Request personal data from the Department of Education (DfE)



By default, all personal data will be accessible through the Office for National Statistics (ONS SRS) secure search service. However, where BSS is not suitable and supporting evidence can be provided, the following exceptions regarding the use of BSS for data sharing will be considered:

  • the data is processed to fulfill an essential public mission such as the management of education or children’s services
  • you carry out research funded or commissioned by the Ministry of Education (DfE) and its executive agencies or other ministries
  • you perform research sponsored or supported by the DfE and its executive agencies, as it adds significant value to the evidence base supporting children’s education or services

If you are unsure, contact [email protected]

Request the DfE to access personal data of the DfE via the ONS SRS

Anyone needing to access personal data from the DfE, the Linked Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) or the Linked Ministry of Justice (MoJ) via the secure search service must be accredited under the research program approved by the ONS. We recommend that you start this process as soon as possible and take steps to become ONS accredited alongside your application.

Contact [email protected] with any questions.

When you are ready to apply, please complete the application form (MS Word Document, 177 KB) using the accompaniment advice (PDF, 430 KB, 41 pages), and submit your data requirements on the relevant data tables. You may also find the Find and Explore NPD digital tool useful for determining what data elements you need from NPD.

The data sharing service is here to help you:

  • advance your application via the data sharing service
  • access the right data for your project
  • document data sharing through a signed data sharing agreement, memorandum of understanding or commercial contract

Data tables

Use these data tables to provide your data needs:

All completed applications should be submitted to [email protected]

Access personal data of the DfE using the secure search service

Once you are an ONS approved researcher and your data request has been approved, there are 3 ways to access DfE data for approved projects through the Secure Research Service.

You can use:

  • physical laboratories: you can book a session to access DfE data at any of the 5 ONS sites in the UK
  • Safepod: available to licensed researchers and can currently be found in these locations
  • Remote access: Once your organization meets security standards and has organized connectivity with the ONS, you can access data online using your own equipment subject to specified conditions

Request direct access to personal data from the DfE

Before requesting DfE personal data, you must:

Apply for the longitudinal education outcome directly to the ONS SRS

To access the Longitudinal Education Outcome data, you can apply directly to the ONS. You do not need to complete a DfE application form.

Future developments

We continue to improve the means to access DfE data, including:

  • request data from Growing Up in England (GUIE) directly from the ONS
  • request the national student database (NPD) directly from the ONS

For more information on future developments, please contact [email protected]


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