ONS brokers deal to share 2020 exam assessment data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will process applications to access 2020 assessment data following a data-sharing agreement with Ofqual that adds GCSE and A level exams and qualifications data to data already placed in the public domain by the Department for Education (DfE) and UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Accredited researchers will be able to apply to access the GRADE (Grading and Admissions Data for England) dataset - including key data about centre assessment grades and calculated grades in 2020.

This agreement means researchers can explore, analyse and study a unique dataset of information held by three different organisations with reference to the period 2017 to 2020:

  • Ofqual - GCSE and A level exams and qualifications data collected from awarding organisations

  • Department for Education (DfE) - the National Pupil Database, providing a rich set of background information on GCSE and A level students

  • UCAS – data from the university application system

The DfE and the UCAS data is already available but, thanks to this agreement, the Ofqual data will soon be available to accredited researchers. Data will be securely accessible through the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service.

Researchers will be able to use this data to find out more about GCSE and A level results and university admissions and applications in England. It includes information about qualifications, grades achieved, students’ prior attainment and grade boundaries. And it will be used to allow evidence-based lessons from 2020 assessment and inform assessment policy on issues such as equality. Any publication will only report aggregated data.

The GRADE data will appear in the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service data catalogue for accredited researchers to apply from next Monday (16th August).

Government Data Forum

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