Linking national data from routinely collected health and education records allows us to build a more detailed picture of the challenges that many children face as they grow up. ECHILD is a unique research database that joins together these data to better understand the complex inter-relationships between children’s health and education. In this talk, Prof Katie Harron will discuss the challenges and potential for linking administrative data to help government and providers of services to better understand children’s needs, to join up services, and to quantify unmet need. Dr Ruth Blackburn will present her work using ECHILD to understand mental health presentations in secondary school children and show preliminary results examining acute hospital admissions with mental health and related presentations for children and young people in England. Dr Matt Jay will discuss emerging findings on the association between chronic health conditions identified in inpatient data and secondary school absence.