Extra census support announced in bid to 'maximise' completion rates

Figures from the National Records of Scotland show over 400,000 queries were resolved by support teams.

Extra census support for Scots announced to ‘maximise’ completion rates by extended deadline iStock

Additional census support has been made readily available for Scots, according to new figures.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) said that more than 340,000 calls have been dealt with by the free helpline for Scotland’s Census, along with a further 60,000 e-mails and web chat enquiries.

The aid has also included providing interpretation support in 26 languages including Polish, Arabic and Mandarin through the census interpretation service.

Guidance has also been made available in accessible formats, such as braille, large print and Contact Scotland’s BSL service.

Chief Executive for National Records of Scotland, Paul Lowe said: “I know that some have not yet completed their return because they need help or are unsure of what to do. We have a range of support in place to help with any query no matter how big or small. We have been delighted to provide support and advice to many thousands already.

“For anyone who is worried or is struggling with any aspect of their census, we are here to help. Please don’t ignore the census – it’s a legal responsibility for every householder in the country.

“As well as interpretation support, guidance is available for each question in a variety of formats including braille, large print and Contact Scotland BSL service. Paper forms are also still available on request for those who need them.”

Angus Robertson MSP, cabinet secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture said: “It is essential we maximise participation and ensure that everyone is heard, and their needs captured. That is why the census completion site will be left open, support will remain in place and NRS will continue to accept paper returns for this short extension period.

“We know that there are many people who have begun the census online but haven’t completed it, and that thousands of others have requested a paper copy but haven’t yet returned it.

“It is vital that we secure as high a response rate as possible so that the census can be effective in delivering its many benefits for future public services. For anyone that hasn’t completed their census, I would urge them to act now.”

NRS is encouraging everyone who has not yet completed their census to access the range of support available to them by calling the free helpline on 0800 030 8308, by visiting the website for advice or to access the web chat.

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