What is the Kids' Environment and Health Cohort?

We are setting up a new data resource called the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort to allow researchers to study the link between environments in and around schools and homes, and children’s health and education.


Why are we doing this project?

Children are much more vulnerable to health-damaging features of the environment in and around their homes and schools than adults. Many children in England also lack access to services and infrastructure where they live and go to school.

Being exposed to such things as outdoor air pollution, overcrowding, mould in the home, fast food advertising near schools, or having no access to greenspace during childhood is associated with the development of long-term conditions such as asthma, poor mental health, obesity and worse educational attainment.

The Government is introducing several measures to improve environments and make housing safer. We need better data to understand how the local environment influences the health and education of children and decide whether these environmental policies introduced by the Government are improving children’s well-being and school results.


How are we going to do it? 

We will establish the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort, a national database containing data from schools, hospitals and community pharmacies on health and education histories for all children born in England from 2006 onwards, around 11 million children.

Data for children will be linked to information about their mothers’ health during pregnancy. We will combine the health and education data in the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort with data on local environments in and around children’s homes and schools. 

Ultimately, research based on the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort data will inform government departments and local councils, as well as the public at large, about how well their housing, environmental and planning policies are working to improve children’s lives.

Please click here for more information about the potential of the data held in the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort.


How will the data be kept safe?

All data will be kept on secure servers at the Office for National Statistics. The different datasets making up the cohort will be linked using methods that protect the identities of mothers and children by NHS England and the Office for National Statistics.

Researchers who want to access the data will need to undertake training in handling sensitive data.

Please click here for further information about the data held in the Kids’ Environment and Health Cohort.

Please click here for the privacy notice and information about your options.