Catalogue description Department for Education and Employment: Analytical Services: Register of Educational Establishments: Dataset

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Details of NV 2
Reference: NV 2
Title: Department for Education and Employment: Analytical Services: Register of Educational Establishments: Dataset

The Register of Educational Establishments (REE) and EduBase datasets contain records on over 53,000 schools in England (predominately), the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, plus a small number of schools in overseas countries. The schools include nursery schools, playgroups, pre-schools, primary, middle and secondary schools (LEA-maintained and independent), sixth form colleges, special schools and pupil referral units. Basic information is provided on each school: e.g. name of the school; address and contact details; the school type; school's denomination; numbers, sex and ages of pupils; types of special needs catered for; head teacher or other contact, etc. The database includes schools' establishment numbers, which together with schools' LEA numbers can provide a key to identifying schools in the Schools' Census datasets.

The data in this dataset series can be divided into four main categories:

  • Data on educational bodies.
  • Data on Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) and Local Enterprise Companies (LECs).
  • Data on the database itself and modifications to the database.
  • Data relating to pro forma reports.

Where the REE held records of early years, primary, secondary, independent and further education establishments, the EduBase system also held details on higher education establishments.

The copy of EduBase holds no data on its own modifications, or data relating to reports.

The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.

Date: 1995-2006

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 95.

Application Software: For the REE database, Microsoft Access 97. EduBase was run as a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 relational database with multiple tables, stored procedures, functions, jobs, and user defined data types. The extracts were converted to CSV format and saved to the server by programs written in C#.NET, using SQL stored procedures to retrieve the data (formatted as XML) from the database.

User Interface:(1) a public internet site providing the ability for interested parties to query the data and retrieve limited numbers of records. (2) A read-only interface available to users of the PRISM DfES Intranet via the DfES internal network. (3) A private extranet allowing access for the Poulter Partners help desk operators and authenticated members of the DfES. The extranet allowed data changes to be proposed, verified and applied to the database and provided management reports in relation to database activity and service levels.

Logical structure and schema: The copy of the REE database transferred to NDAD in December 2000 consisted of 53 tables linked in one-to-many relationships. The copy of the EduBase database transferred to NDAD in 2006 was accessioned as a single table, although the original database is likely to have been structured as several tables.

Details of how the data was originally captured and validated are not available.

Dynamic or closed: The copy of the REE database transferred to NDAD in December 2000 exhibits both closed and dynamic features. The main REE table could be said to be closed, in the sense that any changes to the data in the table were recorded in the separate history table. Other elements of the database were dynamic, in that there was no formal structure to preserve data altered or erased. The EduBase database transferred in 2006 was a dynamic system, in the sense that most of the data was frequently updated.

Related material:

School Census datasets are in ED 267

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Former reference in The National Archives: CRDA/47
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Department for Education and Employment, 1995-2001

Department for Education and Skills, 2001-2007

Physical description: 3 datasets and documentation
Restrictions on use: Some of the tables and fields in the datasets in this series are subject to access restrictions. Crown Copyright; copies may be made for private study and research purposes only.
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

In 2010 the United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets

Custodial history: Originally transferred from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). The United Kingdom National Digital Archive of Datasets then held the dataset until 2010 when it was transferred to The National Archives (TNA).
Selection and destruction information: Dataset selected under acquisition policy: Formulation and delivery of social policies and Economic, social and demographic condition of the UK.
Accruals: Further accruals may occur.
Unpublished finding aids:

Extent of documentation: 5 documents, Dates of creation of documentation: 2001-2006

Administrative / biographical background:

The Register of Educational Establishments (REE) database was created by the former Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) to hold basic information about schools and similar educational bodies, primarily in England. It was succeeded by EduBase in 2002. Both databases had been maintained for the DfEE and its successor, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), by external contractors. From 1996 until 2002 the contractor was the Schools Register, a division of Dudley Jenkins List Broking Ltd. The Schools Register conducts its own surveys of schools, and supplies data on schools for direct marketing purposes. In 2002 the contract was awarded to PoulterNet, a subsidiary of Poulter Partners, an advertising, design, direct marketing, brand development and publicity company. PoulterNet developed EduBase.

The original REE is thought to have been established in 1996, replacing an earlier system called the Index of Educational Establishments. This played a similar role to the REE database, and was maintained in-house by the DfEE. Nothing further is known about the predecessor system, and no data from it is thought to have survived.

Both the REE database and EduBase were made available to Department staff via their intranet, PRISM. The databases were used for a variety of administrative and statistical purposes, including:

  • Generating mailings to schools.
  • As a sampling frame, i.e. to determine which schools should be included in sample surveys and consultations carried out by the Department.
  • Ensuring that the Department has the correct contextual data for the production of performance tables.
  • Checking that schools have returned their annual Schools' Census returns.
  • Identifying data on an individual school or groups of schools.

In 2002 the DfES planned to provide the public with access via the Internet to a limited range of data in the database. The contractor maintaining the database has had the right to use the data for certain commercial purposes, and responds to requests for data from schools, local education authorities (LEAs), businesses and the general public.

With the 2006 transfer of EduBase, the 'data owner' arrangement was confirmed; and the proposal to provide a version of the database online had by this time become a reality with the creation of the EduBase website at

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