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Statistics and datasets for Education

Statistics on educational attainment and school performance underpin many educational debates about quality, standards, equal opportunities and the overall effectiveness of education policy.


Statistics online



A one stop gateway to the ESRC datasets from the 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 UK census.  To access many of the datasets, registration is required.  You may also need to login using your Cardiff University username and password.  2001 aggregate census is also available from InFuse. 2011 census data will be available on the Office of National Statistics web site as it is released.  It will be available from InFuse from March 2013.

CIPFA Statistics
Children's Services Actuals, Children's Services Estimates and Social Care Statistics Actuals available via the eLibrary. To access the statistics you will need to register with CIPFA using your email address.

  • Children's Services Actuals:   
    Shows final outturn expenditure analysed over: early years, primary, secondary and special schools; education out of school, continuing education, children and young people's services and capital expenditure and receipts. Also includes: unit costs per pupil; numbers of schools, pupils and teachers; gender, ethnicity and age profile of pupil numbers; exclusions; class sizes; exam results and information on pupil referral units.
  • Children's Services Estimates:   
    Contains a wide range of financial data on all aspects of the Education Service and some non-financial data. It includes the number of schools, pupil numbers, pupils with special educational needs, early years and detailed information on local authorities' education budget statements, including: age weighted funding per pupil; Schools budget; LEA budget and Youth & Community.

DfE Statistics
The Department for Education provides recent statistics including the annual Statistics of education, training, lifelong learning for the UK and more detailed statistics relating only to England.

UK Data Service 
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK Data Service provides quantitative and qualitative economic and social datasets including census data from 1971-2011. It is possible to search the site using the 'Discover' tool without registering but you will need to register to download data. Click on Register, select Login, then search for Cardiff University and enter your Cardiff University username and password. Complete the form and submit to register.

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
HESA has been set up by the UK universities and higher education colleges to collect, analyse and report on HE statistics. It provides online statistics, recent publications and a customised data enquiry survey.

Provided by the Welsh Government, StatsWales contains Welsh statistics on a range of themes including education, health, crime, equality and social inclusion.

UK National Statistics
The UK National Statistics Publication Hub remains the first port of call for all those seeking the latest statistics from government departments in the UK. It is the central website for hosting all first releases of National Statistics. You can go straight to the Children, Education and Skills section of the site.

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World Data on Education
The World Data on Education is a large databank consisting of full profiles of the education system of almost every country, produced by the International Bureau of Education.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
ICPSR offers more than 500,000 digital files containing social science research data. Disciplines represented include political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, terrorism, health and medical care, early education, education, racial and ethnic minorities, psychology, law, substance abuse and mental health, and more.

Education at a Glance
This website gives comparative education data produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED). A summary of the text is given, but it is also possible to download the full statistical tables in Excel format.

National Center of Educational Statistics (NCES)
Educational statistics compiled for the U.S. Department of Education. The web site includes access to reports from recent surveys, a list of recent publications, details of collaborative projects and an FAQ list entitled "Fast Facts".

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Provides online access to most of the data in the Unesco Statistical Yearbook from 1970 onwards.

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Printed sources

There are various series of statistics dealing with educational matters and they have changed name and scope from time to time. The description therefore refers in broad terms to some important series in the Arts and Social Studies or Aberconway Libraries. Check LibrarySearch for details of location and availability.



Some key statistical series in education available in the Arts and Social Studies Library are:

  • Statistics of education bulletin
  • Education and training statistics for the United Kingdom
  • Education statistics actuals

For the early part of the 20th century official government statistics were included in the annual report of the Board of Education, later Ministry of Education, entitled Education in .

From the early 1960s statistics were published for England and Wales in Statistics of education, which developed into a set of six annual volumes: 1. Schools; 2. School leavers; 3. Further education; 4. Teachers; 5. Finance and awards; 6. Universities.

A summary for the United Kingdom as a whole is given in Education statistics for the United Kingdom (later Education and training statistics for the United Kingdom).

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Higher Education

From the early 1980s the University Grants Committee/Universities Funding Council issued a separate series of University statistics, in three parts: 1. Students and staff; 2. First destinations of graduates; 3. Finance.

From the late 1980s to the mid 1990s University management statistics and performance indicators in the UK was issued by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. Since the 1990s there have been various publications on higher education.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has issued
Higher education in the United Kingdom; HESES01 : higher education students early statistics survey; and Regional profiles of higher education.

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has issued Higher education statistics for the United Kingdom.



Statistics of education in Wales was issued from 1976 by the Welsh Office in two series, covering Schools and Further and higher education (copies available up to 1991).

The Welsh Government issues Schools in Wales : general statistics and Schools in Wales : examination performance.

During the late 1990s by the Welsh Funding Councils issued Further and higher education statistics in Wales.

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