Data protection: how we share pupil and workforce data
How and when we share the pupil, child and workforce data we collect for research and statistical purposes.
Data we collect
The Department for Education has legal powers to collect the pupil, child and workforce data that schools, local authorities and awarding bodies hold.
For more information on the legislation which allows this, see:
- section 114 of the Education Act 2005
- section 537A of the Education Act 1996
- section 83 of the Children Act 1989
This data forms a significant part of our evidence base. We use it:
- in school performance tables
- in adoption scorecards
- in statistical first releases
- to evaluate and inform educational policy
- to assess funding to local authorities and schools
We hold pupil-level data in the national pupil database.
When we share data
The law allows us to share pupils’ personal data with certain third parties, including:
- local authorities
- companies who are producing products connected with promoting the education or wellbeing of children in England
- other government departments and agencies
We can share pupil-level information we’ve collected from:
- regular data returns from schools and local authorities
- the national pupil database (NPD)
Before we grant access to individuals requesting data from the NPD, they must comply with the terms and conditions imposed under contractual arrangements, as well as a rigorous request approval process.
We may also share selected individual pupil data with the Office for National Statistics for the development of population and migration statistics.
We may decide to share pupil and children’s information with third parties on a case-by-case basis where:
- we’re satisfied that to do so would be in accordance with the law and the Data Protection Act (1998)
- we consider that the disclosure would promote the education or wellbeing of children
See guidance to schools and local authorities on the legal requirement to provide privacy notices to staff, parents and pupils to explain how their personal data will be collected and used.
The Education (Supply of Information about the School Workforce)(No.2)(England) Regulations 2007 allows us to share workforce data with the following third parties:
- Local Government Association
- HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)
- National Audit Office
- Office of Manpower Economics
- Administrator of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme
- local authorities
- Service Children’s Education
- school proprietors
- independent researchers where disclosure may be expected to be of public benefit
Longitudinal education outcomes study
The privacy notice for the ‘Longitudinal education outcomes study’ explains how the government handles and shares NPD data as part of the study. The study compares students’ level of education to their level of employment and earnings in later life.
Published: 26 March 2014
Updated: 26 May 2016
- Added a link to the privacy notice explaining how we share and handle NPD data that we use for the 'Longitudinal education outcomes study'.
- First published.