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Pupils: Personal Records

Question for Department for Education

UIN 57723, tabled on 14 December 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what information the National Pupil Database holds on the (a) nationality and (b) ethnic background of pupils; and if she will make a statement.

Answered on

10 January 2017

The National Pupil Database (NPD) is a powerful research database to allow accurate evaluation and assessment of ‘what works’ in education, by showing how pupils progress over time within the education system. Secure re-use of NPD where legislation, security and public good criteria support it enables rigorous independent evaluation and policy scrutiny to occur.

Details of the School Census and data held in the NPD that is available for named bodies and third parties to request, and the process and guidelines for requesting data extracts, is available on

The new data on nationality and country of origin is solely for the Department’s analysts to use for research. The new data has not and will not be held within the National Pupil Database. It has not and will not be shared with any other Government Department or external organisations. The data is provided to school by parents, this is completely optional and parents are under no obligation to provide it if they do not want to.

The NPD holds data on ethnic background provided by the parents to the school, and reported by the school as part of the School Census. This data has been collected in the School Census since 2003. This data is also completely optional and parents can opt out of submitting it if they choose.