian elementary-secondary public and private educational institutions. It also provides enrolment information for home-schooled students.

Data release - November 3, 2017


The ESES is an annual survey that collects aggregate data from each provincial/territorial Ministry or Department of Education. The information on enrolments is collected by type of program (regular programs for youth, general programs for adults, and vocational programs for youth and adults), by grade and sex and by age and sex. The information on official languages programs is collected by type of program (regular second language programs, French immersion, and first official language programs for the linguistic minority) and by grade.


  • Education, training and learning

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The frame used is the list of all provinces and territories. The collection unit is the province/territory. Annually, the department or ministry of education in each jurisdiction sends Statistics Canada data pertaining to enrolments, graduates, educators and finance of the public elementary-secondary schools under their jurisdictions and private schools that operate in their jurisdiction. They also provide enrolment information on home-schooled students. This survey is a census of all provinces and territories.

Instrument design

The questionnaire includes three tables that were originally part of an annual survey administered annually to all provinces/territories by the British Columbia Ministry of Education. These three tables were collecting generic data on enrolments, educators and expenditures in Canadian public elementary-secondary institutions.

Following formal consultation with provincial and territorial departments or ministries of education, various national organizations and other data users, seven additional tables were introduced by Statistics Canada to collect additional data and, therefore, meet the main data requirements of those various data users. The original goal of the ESES was to collect elementary-secondary expenditure data and to replace several surveys that were used for the collection of enrolment, graduate, and educator data:

- the Elementary-Secondary School Enrolment Survey (ESSE - record number 3128);
- the Minority and Second Language Education - Elementary and secondary levels Survey (record number 3129);
- the Secondary School Graduate Survey (SSGS - record number 5082); and
- the Elementary-Secondary Education Staff Survey (ESESS - record number 3127)

Although the ESES collects some expenditure data, the Survey of Uniform Financial System - School Boards (SUFSB - record number 3119) remains active. The main objectives of the ESES collection tool are to produce relevant, comparable and timely statistics and to reduce the respondent burden on educational organizations and school principals.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2017-04-24 to 2017-06-16

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

The collection templates, in an Excel file containing multiple tabs, are sent to all respondents using the Electronic File Transfer (EFT) Service; all data submissions must be returned via the EFT.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Error detection is done at the macro level as part of data processing/validation.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

During the data production process, Statistics Canada performs a series of data quality controls that include:

1) Ensuring that Statistics Canada data are consistent with provincial and territorial departments or ministries of education data that have been published;

2) Sending the corresponding electronic extracts and certification tables to each responding coordinating body for their review and approval to ensure that Statistics Canada and their departments or ministries of education obtain the same (or similar) results;

3) Reviewing yearly the elementary-secondary institution requirements for each province and territory in order to identify any changes which may have an impact on the data;

4) Comparing trends with other data sources.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

The data are aggregated by province and territory. The tables are evaluated in accordance with Statistics Canada's policies on confidentiality.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Data are subject to revision.

Data accuracy

The target population is very stable and the survey is mandatory, therefore minimizing undercoverage. The maintenance of close relations with respondents is an important factor in minimizing non-response. In order to obtain consistent counts of students, educators, graduates and expenditures, Statistics Canada ensures that all respondents follow common guidelines and definitions.

There is a 100% response rate.


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