Data linkage for educational research royal statistical society march 19th 2007
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Data Linkage for Educational Research Royal Statistical Society March 19th 2007. Andrew Jenkins and Rosalind Levačić Institute of Education, University of London. Examples of Data Linkage.

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Data linkage for educational research royal statistical society march 19th 2007
Data Linkage for Educational Research Royal Statistical Society March 19th 2007

Andrew Jenkins and Rosalind Levačić

Institute of Education, University of London


Examples of data linkage
Examples of Data Linkage

  • (1) Data Linkage with the Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England (LSYPE) and the National Pupil Database (NPD)

  • (2) Linking NPD to a survey of student experiences at school for evaluation of Diversity Pathfinders


Structure of presentations
Structure of presentations

Introduce the datasets used

Outline why data linkage was useful/important

How the datasets were combined

Any practical problems which arose in linking data

Methodological issues in using linked data


Main aim of research project 1
Main aim of research project (1)

To use data from first wave of Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England (LSYPE), combined with other datasets, to try to separate out effects of family background and neighbourhood on students’ attainment.


Value of data linkage
Value of Data Linkage

  • Richer and more detailed models

    • e.g. Administrative data may include little about pupil background

  • Better control variables

    • e.g. controlling for family background factors when modelling neighbourhood effects on attainment



Longitudinal survey of young people in england
Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England

  • Begins at age 14, in 2004

  • Annual Interviews until age 25

  • Currently only wave 1 data available

  • Includes interviews with young person and parent/adult



Overview of national pupil database npd
Overview of National Pupil Database (NPD)

  • Information on all state school pupils in England

  • Includes national test score results

  • It is longitudinal

    • Pupils can be tracked through Key Stages

  • NPD includes Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC)

    • PLASC provides pupil background data e.g. ethnicity, SEN

  • NPD owned by DfES who manage access to the data




Linking pupils and schools
Linking pupils and schools

  • DfES provided us with linked LSYPE/NPD data

  • Linkage to school-level data using LEA and Establishment numbers


Combining pupil and neighbourhood data
Combining pupil and neighbourhood data

  • National Pupil Database includes pupil postcodes

  • Census data and Indices of Deprivation linked to the National Pupil Database using National Statistics Postcode Directory (NSPD, formerly AFPD)

  • The NSPD provides a look-up between postcodes and various administrative geography codes


Some problems in using linked data
Some problems in using linked data

  • Reductions in sample size

    • NPD has approx 0.5 million cases per year

    • LSYPE has sample size of around 15,000

  • Missing data

  • Representativeness of data which does link successfully

  • Getting access to linked data



Linking a pupil survey to national pupil database diversity pathfinders project
Linking a pupil survey to National Pupil Database: Diversity Pathfinders Project

Purpose of survey: to collect data as part of a 3.5 year evaluation of Diversity Pathfinders (2002-2006).

Six Local Authorities provided with some funding by DfES to promote collaboration between groups of secondary schools with the purpose of raising standard and promoting diversity through attaining specialist status.

Largely a qualitative study using interviews and some participant observation, supplemented by an analysis of examination performance and a survey of students’ views and experiences ‘before’ and ‘after’ three years.


Dp research design
DP research design Pathfinders Project

Since DP was ‘pathfinding’ it was not a uniform treatment with controls.

By intention each LA developed its own approach and own way of selecting and grouping schools for collaboration within the DP project.

The research team selected 31 schools as case studies for which evidence collected by interviews.

These schools were also the ones selected for a survey.

Each school selected one mixed ability Year 11 form to respond to the survey on-line.


Purpose of the dp student survey
Purpose of the DP student survey Pathfinders Project

To establish:

how did students rate aspects of their learning experience?

did students in 2005/6 rate their learning experiences better than those in 2002/3, especially with regard to increased working with students from other schools?

did students’ learning experiences differ by school and by student characteristics?

did more disadvantaged students have an improved learning experience after 3 years of DP?


Use of national pupil database
Use of National Pupil Database Pathfinders Project

NPD provides data on student’s

  • prior attainment (KS2 and KS3)

  • gender

  • ethnicity

  • special educational needs

  • eligibility for free school meals

  • English as an additional language


Advantages of data linkage
Advantages of data linkage Pathfinders Project

Obtaining data on student characteristics without needing to ask intrusive questions on the survey or extend length of questionnaire;

Did not need to use alternative of asking the school to supply the data – would add to burden of survey to schools and reduce further the response rate.


Mechanics of achieving data linkage between dp survey and npd
Mechanics of achieving data linkage between DP survey and NPD

NPD consists of Pupil Level Annual Census plus test results.

Each pupil has a Unique Pupil Number (UPN) used by the school when reporting data to DfES.

We needed the schools to give us the UPNs of the students in the form doing the survey. Also DoB in case needed for matching.

UPNs are highly confidential – letter from DfES to schools requesting this.

Problem: getting UPNs out of each school. 28 schools responded in 2002/3: only 16 in 2005/6.


How upns used
How UPNs used NPD

Each pupil given a DP project identifier number which was attached to a questionnaire.

At school pupil used id number to download own questionnaire.

NPD uses matching pupil reference number.

We sent UPNs to DfES and they matched with pupil reference number and sent us matched NPD data for these students.


Data linkage for educational research royal statistical society march 19th 2007
Linking UPN, matching pupil reference number and DP survey pupil identity number(example: not actual data)


Methodological issues
Methodological issues pupil identity number

Missing data:

from schools that do not supply UPNs

due to non matching of UPNs and PMRs

due to missing data in NPD.

Raises questions about how representative the data are.

Inconsistent data between DP survey and NPD- gender in some cases.



Advantages of data linkage for dp evaluation
Advantages of data linkage for DP evaluation pupil identity number

Able to compare students from two waves of the survey

Able to control for pupil characteristics in analysis of questionnaire responses when comparing years or schools.

Able to address research questions on relationship between pupils’ characteristics and experience of school.