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D2I news for November: Briefings, bugs, and benchmarking

Dear Data to Insight colleagues –

Please find below another bundle of news, within which I hope you’ll find something of interest. As always, if you want to talk about this stuff, or have ideas for how we can do useful things – or how you’d like to get involved – then reply to this email and let me know what you’re thinking about.

  1. ChAT and BMt updates – Characteristics of CIN

  2. D2I apprenticeships – cohort #4 launch

  3. Early Help Data Partnership – project update

  4. Quality CSC Data – project update

  5. Upcoming workshops and presentations – next open house

  6. Credits

1. ChAT and BMt updates – Characteristics of CIN

DfE published “Characteristics of CIN 2021-22” on the last Thursday of October, and we wrote the next day announcing a quick release of the Benchmarking Tool to incorporate this data. We’ve now updated ChAT to match, and fixed a couple of small bugs in BMt, so do go ahead and get those if they’re of interest. We’ve also updated the school census demographics and recent Ofsted judgements across both tools.

Benchmarking Tool:

· (3.26) Fixed CIN characteristics B7 CIN plans data (data items were mis-labelled)

· (3.26) Updated recent Ofsted judgments

· (3.26) Updated pupil characteristics for January 2022 (which is the 2022 release, relating to the 2021-22 reporting year for other relevant data release cohorts)

· (3.25) Fixed 2019-20 England data not showing.

· (3.24) Added both North and West Northamptonshire to the Charts. Created space for 2021-22 data publications. Added Characteristics of Children in Need as per DfE publication of 27/10/2022

· (3.23) Updated Outcomes for children in need including children looked after 2020-21 as per DfE data release


· (7.01) Added additional bank holiday for the Queen's funeral

· (7.01) Small bug fixes and lookup additions

· (7.01) Altered wording on repeat ICPC and repeat S47 charts

· (7.01) instead a count of children with S47 in the 12 months preceding the latest s47 (Ofsted)"

· (7.01) Added Characteristics of CIN data as per DfE data release 27/10/2022

· (7.01) Reduced formula quantity in hidden tabs

· (7.01) Amended issue in CiN data from relating to table B7

· (7.01) Schools, pupils and their characteristics data for 21-22 added

· (7.01) Updated recent Ofsted judgements

DfE have scheduled the “Characteristics of CLA 2021-22” release for Thursday 17th November, after which we’ll be following up with yet another release to incorporate that data.

Separately, as you may be aware, the recent national census has revealed that the mid-year population estimates we’ve been using for some years appear to have diverged from the actual populations of some local areas as gathered in the updated census. This will have an impact on various things; we’ll engage with DfE colleagues to try and ensure we adapt our tools appropriately – and that we have a good way of explaining any changes to service leaders!

2. D2I apprenticeships – cohort #4 launch

Briefing session Thursday 10th November at 11am

Briefing session Tuesday 15th November at 11am

Applications are now open for the D2I children’s services data apprenticeship, with learning to begin in February next year.

This is a tailored Level 4 Data Analyst apprenticeship, working with data and questions co-developed by the D2I community and delivered by a professional apprenticeship/training organisation called Corndel. We’ve done a lot of work since the scheme launched in 2020 to refine and adjust based on learner feedback with the intention that the course keeps getting better while continuing to deliver the same core learning goals and help LA colleagues develop industry-standard data analysis skills. The course is funded in full by your organisation’s Apprenticeship Levy, meaning the only cost to your employer is the 20% of your working time which you’ll be spending learning and applying that learning to work-related challenges.

There are two briefing sessions over the next couple of weeks, with dates noted above. To attend a briefing session please email us – if you can’t make either, let us know as we are looking to do a third mop-up session later.

If you already know you want to get an application in, go ahead and follow the links on our web page above to apply, or ask us for help.

3. Early Help Data Partnership – project update

Our Early Help project is led by five regional groups but open to any LA who’d like to benefit from regular benchmarking against fellow LAs. We’re moving towards a quarterly data collection to commence in April.

We’ve pulled together a draft set of Early Help benchmarking measures, which we’re now sharing with contributor LAs – as well as regional and national groups – to run a pilot/test collection over the next couple of months. This will help us identify any major issues or gaps in the collection process and/or the measure set itself. If you want to stay in the loop as this collection develops, please email us and we'll get you on the dedicated Early Help project newsletter. The more LAs we have contributing data, the more valuable the dataset will be.

4. Quality CSC Data – project update

We've been hard at work supporting our Quality CSC Data project, running Python drop-in/code-along sessions for LA volunteers to help them develop the skills to do data validation and more besides using Python.

The team of volunteers are well on the way to coding up the validation rules we need for doing CIN Census validation via our web-based tool which we’ll hope to launch soon.

The next stage of the project is to develop out those basic skills to enable analysts to use Python for more detailed analysis and producing clever visualisations, and we’ll be looking to provide a framework for sharing any analysis methods colleagues develop into a bit of a “library” of ready-made visualisations looking at standard data sources.

There’s still time to jump in and learn some Python, so if you’d like to be involved in any of that, do email us for more information. If not, you’ll still be able to use the validation and analysis tools once your colleagues have built them…

5. Upcoming workshops and presentations – next open house

We’ll be running another D2I “open house” team meeting on 16th November at 13:00 – this is a fairly informal meeting where we bring along a couple of interesting (to us) technical or strategic challenges we’ve been working on and share our working with the team. It’s open to all LA colleagues to come along and listen in, join the conversation, or suggest things they’d like to share from their own work. If you’d like to join us for this or future meetings, just email us.

6. Credits

Credit for recent improvements to our data tools is due to colleagues in:



Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole


East Sussex




Brighton & Hove




That’s it! If you have any comments, queries or ideas that you want to share, just let me know.

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