Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data - England

The Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data (ECHILD) database includes linked records for around 20 million children and young people, which will be used to better understand how education affects children’s health and how health affects children’s education. 

Component datasets and linkage

The ECHILD database contains the National Pupil Database (including data on pupil and school characteristics, educational outcomes, and social care) linked to healthcare data. This includes Hospital Episode Statistics (admitted patient care, A&E, and outpatient care), birth notifications, maternity services data, mental health data and community services data. The database also contains linked health, education and social care data on the mothers of ECHILD cohort members through a mother-baby link. This enables researchers to investigate the effects of maternal exposures on children’s outcomes.

Timeframe 1 September 1984 - 31 August 2022
Update Frequency Annually
Population Children and young people born in the timeframe specified
Coverage England only
Size ~20 million records
Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data - EnglandEducation and Child Health Insights from Linked Data - England


Introduction to the ECHILD database


Examples of research questions

The ECHILD database will facilitate research to improve policymaking for children’s health, education and wellbeing across a range of health and social science disciplines. For example, the ECHILD database could help to answer questions such as: 

  • How can we improve health and education for children with chronic physical or mental health conditions in England?
  • How can we better understand the health-related drivers of educational outcomes in England?
  • How can we improve the quality and equity of health and education provision in England?

This list is illustrative only and intended to demonstrate the research potential of the dataset. For research priorities, see the areas of research interest or the ADR UK funding opportunity.

Core documentation

Icon representing a user

User guide

The ECHILD user guide introduces researchers to the ECHILD database by providing a broad overview of its coverage, content and creation. 

Icon representing documents

Data dictionary

The data catalogue is available on the ECHILD website.

Other supporting resources

Resource Description
ECHILD training course, 25 – 26 March 2024 This short course is designed to give participants a practical introduction to ECHILD.  It is aimed at both analysts intending to use ECHILD and researchers who want to understand more about how the data can be used for policy relevant research.
ECHILD data visualisation A data visual to explore the different types of de-identified records within the ECHILD database.
Data Resource Profile Mc Grath-Lone, L. et al. (2021) Data Resource Profile: The Education and Child Health Insights from Linked Data (ECHILD) Database, International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 51, Issue 1, February 2022, Pages 17–17f, DOI:
Linking education and hospital data in England: Linkage process and quality

Libuy, N., Harron, K., Gilbert, R., Caulton, R., Cameron, E., Blackburn, R., (2021) Linking education and hospital data in England: linkage process and quality. International Journal of Population Data Science, Volume 6, No 1, 16 September 2021. DOI:

Data Resource: National Pupil Database

Matthew Alexander Jay, Louise Mc Grath-Lone, Ruth Gilbert. Data Resource: the National Pupil Database (NPD). International Journal of Population Data Science. Published online: Mar 20, 2019. DOI:

Data Resource: Children Looked After Return Mc Grath-Lone, L. et al., Data Resource Profile: Children Looked After Return (CLA), International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 45, Issue 3, June 2016, Pages 716–717f,
Cohort profile: Children in Need Census

Emmott, E.H., Jay, M.A., Woodman, J., Cohort profile: Children in Need Census (CIN) records of children referred for social care support in England. BMJ Open 2019;9:e023771. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023771


Accessing the data

The ECHILD dataset will be available soon via the ONS Secure Research Service. Researchers will need to be fully accredited under the Digital Economy Act (2017) to apply for access. This dataset is included here as part of the current funding opportunity - see details below. 

ADR UK Research Fellowships

ADR UK is funding policy-relevant research using ADR England flagship datasets. Research fellows will address priority research questions, generate insights and demonstrate the value of ADR England data. These datasets are held securely within the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service or other trusted research environments.

Learn more

Download the ADR England Flagship Datasets brochure