What is PLUG?

PLUG stands for the PLASC/NPD Users’ Group. PLUG aims to promote and support the use of the National Pupil Database (NPD) in educational research. The NPD matches information collected through the Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (PLASC) to other data sources such as Key Stage attainment.


The main activity of the group is running a series of workshops to provide a forum through which to meet and exchange ideas.

We hope to hold the next workshop in Spring/Summer 2015 in London. Please join our email list to receive  email updates.

We also host a wiki, which provides guidance on the NPD data.


PLUG is funded by the Department for Education (DfE), the owners and managers of the data. Previously PLUG was jointly funded by the DfE and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


PLUG is currently run by Rebecca Allen, Reader in Economics of Education at the Institute of Education, and George Leckie, Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics at the Centre for Multilevel Modelling. The group was set up and previously run by Simon Burgess, Director of the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) and  Harvey Goldstein, Professor of Social Statistics at the Centre for Multilevel Modelling.

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