Data archive

The data we collect, how we store it, and how we keep it safe

Find out more about the data we’ll collect, how we’ll store it and how we’ll keep it safe. 

We don’t know enough about what policies, programmes and approaches successfully protect children and help them to thrive. To ensure that children get the best possible start in life, we need to make sure they are getting the right support at the right time. To do this, we need to gather evidence so that we can understand what does, and doesn’t, work. In order to be able to identify long-term impacts, we need to collect and store data for a long time. 

Working with the Office of National Statistics and the Department of Education, we are absolutely committed to making sure that we’re keeping that data safe. This includes a process to ‘pseudonymise’ the data collected in our trials. This makes it impossible for anybody accessing the data to identify the people the data is about, although if the data is cross-referenced with the Department of Education’s Pupil Matching Record, there is a slim possibility of reidentification by the accredited researchers. 

The only people who will be able to access the data will be researchers who have been approved by the Office for National Statistics to conduct research within their Secure Research Service. The approvals process requires researchers to demonstrate that they have the skills and experience to analyse the data held in the archive. They will be trained in how to work safely within the Office for National Statistics environment and how to make their outputs safe so that they can be published. All researchers requesting access to our data must demonstrate that that the learning from it will benefit society.

DPA18 Lawful Basis: We add the data to the Office of National Statistics on the basis of Legitimate Interest, Research & Archiving. 

What happens if I decide I do not want my data to be stored in the archive? 

By deciding to take part in one of our evaluations, you can help us to improve our understanding of what works to support children and families. However, this decision is entirely up to you. That means that, if you tell us you don’t want to take part in our projects, your data won’t be used in our work, and therefore will not be added to the archive. 

Before a project begins, the evaluator will explain how the evaluation will work and what will happen to your data. They will then give you the option to opt out of the project. 

Unfortunately, for most participants, if you decide you don’t want to take part in the project or have your data included in our archive, then you won’t be able to take part in the project. To find out what works, we need to make sure every child who took part in the intervention is part of the project. If we don’t, it will affect the reliability of the results. The evaluator of your project will let you know whether this applies to you at the start. If you do decide to opt out, then you’ll still be able to receive other services that are available in your area.

Read our privacy policy to find out more about the data we collect.

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