National pupil database: apply for a data extract

How researchers and third-party organisations can apply for data extracts from the national pupil database.

The national pupil database (NPD) contains detailed information about pupils in schools and colleges in England.

Organisations can submit requests for personal level data extracts for:

  • processing data to fulfil an essential public task (the data used is essential to run education and children’s services)
  • research funded by, commissioned by, or contracted to the DfE or other government departments that needs to be done urgently
  • applications that had approval from DfE before 1 June 2018, with agreement they would receive an extract, and needs to be done urgently
  • re-use of data already held by the requesting organisation that will be concluded within the existing licence period

Existing requests that meet this criteria will be progressed through the application process. If you believe your data extract request meets any of these criteria contact

There will be a new way of accessing DfE data for contracted and non-contracted research on the ONS Secure Research Service. We will provide guidance about applying for data extracts from the new service in September 2018.


Contact us for more information about changes to the data extract application process:

NPD data request team

Published 25 March 2014
Last updated 3 August 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance for data extract applications.
  2. Added notice that from 1 May 2018 we are temporarily pausing applications for data extracts and will not process new applications.
  3. Added information about applying for your own, or your children's, data.
  4. Updated the 'How to apply' section because people requesting tier 1 and tier 2 data need to provide a disclosure certificate.
  5. First published.