Research at DfE

Find DfE research publications and invitations to tender for new research projects.

Our social research aims to provide high-quality evidence to inform policy development and delivery.

Research following children and young people of the 2020s

We’re running a new programme of research to understand the lives of children and young people growing up in the 2020s. The studies will provide vital insights into the wellbeing and education outcomes of children and young people in the key phases of education, from early years to post-16.

The following studies are being conducted on behalf of DfE and are underway.

Children of the 2020s - Ipsos is conducting the study between 2022 and 2027, following children’s learning and development from age 9 months to 5 years.

Five to Twelve - The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) is conducting the study from 2023 until 2029, following children and their families from year 1 to year 6. If you have been contacted about participating in the study, send enquiries to or freephone 0800 652 4568, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Areas of research interest

DfE’s areas of research interest sets out the topics we would like to engage external researchers with. We expect to release further areas of research prompted by the challenges posed by coronavirus (COVID-19) shortly.

DfE data for research

Read our guidance on accessing DfE data extracts from the National Pupil Database (NPD), School Workforce, Individualised Learner Record and Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Research projects

Routes to market for social and economic research

All new projects are being procured via 2 Crown Commercial Service dynamic purchasing systems:

  • Low Value Purchase System - provides public sector buyers with a new route to market for their below threshold common goods and services (under £120,000)
  • Research and Insights Marketplace - enables central government and the wider public sector to commission social, market and economic research expertise and services

If you want to be invited to tender for research commissioned by DfE, you should register as a supplier on both systems.

Registration is free and there is no limit to the number of suppliers who can join.

Jaggaer: the DfE e-tendering portal

Jaggaer is an e-tendering system used by DfE and its executive agencies. It is a password-protected online service.

As a potential supplier, you should register with Jaggaer so that you can:

  • view opportunities to tender
  • submit tender responses

For help with registration, use the support links on the Jaggaer portal.


Use the style guide and template to write your research publications.

You can find our research reports published since May 2010 in GOV.UK’s publications section.

Research published before May 2010 is available from the UK Government Web Archive.

Quality assurance framework

The framework sets out a standardised approach to quality assurance to ensure that analysis is:

  • fit for purpose
  • reliable
  • accurate
  • transparent
  • accountable

Read the DfE quality assurance framework for analysis (PDF, 688 KB, 49 pages).