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Childhood health and education

While a child's health may influence their educational outcomes, what happens in schools is likely to have an effect on health management. Furthermore, other factors such as families independently affect both education and health outcomes.

Unpicking and quantifying the importance of these different effects is a challenge that requires a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to research.

We are working with Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) at Swansea University for novel data linkages and the Centre for Multilevel Modelling at Bristol University for methodological innovations to help better understand these processes.

Diabetes and educational outcomes

Type 1 diabetes (also known as child-onset diabetes) is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting children in the UK. While the medical management of diabetes is well understood, the implications in schools for attendance, attainment and behaviour are rarely researched due to a lack of data.

This project seeks to link health and education datasets to quantify the associations between trajectories of type 1 diabetes related health and trajectories of educational outcomes. This project is funded by the Medical Research Council.

Data processing

This project involves linkage of a number of datasets. Though the datasets created use non-identifiable data, the process of linkage does require the sharing of identifiers with a trusted third party, NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) in order to facilitate links across the different datasets.

We have approval for the flows of confidential patient information for linkage of health datasets from the Confidentiality Advisory Group, part of the Health Research Authority and the Research Ethics Committee. These health datasets are the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) held by NHS Digital and the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) held by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The school education data for pupils from Wales is already provided by Welsh Government routinely into SAIL where is it is available in pseudonymised format for linkage to the new datasets. Additional educational data will also be released from the Higher Educational Statistics Agency (HESA) dataset which contains information on all students in UK Higher Education.

Fair processing documentation

For those individuals who may be subjects in these datasets, information on how to opt-out and who to contact with queries is provided on the website of each data provider:

We have project specific fair processing documentation which covers all datasets used for the project.

We also provide dataset specific versions for posting on the data provider’s websites:

Lead researcher

Dr Robert French

Dr Robert French

Research Fellow

Email:
frenchr3@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4000

Academic staff

Professor John Gregory

Professor John Gregory

Clinical Professor

Email:
gregoryjw@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 29207 43400
Professor Colin Dayan

Professor Colin Dayan

Clinical Professor

Email:
dayancm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2074 2182