Growing Up in England dataset now available to provide better understanding of vulnerable children’s outcomes

Using the GUIE dataset, researchers can explore how factors such as family background, school type and geography shape educational outcomes for children in England. This will enable policymakers to make better-informed decisions about what works to support children to thrive.

About the data

The Growing Up in England (GUIE) dataset which is made available is de-identified, and includes education data linked to 2011 Census data for children in England. This enables personal, family and household characteristics to be linked to educational attainment information over a long period of time. Researchers can use the dataset to examine the educational progression of a cohort of children and young people who were aged 10 to 25 at the time of the 2011 Census.

The linked dataset contains the 2011 Census record for every child linked to the Department for Education’s feasibility All Education Dataset for England, which is a large, longitudinal, record-level dataset covering government-funded education. 

The first wave of GUIE data (Wave 1) covers the academic years 2001/02 to 2014/15 and contains information on the characteristics of individuals and their households, linked to education data from the National Pupil Database, individualised learner records and further education data. 

Wave 2 joins additional vulnerability measures to this dataset to provide further deidentified individual-level information on: 

  • Absences: Types and frequencies of authorised and unauthorised absences, and persistent absenteeism 
  • Exclusions: Academic year of exclusion, reason for exclusion, type of exclusion and whether a child has been excluded on more than one occasion 
  • Free school meals: A child’s eligibility for free school meals on the day of the English School Census, and whether they have been eligible for the last three years, six years, or at any time over the course of their education
  • English School Census, including special education needs (SEN) and health and disability data
  • Children in need: Children who are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development; their health or development will be significantly impaired without the provision of children’s social care services; or are disabled 
  • Children looked after: Children who receive accommodation from the local authority for a continuous period of more than 24 hours; are subject to a care order; or are subject to a placement order. 

This additional vulnerability information is available for the academic years 2010/11 to 2014/15. 

What is the potential of this dataset?

This data helps to fill a crucial evidence gap in information about the lives of vulnerable children. It provides more insight than any other data source into how circumstances experienced by vulnerable children – such as living with a disability, or caring for others – impact their educational attainment.

The dataset could help answer a range of research questions to inform policy, such as:

  • Is there a relationship between personal or family characteristics and educational attainment?
  • What are the educational outcomes for Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children and young people?
  • What are the underlying drivers of geographical differences in educational attainment?

How to access the dataset

The GUIE dataset is hosted in the ONS Secure Research Service (SRS). Accredited researchers can apply to access the data by submitting a project application form through the Research Accreditation Service. Alongside this project application, researchers will also be required to submit an ethics self-assessment form, unless their project has received an alternative form of ethical approval.

These applications are feasibility checked by the ONS, and data owner approval is obtained before being sent to the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), who accredit projects using a framework agreed and overseen by the Research Accreditation Panel.

For more guidance on submitting project applications, visit the ONS website.

Access to the dataset is managed securely in line with the Five Safes Framework. Researchers must be accredited by the ONS SRS in order to apply for access.

You can find more information about the dataset and how to access it in the ONS SRS data catalogue.

The GUIE dataset is a collaboration between ADR UK, the ONS and the Department for Education.

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