Survey of Financial Statistics of Private Elementary and Secondary Schools (FinPESS)

Detailed information for 2004-2005





Record number:


The objective of this survey is to collect financial information on private schools. These data also represent inputs in the determination of total consolidated elementary and secondary revenues and expenditures.

Data release - December 16, 2009 (Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program, 81-582-XWE)


The objective of this survey is to collect financial information on private schools. These data also represent inputs in the determination of total consolidated elementary and secondary revenues and expenditures.

These data are required by many organizations and include stakeholders from both inside and outside of Statistics Canada. The information collected from this survey, as well as the other finance surveys, gives governments and various associations involved in the field of education, information which assists in the formulation of education policy. External users of this data include federal government departments which of course are also data providers.

Other divisions within Statistics Canada also use these data "indirectly" as inputs into their statistical programs, for example, annual benchmarks are produced for sub-annual surveys of labour income and to feed the System of National Accounts and the Public Institutions Division. Data from this survey are also used to feed information to international organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Moreover, these data are also used as inputs to the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program, as well as the Canadian Social Trends publication.

Reference period: Institutional fiscal year

Collection period: February 1 to July 31


  • Education finance
  • Education, training and learning

Data sources and methodology

Target population

This survey covers all private elementary and secondary education institutions in all provinces and territories across Canada.

Instrument design

The private school finance questionnaire was originally designed many years ago by Statistics Canada. It was modeled after other financial surveys in the Centre for Education Statistics. Since the original design dates back many years, information on details of the questionnaire design or focus groups is not available. Testing was most likely not necessary as the questions are accompanied by specific guidelines. Since a direct survey is conducted only every three years, the target population is reviewed at that time by the Education staff at Statistics Canada and revised accordingly.

The "Guidelines" which accompany the questionnaire were last updated for the reference year 2000/01. These revisions were clarifications of the definitions of the revenue and expenditure items. As well, examples were provided.

A number of cells were added to the questionnaire for the reference year 2003/04. For example, boxes were added for e-mail addresses and fax numbers. As well, boxes were added for enrolments by level such as kindergarten, elementary and secondary.


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

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents, extracted from administrative files and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

A direct survey was not conducted this year. Data are estimated based on: results from other years' surveys, enrolment data in the private schools, the evolution of elementary and secondary education expenditures in the public school system and/or the results of other surveys related to federal and provincial spending on education.

Error detection

Edit programs are implemented both during and after data capture. At the data capture stage, the failure of an edit rule requires or suggests that the respondent be re-contacted. However, most edit rules are implemented after data capture to flag for survey non-response and missing or invalid data.


Three imputation strategies are implemented to adjust for survey non-response and missing or invalid data. In order of implementation, these are:

-Historic imputation using data from the previous survey(s);
-donor imputation using the current survey's data (for partial or complete non-response);
-re-weighting, by province/territory, when an observation cannot be imputed using the previous two methods.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

Before finalizing or releasing the data each year, they are compared to the previous year's figures by the survey manager using percentage increases or decreases of the dollar amounts. Relatively large increases or decreases, by program, are investigated and there maybe call-backs to the institutions if warranted. Data from this survey can be checked with other published sources. For example, if a ministry or department of education in a particular province/territory shows or announces, in its Public Accounts, general increases in private school contributions during the year and the Statistics Canada survey rather shows a decrease, then further investigation or research would be made.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. 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.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

The data quality of these estimates is dependent on the data quality of the underlying sources, and in the way that these sources are combined. Statistics Canada makes every effort to ensure that administrative and survey data are conceptually correct for the use to which they are put.

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