Skip to main content

The longitudinal association between school performance trajectories and offending behaviour


This project uses linked data from the National Pupil Database and Police National Computer to investigate educational trajectories and offending outcomes.

Privacy Notice

Chief Investigators:

Alice Wickersham, King’s College London


Dr Johnny Downs, King’s College London
Professor Stephen Scott, King’s College London
Dr Rosie Cornish, University of Bristol

Note that collaborators will not have direct access to the raw study data.


Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) via Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Who are we?

The study is being led by Alice Wickersham at King’s College London. This research study is being conducted within the King’s College London governance framework which ensures that our work is carried out to high scientific and ethical standards.

ADR UK is the sponsor for this study and is based in the UK. We will be using information from the National Pupil Database and Police National Computer to undertake this study. The data owners and data controllers are the Department for Education (DfE) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Alice Wickersham from King’s College London has made an application to the DfE to use these data. The DfE will share data extracts with Alice Wickersham from King’s College London, who will process the extracts for their permitted use as an independent controller and in accordance with the Data Sharing Agreement. All data will be accessed via the ONS Secure Research Service (SRS). The ONS SRS is accessed in safe settings such as safe rooms on ONS sites or approved locations in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London.

If you need to contact us about this privacy notice, please write to Alice Wickersham (

Why are we processing your personal information?

We are processing your personal information as part of a research study which aims to:

  • Identify subgroups of children and adolescents that follow different school performance trajectories, and investigate their association with different types of offending behaviours.
  • Investigate whether school performance trajectory modifies the risk for different types of offending behaviour in vulnerable and marginalised groups.
  • Curate the data resource and create widely accessible metadata and recommendations for future use, particularly regarding discrepancies in gender and ethnicity data, and the potential for conducting quasi-experimental trials.

What is the source of the personal data?

We will be using data from the National Pupil Database (data owner: Department for Education) which has been linked to the Police National Computer (data owner: Ministry of Justice). The Department for Education collects personal data from educational settings and local authorities via various statutory data collections. These data are not publicly available, but can be accessed with permissions from both data owners. The research team are not able to facilitate access to the data. For more information about the Department of Education’s NPD data sharing process, please visit:

What categories of personal data are being collected?

This analysis will focus on pupils in birth cohorts 1990/91 to 1996/97. We will request data on pupil characteristics (including birth month and year, gender, ethnicity, FSM eligibility, LAC status, and SEN status), school outcomes (including school performance), and offending information (including offence date and type).

How do we keep your information safe and secure?

All data will be accessed electronically via the ONS SRS, which is accessed in safe settings such as safe rooms on ONS sites or approved locations in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London. Data are not permitted to leave these settings. The ONS SRS is only accessible to ONS Accredited Researchers with an SRS login and password. The data extracts supplied to the research team for analysis will be de-identified, meaning identifiable information will have been removed (e.g. name, address, email, phone number). Alice Wickersham is the ONS Accredited Researcher who will be accessing the data for this project.

Outputs will contain only anonymous, aggregated data. To ensure that no sensitive or personally identifiable data are released, we will follow guidance set out in the ONS Safe Research Training on maintaining data confidentiality and apply Statistical Disclosure Control, by:

  • Complying with the ‘Five Safes Framework’
  • Looking at data to identify disclosure risk
  • Options for avoiding cell counts <10 (cell suppression; detail reduction; rounding; redesign output, etc.)
  • Complying with SRS procedures for output, pre-publication and publication clearance

What is our ‘legal basis for processing’?

Data protection legislation allows us to use personal information in this way because it is required for our public purpose as a teaching and research institution. Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller (UK GDPR Article 6(1)(e)).

The condition for processing special categories of data is that it is necessary for archiving, scientific, historical research or statistical purposes (UK GDPR Article 9(2)(j)).

We believe this project is in the public interest because it will inform early identification and crime prevention strategies for children. Efforts to mitigate offending and re-offending behaviour are of national social and economic benefit. We believe that this is proportionate, and could not be carried out using other methodologies due to issues like data quality and bias.

How long do we keep your information for?

Alice Wickersham will retain access to the data for 18 months via the ONS SRS. The research team are not responsible for data storage and archiving in the SRS.

Do we share your information with other organisations?

The research team will not share your information with any external organisations. The research team are not responsible for data sharing with other organisations.

What are your rights and who can you contact if you have a concern?

King’s College London will not be directly storing these data. The research team will only access the data electronically via the ONS SRS in safe settings such as safe rooms on ONS sites or approved locations in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London.

For any data that the university does hold about you, you can find out more about how the university deals with your personal information, including your rights and who to contact if you have a concern, via the university’s core privacy notice at

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data in a way that is not lawful you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Our Data Protection Officer is Mr Albert Chan and you can contact him at Information Compliance team, King's College London, Waterloo Campus Room 5.20, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8WA; or email:


General enquiries

For general enquiries relating to the study, or to find out more about how we use your information, please contact Alice Wickersham (

Our privacy notices are regularly reviewed and updated.

Last reviewed: 11/03/2022
Last updated: 11/03/2022
Updated by: Alice Wickersham

Project status: Ongoing



Funding Body: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Amount: £106,442

Period: January 2022 - December 2022

Contact us

Alice Wickersham, King's College London
Principal Investigator