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 Dr. Anna Vignoles

 Institute of Education
 20, Bedford Way

 Tel:020 7612 6879


Further information


     Thematic Seminar Series

Thematic Review: The use in educational research of large scale data-sets

Dr. Anna Vignoles (Institute of Education)
Dr. Kirstine Hansen (Institute of Education)
Dr. Leon Feinstein (Institute of Education)

Seminar Summary


Core objectives

The three objectives of the work on this theme are:

  1. to encourage and facilitate education researchers in their use of large scale data sets;
  2. to disseminate information on a range of data sets that are particularly suitable for large scale education research;
  3. to enable researchers who are already using these data sets to disseminate their experience of the data and identify particular innovative ways in which these data may be applied to education research.

Leadership and participants

This strand is led by Anna Vignoles and Kirstine Hansen , with the support of the RO and researchers in the Centre for the Economics of Education and the Centre for Longitudinal Studies.


In the last few decades, there has been an unprecedented increase in the availability and quality of large-scale data sets. The use of these data has the potential to radically improve the robustness and generalisability of educational research. We will host a number of workshops relating to the theme of using large-scale data sets in education research. The purpose of the workshops will be to encourage education researchers to use, and facilitate their use of, such data.

The first workshop will focus on the age 5-18 education group. The administrative data used for these age groups include the National Pupil Data Base and the Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (Key Stage 1 to 5) and from the Foundation Stage Profile collected by DfES for 5 year olds. The seminar focuses on the use that can be made of such administrative recorded when linked to survey data. In particular the seminar focuses on two very specific and relatively new and under utilised data sets, namely the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). These particular data sets have huge potential to inform research in the pre-school and primary schooling phase and in future secondary schooling as well. The second workshop will address the application of large scale data sets to research on adult learning, and will focus particularly on a number of administrative data sets available that can be applied to research into the education, training and learning of adults.





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