Unique Learner Numbers

As a school we have been asked by the Welsh Assembly Government to support the use of the Unique Learner Number (ULN) to provide a single identifier for every learner in Wales and the UK. The ULN is being introduced by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). It replaces the current UPN (Unique Pupil Number) which has been used by schools but which is discarded once a student leaves school. The use of a ULN  will assist the process of matching information on awards and qualifications from a range of awarding organisations (ie schools and colleges) to student records in a more accurate and timely manner.

The Unique Learner Number (ULN) is a unique 10-digit number allocated to learners which enables a learner to build a life-long record of their qualifications and achievements in education – a Personal Learning Record (PLR). Learners will be able to view their PLR online and share with learning providers, advice and guidance professionals eg careers advisors, as well as third parties, such as employers, if they wish to do so.

The ULN will support a number of functions, for example, it will assist with data aggregation for the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification. Awarding organisations will require the ULN for examination registration purposes. It is used when submitting exam entries or for certificate claims to awarding organisations.

The ULN is designed to enable appropriate data sharing. For example it will reduce administration when registering or enrolling learners onto a course, when progressing from school into post-16 learning, further education and beyond into higher education.

It is intended that the ULN and Personal Learning Record (PLR) will help learners throughout their lifelong learning, when accessing careers advice and applying for jobs.

Two distinct views of the PLR will be presented to the learner – the full record and a restricted view – to ensure they are clearly aware of what other users will see. Learners will be able to decide who can access their PLR and share their full information with learning providers, careers advisors and third parties if they wish to do so. The restricted view will be available to organisations nominated by the learner (such as potential employers) and will only display basic details and achievements the learner chooses.

The PLR will not contain any ‘contextual’ information such as socio-economic background, ethnicity or disability, nor details of exclusions or expulsions from education. Additional safeguards are in place for vulnerable learners.

Learners can choose to opt out of having data about their participation and achievement shared. Learning providers have a responsibility to give learners the option to opt out. However, the ULN is now required for many qualifications – such as those in the QCF – so opting out may restrict the administration of these qualifications.

Privacy Information for students

The information you supply will be used by the Chief Executive of Skills Funding, to issue you with a Unique Learner Number (ULN), and to create your Personal Learning Record. Further details of how your information is processed and shared can be found at www.learningrecordsservice.org.uk/privacynotice