From education to employment

Apply to access the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset

Guidance on how to apply to access the LEO standard extract through the Office for National Statistics secure research service.

About the LEO standard extract

The LEO extract connects individuals’ education data with their employment, benefits and earnings data to create a de-identified person level administrative dataset.

The LEO standard extract is a relational database comprising a range of tables where researcher access is restricted on a needs basis.

The capacity to analyse these longer-term labour market outcomes together, at person level, enables developments in the assessment of education policy and provision with greater accuracy than ever before.

Apply to access the LEO standard extract

Applications to access variables within the standard extract are open.

Only fully accredited researchers can apply.

Before you apply, read the guidance and support for applicants. The Variable Request Form detailing the variables available can be found under related downloads on the guidance and support page.

Apply via the ONS Research Accreditation Service (RAS).

Project eligibility

Each project must demonstrate a clear public benefit and commit to publish its research outcomes.

The Department for Education (DfE) will ensure that any projects that are permitted to work with these data are fully compliant with the Digital Economy Act (chapter 5, section 64).

Terms and conditions for accessing the extract

Fully accredited researchers are required to work within the constraints of their accreditation and training as well as the ONS Five Safes model of data protection. Researchers are also required to sign a DfE Individual Declaration Form and return it to ONS prior to accessing the data.

Further information can be found on the ONS Secure Research Service (SRS) website.

How applications are assessed

Stage 1. Applications are received and checked by the ONS Research Accreditation Service.

Stage 2. Applications that pass the initial process are scrutinised and approved or rejected by:

  • Department for Education
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Department for Work and Pensions

Stage 3. Applications that are approved are then scrutinised and accredited or rejected by the Research Accreditation Panel.

Further information

  • This is the first version of the LEO standard extract. DfE will review its use and make improvements to it over time.

  • There is limited direct analytical support available to researchers, however a user guide will be made available to approved projects within the SRS. A knowledge base “wiki” is currently being created to further support researchers.

  • Research teams will need to possess strong Structured Query Language (SQL) skills to be able to work effectively with the extract.

  • Access to data will be provided to accredited projects. Physical copies of data will not be provided. Accredited projects will work through the ONS’s Secure Research Service to access the data.

Information about personal data

For more information about how the government shares and uses personal data as part of the LEO programme please refer to the Longitudinal education outcomes study: how we use and share data.

You can also find out more about how the ONS shares and uses personal data and how HESA shares and uses personal data.

Contact details

For any queries regarding access to LEO data within this service please contact [email protected].

For any queries regarding LEO Programme itself please contact [email protected].

Published 7 July 2021
Last updated 2 August 2021 + show all updates

  1. Added information to explain that the Variable Request Form can be found on the guidance and support for applicants page.

  2. First published.


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