The Department for Education (DfE) has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), in collaboration with University College London, Durham University, University of Bristol and SQW, to deliver the Extension to the longitudinal Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) (2021-2029). The SEED extension study aims to better understand how children’s environment and experiences in the early years impact on their medium to long-term outcomes and development. The next wave of data collection will take place in between November 2021 and July 2023. This wave will include face-to-face questionnaires for parents/carers and children as well as a paper questionnaire for the children’s class teachers.

Previously, the Department for Education (DfE) had commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), working with the University of Oxford, Frontier Economics and Action for Children to conduct the longitudinal Study of Early Education and Development (SEED) (2013-2021).

What is the legal basis of processing this data?

For the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Department for Education is the Data Controller for this study. This means that it is responsible for deciding the purpose and legal basis for processing data from this study. NatCen is the Data Processor. University College London, Durham University, University of Bristol and SQW are acting as sub-processors.

The legal basis for processing data from this study is ‘public task’.

How your personal data will be used

Personal data collected as part of this study will only be used for research purposes and processed in accordance with the GDPR. We take great care to protect the privacy of the information people give us. Your personal data will only be shared with certain members of the NatCen research team and authorised individuals at the DfE.

Data collected through the study will be analysed by the research teams at the Department for Education, NatCen, University College London, Durham University, University of Bristol and SQW so they can understand the relationship between early education experience and the home learning environment on educational attainment and child development at age 10-11. Responses will be treated in strictest confidence, with the results collected being anonymised and used for statistical purposes only. Results will not be presented in a form which reveals your identity.

How your personal data will be stored


Information collected during the study will be stored securely with names and addresses of participants removed and held separately. Names and contact details will be kept for the purpose of interviewing participants in future waves of this study or linking the survey data with administrative data, as long as appropriate consents were given by the research participants. All personal data will be securely destroyed at the end of the study (on or before 31st December 2031) and anonymised data will be archived with the UK Data Service ( or with the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service (SRS).

Withdrawing from the survey

You may withdraw from taking part in the study at any time, in which case no further information will be collected from you. Where possible, we will also remove from our records any identifying information which has not yet been anonymised.

If you wish to withdraw from the study, please contact NatCen by telephone on 0800 652 0157 or via

Your data protection rights

Under GDPR, you have the right:

  • to ask DfE for access to information about you that they hold
  • to have your personal data rectified, if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • to request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing
  • to restrict processing of your personal data (i.e. permitting its storage but no further processing) by DfE
  • to object to direct marketing (including profiling) and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics
  • not to be subject to decisions based purely on automated processing where it produces a legal or similarly significant effect on you

Who to contact with a query or a complaint

If you would like to know more about the study please contact the NatCen research team via or the Department for Education (quoting the Study of Early Education and Development) via

If you have any questions about data protection, please contact the Department for Education’s Data Protection Officer:

Emma Wharram
Department for Education
2 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6EH

You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at