The Find and compare schools in England service puts small files (known as ‘cookies’) onto your computer to collect information about how you browse the site.

Our cookies aren’t used to identify you personally.

You’ll normally see a message on the site before we store a cookie on your computer.

Find out more about how to manage cookies.

Find out how cookies are used by the main GOV.UK website

How cookies are used on this service

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use GOV.UK. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements. We also send cross-domain tracking information to GOV.UK to help us understand and monitor performance data across multiple public services.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit on this service
  • how long you spend on each page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you’re visiting the site

We don’t collect or store your personal information (eg your name or address) so this information can’t be used to identify who you are.

We don’t allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

Universal Analytics

Name Purpose Expires
_ga This helps us count how many people visit GOV.UK by tracking if you’ve visited before 2 years
_gat Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made 10 minutes

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Content experiments

Google Analytics and Optimize content testing. We sometimes test slightly different versions of our content to find out which version users find easier to use. The following cookies are needed to run these tests. All data is anonymised.

Name Purpose Expires
__utmx Shows inclusion in test 18 months
__utmxx Determines test expiry 18 months
_gaexp Google Optimize test inclusion and expiry Usually 90 days but can vary depending on test

Our introductory message

You may see a pop-up welcome message when you first visit this service. We’ll store a cookie so that your computer knows you’ve seen it and knows not to show it again.

Name Purpose Expires
seen_cookie_message Saves a message to let us know that you’ve seen our cookie message 1 month

Compare school and college performance

You are able to select schools and colleges to compare their performance. We store your choices in a cookie so that you don't need to select them again during your visit.

Name Purpose Expires
comparisonitemids Stores your selection of schools to compare When you close your browser
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