Background to the Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) dataset
The Small Business, Employment and Enterprise Act 2015 enabled government, for the first time, to link higher education and tax data together to chart the transition of graduates from higher education into the workplace (for more information on the legal powers governing the dataset please see section 78 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 and sections 87-91 of the Education and Skills Act 2008).
One of the advantages of linking data from existing administrative sources is that it provides a unique insight into the destinations of graduates without imposing any additional data collection burdens on universities, employers or members of the public. Compared to existing sources of graduate outcomes data, it is also based on a considerably larger sample, does not rely on survey methodology, and can track outcomes across time to a greater extent than was previously possible.
The LEO dataset links information about students, including;
- personal characteristics such as sex, ethnic group and age
- education, including schools, colleges and higher education institution attended, courses taken, and qualifications achieved
- employment and income
- benefits claimed
It is created by combining data from the following sources:
- the National Pupil Database (NPD), held by the Department for Education (DfE)
- Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data on students at UK publicly funded higher education institutions and some alternative providers, held by DfE
- Individualised Learner Record data (ILR) on students at further education institutions, held by DfE
- employment data from the Real Time Information System (RTI). RTI contains information formerly collected on the P45 and P14 forms, held by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- data from the Self-Assessment tax return, held by HMRC
- the National Benefit Database, Labour Market System and Juvos data, held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
By combining these sources, we can look at the progress of higher education leavers into the labour market.
The privacy notice explaining how personal data in this project is shared and used can be found at Longitudinal education outcomes study: how we use and share data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).