Adding other information
We ask parents and caregivers about linking their survey data to administrative records held by government departments and agencies about them and their child when they join the study and take part in their first survey.
If you were part of the Age 9 months pilot survey, please note we did not do this regardless of your answer. The reason for asking was to test our procedures ahead of the main survey. If you were part of the main Children of the 2020s Study survey when your baby was around 9 months, we registered your response.
See below more details about adding other information:
- Administrative records
- How long will we do this for?
- What if you change your mind?
- Key resources
What are administrative records?
Government departments and agencies collect information about all of us to help them provide the services we need. This information is stored in administrative records.
Why is adding other information helpful?
- It helps the Department for Education and researchers build a more complete picture of family life so we can understand the most important factors that affect children’s development in the early years.
- This information is used to improve public services and for scientific research on child development.
- Collecting information this way can be very valuable.
- It also means we do not have to ask you so many questions in the survey.
Why does the study include adding information from your and your child’s DfE records?
Children of the 2020s is a study commissioned by the Department for Education to improve our understanding of children’s development and their needs.
- The Department for Education collects information about families’ use of services for children and children’s progress before they start school and throughout their education.
- The Children of the 2020s study will provide important data on children’s development, family circumstances and childcare to help policymakers make improvements for the future.
As part of this study these two sources of information will be combined so that researchers can look at things like how children’s experiences during the early years relate to their attainment when they start school. It helps build a much rounder picture.
Why do we want to ask permission to add information from your and your child’s NHS records?
- We would like to add information from your and your child’s NHS records to the answers you give in the survey.
- As these records are held outside DfE by NHS Digital we need to ask your permission to add information from your and your child’s records such as admissions or attendances at hospital and visits to GPs or other health professionals.
- Children’s health is an important consideration for researchers and policy makers in its own right, and because it can affect children’s education and wellbeing.
- Your health is important for understanding your needs as a parent or carer.
Why do we want to add information from your child’s other parent/guardian and/or your partner’s records?
- If the child’s other parent (if they live with you or elsewhere) and/or your partner (if they live with you) are available and complete their survey, we will also add information from their education records held by DfE to their survey answers.
- We will also ask their permission to add information from their health records held by NHS Digital.
- The experiences of the child’s other parent and/or your partner who lives with you may also have an important impact on your and your child’s life. Adding information from their records will give us a better understanding of your family circumstances.
- For example, adding information from their health records will allow researchers to see the impact of their health on your child and understand their needs as a parent or carer better.
Keeping your and your child’s information safe
To keep your and your child’s information safe, it is encrypted and sent via secure transfer systems, in line with the most up to date security rules and procedures.
Who will use the information and what for?
- The matched survey and administrative information will be used for research purposes only.
- Like your study responses, this information will be anonymised and made available securely by DfE to researchers for non-commercial research and statistics. Personal data identifying you or your child are never given to these researchers.
- The anonymised information will be made available securely by DfE to researchers via the UK Data Service (UKDS), Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service (ONS SRS) or a similar trusted research repository. Access to the data will only be granted after a successful application is assessed and approved by the Department for Education. This is to make sure this information is used responsibly. Personal information identifying you or your child will never be shared with these researchers.
- All information is treated in the strictest confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The lawful basis on which we process your personal information is a ‘Task in the Public Interest’. Information about privacy, confidentiality and how we keep your information safe can be found here.
It’s your choice
You can decide to add information from all of the records we ask about, from just some of the records, or to add nothing at all – it is your choice.
- As the Children of the 2020s is commissioned by the DfE, your and your child’s education records will be added to your survey answers as a standard part of the study. Please let us know if you do not want this to happen using the contact details here.
- Your and your child’s health records are held outside of the DfE by NHS Digital and we will ask your permission to include those in the study as well. We will only do this if you tell us you are happy for us to do so.
Your decision about whether or not to allow us to add information from your and your child’s records will not affect your or your child’s services, rights, treatment or any health insurance. It will not affect your benefits or tax. You can still take part in Children of the 2020s even if you do not give permission for your other information to be added.
What information is in these records?
Education records about your child, such as:
- Any childcare services your child has used
- Your child’s attainment at the Early Years Foundation Stage (in reception)
Education records about you, such as:
- Participation in school, further and higher education
- Exam results
- Vocational training and qualifications
- Higher education applications and offers
These records are kept by the Department for Education.
What information is in these records?
- Health records include admissions or attendances at hospital, visits to your family doctor or other health professional (e.g. midwife), specific conditions and prescriptions given.
- The medical and health records for all patients using NHS health services throughout their lives are maintained by NHS Digital in England.
How long will we do this for?
The information we would like to add relates to your and your child’s past, present and future circumstances. We would like to add this information from your child’s and your health and educational records on an ongoing basis for the duration of the study. You can tell us to stop at any time during the study. Once your child is an adult, they will have an opportunity to decide whether they would be happy for us to continue to add this information from these records, or not.
What if you change your mind?
You can change your mind about adding information from these records and withdraw any of your permissions at any time, without giving us a reason, for the duration of the study. If you change your mind about adding information, any data already collected will continue to be processed unless you explicitly request that we delete it.
If you request that we delete any personal identifiable information (such as name and contact details), we will delete this and stop collecting and linking data you provided us. If you also wish to have your anonymised survey data (your answers to the survey questions) deleted and not deposited, please make this request within 6 months of taking part in the survey. After that date it will not be possible to remove your anonymised data from the study.
For questions about Children of the 2020s or adding other information, or to withdraw your permissions contact the team here.
Download a version of the above information here:
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