The Data

The Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort will be a national database containing de-identified data from schools, hospitals and community pharmacies, to create health and education histories for all children born in England from 2006 onwards – around 11 million children. This data will be linked to information about their mothers’ health during pregnancy as well as data on local environments in and around children’s homes and schools.

The cohort will link the following datasets:

  • ONS birth and death registration data
  • Census 2011 and 2021 data: data on children born within two years of each Census
  • Hospital Episode Statistics: data on hospital contacts
  • Maternity Services Data: data on maternal health during pregnancy
  • Mental Health Dataset: information on referrals to mental health services
  • Community Dispensing Data: information on dispensed medicines, including for asthma
  • National Pupil Database: data on all children in state school, including special educational needs provision and exam results
  • Personal Demographic Service (NHS address records) and Getting Information About Schools Data (school addresses): used by the ONS to link data on the local environment to children’s data.

In addition to the linked administrative data, a number of open environmental datasets will also be mapped to the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort at set up, including: 

  • Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs modelled annual air pollution
  • Department for Transport Annual Traffic Flow database
  • Department for Levelling Up database
  • Ordnance Survey Open Greenspace database
  • Housing and Communities Energy Performance Certificate data

This will allow research on the impacts of air pollution, building characteristics, local neighbourhood, and road distance on child outcomes. 

All data linkage is subject to approvals from the Confidentiality Advisory Group, the ONS, NHS Digital, and the Department for Education.

While researchers will not have access to data on the geographical location of children’s homes and schools, linkage to geo-mapped environmental data will be possible via encrypted identifiers managed securely by the ONS.

Indirect linkage to data from the Personal Demographic Service (NHS addresses) and Get Information About Schools (school addresses) via the ONS will allow the cohort to be linked to longitudinal geo-environmental data mapped to the postcodes and unique property reference numbers (UPRNs; a unique ID for each property throughout England) of homes and schools across the child’s life. 

All residential postcodes and UPRNs and school postcodes will be securely held by the ONS, separately from the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort data. Linkage to geo-mapped environmental data will be done using encrypted UPRNs, postcodes and school IDs; these geographical identifiers will not be accessible by researchers.

The Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort will be stored in the  Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service (SRS), a national Trusted Research Environment. 

Before gaining access to the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort data, researchers will need to meet certain requirements. These are still being discussed with data providers, but are likely to include:

  • Researchers will need to be considered Accredited Researchers 
  • Researchers will need to undertake further training, depending on the constituent datasets requested
  • Researchers need to obtain ethical approval and sign agreements with UCL before accessing the data
Data Security