Ministry of Justice & Department for Education linked dataset - England

The MoJ-DfE linked dataset allows analysis to understand links between childhood characteristics, educational outcomes and (re)offending. The dataset includes data from prison, courts, Police National Computer, National Pupil Database, looked-after-children and children in need. It covers variables such as demographics, offending data, school exclusions, and all episodes of children in care. Analysis of this data will help develop the evidence base on understanding the relationships between educational and criminal justice outcomes and the drivers of offending. It will assist in identifying populations that require support through early educational interventions and evaluating interventions to understand whether they are effective.

Component datasets and linkage

This linked dataset includes data from the MoJ including recordable offences, offending histories and sentencing. This has been linked to DfE data including educational characteristics, educational performance, and children in care and other demographics.

Timeframe Police National Computer (PNC) Extract: 2000 - 2021. National Pupil Database (NPD): Children born after 31 August 1985
Update Frequency Annual
Population
Coverage England only
Size PNC: 1.65 million records. NPD: 15 million records
Ministry of Justice & Department for Education linked dataset - England

   

Examples of research questions

  • Is there an association between particular interactions with the education system and offending, and if so, is one of these factors typically the driver?
  • How are the relationships between educational and criminal justice outcomes impacted by demographic factors?
  • Can education policy have unintended consequences for crime?

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

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User guide

Visit the Data First introductory user guide.

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Data dictionary

Data catalogues can be requested by emailing datalinkingteam@justice.gov.uk and data.sharing@education.gov.uk.

Other supporting resources

Resource Description
Ministry of Justice ARI 2020 The MoJ Areas of Research Interest sets out the department’s critical evidence gaps.
Public engagement case study: Consulting a pre-existing advisory group about a research project on ethnicity data Dr Alice Wickersham investigated similarities and differences in how ethnicity was recorded in the Police National Computer (PNC) and the National Pupil Database (NPD). In 2022, Alice consulted with an advisory group on the emerging findings. 

Published research using the data

Accessing the data

Access the MoJ-DfE linked dataset via the ONS Secure Research Service. To apply to access this dataset:

1. Apply to become an accredited researcher under the Digital Economy Act 2017 

2. Apply to access the MoJ-DfE linked dataset

To access the MoJ-DfE linked dataset, researchers must directly apply to both the MoJ and DfE:

3. Access the data securely

The options available to access this dataset are:

  • Safe Rooms – based in the ONS offices in Titchfield and Newport, open Monday-Friday, 9.00-16.00
  • SafePod Network – a small, self-contained secure room with a single workstation
  • Assured Organisational Connectivity – the ability to access the ONS Secure Research Service from your office. Check what arrangements your institution already has or can put in place.

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

“I have done research on education policy and youth crime for a few years now using data from a number of countries, and this is probably the best data source that exists today in the world to study youth crime and links between education and crime.” 

Dr Matteo Sandi, Research Economist, London School of Economics

Download the ADR England Flagship Datasets brochure