When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the Internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast.

You can manage these small files yourself and learn more about them at Direct Gov.

Our use of cookies

The list below shows all of the cookies that are set by education.gov.uk and the third-party services we use. If you have any queries about these cookies or would like more information about them, please get in touch. 

Please note: this list is not yet complete and will be updated as further information is gathered. 


Name Typical Content Expires
X-Mapping-gbooldlg 32-character string. Used to send the same user's request to the same server where possible for the duration of their session. When you close your browser
style contrast' or 'null'. Used to store the user's preference for increased contrast display 1 Year
ASP.NET_SessionId 24-character string. Contains the user's session ID

When you close your browser

Cookies for measuring use of service

By understanding how people use our site, we can improve the information provided. This also ensures that the service is available when you want it and fast. We use a number of different methods of gathering this data, including services provided by the following companies.

Google analytics

Name Typical Content Expires
__utma Randomly generated number 2 years
__utmb Randomly generated number 30 minutes
__utmc Randomly generated number When you close your browser
__utmz Randomly generated number and information of how the site was reached (e.g. direct or via a link, using a search engine) 2 months


Name Typical Content Expires
dfesPCSADBID Randomly generated number 1 year
dfesPCSAuvt Which DfE page is visited and when  1 year
usy46gabsosd Which DfE page is visited during the visit When you close your browser