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Introduction to ECHILD: Linked data from health, education and childrens social care


Course Information


This short course is designed to give participants a practical introduction to ECHILD (Educational and Child Health Insights from Linked Data). ECHILD is a collection of linked, longitudinal administrative datasets covering health, education and children’s social care. More information about the data can be found in the ECHILD User Guide. The course is aimed at both analysts intending to use ECHILD and researchers who want to understand more about how the data can be used for policy relevant research. This course includes a mixture of lectures and practical sessions that will enable participants to put theory into practice.  

Day 1 will provide information on the strengths and limitations of the different component datasets of ECHILD, through case studies of the National Pupil Database, Hospital Episode Statistics, Maternity Services Data, Mental Health Services Data, and the Community Services Dataset. Interactive lectures / tutorials will teach participants how to design a research study to answer a specific research question in ECHILD, focusing on the power and complexity of working with linked datasets. We will also discuss how to extract ECHILD data from SQL tables on the ONS Secure Research Service platform. 

Day 2 will include a series of practical sessions allowing participants to progress through an exemplar research study using ECHILD, covering phenotyping, developing cohorts, and analysing ECHILD cohort data.  

The course covers: 

  • Overview of the component datasets of ECHILD 
  • Accessing the data on the ONS SRS 
  • Strengths and limitations of ECHILD 
  • Development of electronic cohorts in ECHILD
  • Phenotyping in ECHILD 
  • Analysing ECHILD data

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand what data are available in ECHILD 
  • Know how to access ECHILD data
  • Understand the strengths and limitations of ECHILD
  • Know how to developing electronic cohorts in ECHILD  

The course is aimed at analysts and researchers who would like to know more about ECHILD and how ECHILD could be used in their own research, or who would like to know how it is currently being used to generate policy-relevant research. 

Participants should have a basic understanding of epidemiological research methods and statistical analysis. They should be comfortable in using R or Stata. Experience using administrative data is not required but would be an advantage. 

Participants should bring their own laptop and should have access to Stata or R for the practical sessions. 

PLEASE NOTE THIS COURSE IS TAKING PLACE IN PERSON AT UCL, LONDON - Bentham House, Room 221, 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London


Course Code


Course Leader

Dr Ruth Blackburn, Prof Katie Harron, Dr Matt Jay, Dr Farzan Ramzan, Dr Ania Zylbersztejn, Dr Vincen
StartEndPlaces LeftCourse Fee 
25/03/202426/03/20240[Read More]

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