Sexual orientation(SEXORT)

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Sexual orientation
Short Name
Parent Entity
Applicable To
England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

Compulsory for all Students at providers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales except where (Leaver.ENGENDDATE - Engagement.ENGSTARTDATE <= 14 days and RSNENGEND = 03, 05, 11, 12).

Optional for all Students at providers in Scotland.

This field records the sexual orientation of the student, on the basis of their own self-assessment.

Continuing students should be asked this question every year, and the data must be updated throughout a student's Engagement where applicable.

The data is recorded on the basis of the student’s own self-assessment.

The valid entries have been aligned with the census in each country.

Suggested question: ‘Which of the following best describes your sexual orientation?’

98 Prefer not to say: this code should be used when the student does not wish to declare this information.

99 Not available: this code should be used when the provider is unable to obtain the data in order to submit it to HESA. Note that this option should not be presented to students explicitly.

Reason Required
To monitor equal opportunities issues in the higher education sector and support higher education providers (HEPs) in meeting their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 through a deeper understanding of the barriers and outcomes of students from a wide range of groups protected by the Act.
Field Length
Quality RulesQuality Rules to follow
Minimum Occurrence
Maximum Occurrence
Primary Key?
Valid Values
CodeCoding Frame Label
11Gay or lesbian
12Heterosexual or straight
19Other sexual orientation
98Prefer not to say
99Not available
Revision History
Coding Manual VersionElement VersionNotes and suggested question updated in line with the conclusions of the personal characteristics consultation. updated to match legacy Student and Student Alternative return - change to exclude 2 week SLC rule in England. Wales and Northern Ireland now also excluding 2 week SLC rule. updated to exclude 2 week SLC rule in England. Wales and Northern Ireland excluding 2 week SLC rule and where RSNENGEND = 03, 05, 11, 12.