UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

National Pupil Database, Key Stage 5, Tier 3, 2006-2016: Safe Room Access

Title details

SN: 7625
Title: National Pupil Database, Key Stage 5, Tier 3, 2006-2016: Safe Room Access
Alternative title: NPD
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-7625-4
Series: National Pupil Database [National Pupil Database, 2002-: Safe Room Access]
Depositor: Department for Education
Principal investigator(s): Department for Education
Data collector(s): Department for Education
Sponsor(s): Department for Education


The citation for this study is:

Department for Education. (2017). National Pupil Database, Key Stage 5, Tier 3, 2006-2016: Safe Room Access. [data collection]. 4th Edition. UK Data Service. SN: 7625,

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Subject Categories

General - Education
Primary, pre-primary and secondary - Education


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The National Pupil Database (NPD) is one of the richest education datasets in the world. It is a longitudinal database which links pupil characteristics to information about attainment for those who attend schools and colleges in England.

There are a range of data sources in the NPD providing detailed information about children's education at different stages (pre-school, primary and secondary education and further education).

Pupil level information was first collected in January 2002 as part of the Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (PLASC). The School Census replaced the PLASC in 2006 for secondary schools and in 2007 for nursery, primary and special schools. The School Census is carried out three times a year in the spring, summer and autumn terms (January, May and October respectively) and provides the Department for Education with both pupil and school-level data.

The NPD is available through the UK Data Archive in three tiers. Tiers two and three are the most sensitive and must be accessed via the Archive's safe room, whereas tier four can be accessed remotely through the Archive's Secure Lab.

Tier two contains individual pupil level data which is identifiable and sensitive. Individual pupil level extracts include sensitive information about pupils and their characteristics, including items described as 'sensitive personal data' within the UK Data Protection Act 1998 which have been recoded to become less sensitive. Examples of sensitive data items include ethnic group major, ethnic group minor, language group major, language group minor, Special Educational Needs and eligibility for Free School Meals.

Tier three represents aggregated school level data which is identifiable and sensitive. Included are aggregated extracts of school level data from the Department of Education's School Level Database which include items described as 'sensitive personal data' within the Data Protection Act 1998 and could include small numbers and single counts. For example, there is 1 white boy eligible for Free School Meals in school x who did not achieve level 4 in English and maths at Key Stage 2.

Tier four represents less sensitive data than tiers two and three. Included are individual pupil level extracts that do not contain information about pupils and their characteristics which are considered to be identifying or described as sensitive personal data within the Data Protection Act 1998. For example, the extracts may include information about pupil attainment, prior attainment, progression and pupil absences but do not include any identifying data items like names and addresses and any information about pupil characteristics other than gender.

Extracts from the NPD are also available directly from the Department of Education through GOV.UK's National pupil database: apply for a data extract web page.

The fourth edition (September 2017) includes a data file and documentation for the year 2016.

Main Topics:
SN 7625 includes data from the Department for Education's School Level Database for Key Stage 5 (ages 16-18).

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 2006 - 2016
Country: England
Spatial units: Postcode (Unit)
Local Authority Districts
Observation units: Institutions/organisations
Kind of data: Alpha/numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Schools in England in 2006-2016
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Number of units: Approximately 3,000 to 6,300 schools
Method of data collection: Compilation or synthesis of existing material
Data are collected from a range of sources including schools, Local Authorities and awarding bodies.
Weighting: No weighting used.

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 07 January 2015
Latest edition: 12 September 2017 (4th Edition)
Copyright: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland
Access conditions: Registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. UK Data Archive Safe Room requirements and conditions also apply. Please contact the Secure Access team on 01206 874968 if you require further information regarding requirements and conditions. In addition, the Archive is required to request explicit permission from the data owner prior to providing the researcher with access to the data. More information is available upon applying for the data.
Administrative service charges may apply to users outside UK HE/FE institutions.

Please note:
Since these data are deemed to be more sensitive and/or pose a higher risk of disclosure than data made available under the standard End User Licence, Special Licence or via Secure Access, the data owner has stipulated that they can only be accessed at the UK Data Archive Safe Room at the University of Essex, Colchester. Access requires accreditation as an ESRC Accredited Researcher, completion of face-to-face training, and agreement to theSecure Access User Agreement and the Licence Compliance Policy. Further information is available from Access to the Secure Lab. This is to ensure that the guarantee of confidentiality given to survey respondents is protected. Applications are screened by the UK Data Archive and the individual or institution having ownership of the data (or their designated authority), and access is only granted to those researchers requiring data for statistical research purposes and who can justify their need for the data. Users who obtain access to these data are also required to read and follow the Microdata Handling and Security: Guide to Good Practice.

Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
NPD data sources, 1995-2017 7625npd_data_sources_by_year_jun17.xlsx 22
NPD variable details, June 2017 7625npd_data_tables_jun17.xlsx 809
UK Data Archive Data Dictionary 7625allfiles_ukda_data_dictionary_4th_edn.pdf 548
NPD data flows and data sharing 7625data_flow_and_sharing_document_2016.pdf 1081
NPD user guide, 2014-15 - UKDS access 7625userguide_2014_2015.pdf 670
NPD user guide, 2015 7625userguide_2015.pdf 598
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_7625_Information.htm 6
READ File read7625.htm 11


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