UK: 2020 grade data-sharing agreement reached

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will deal with applications to access 2020 assessment data.

Accredited researchers will be able to apply to access the GRADE (Grading and Admissions Data for England) dataset, we can confirm today. This comprises 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 3 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, as this Ofqual blog outlines. 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.

We are now beginning to transfer this data to the ONS. The GRADE data will appear in the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service data catalogue for accredited researchers to apply the week beginning Monday 16 August. If you are interested in knowing more about the data and its potential use you can email us at data.sharing@ofqual.gov.uk. Researchers will also be able to apply to ADR UK for funding – more details will be available soon.

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