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D2I news for October: Apprentices / Early help / In-year data / Open house / Upcoming showcase...

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. RIIA Quarterly Benchmarking Tool – new data to play with!

  2. RIIA Quarterly Collection Sheet – definitions clarified for Q2

  3. Early Help Data Partnership – draft dataset for consultation

  4. SEND ChAT pages – seeking collaborators

  5. Apprenticeships – round 4 registrations opening soon

  6. Upcoming workshops and presentations – APAN showcase, next open house

  7. Credits

1. RIIA Quarterly Benchmarking Tool – new data to play with!

RIIA Benchmarking Tool | Data to Insight

The newly standardised RIIA quarterly data collection is up and running, and we can now do in-year benchmarking against all contributing LAs nationally. The above link will direct you to our first attempt at a benchmarking tool for this data. It takes a little while (about 70 seconds) to recalculate when you first select your LA and region from the home page, but thereafter it should run reasonably smoothly – we’ll be looking at optimising this in future versions.

To compare figures only for Q1, the “Charts” and “Charts 2” tabs are good places to start. However, we’ve also been able to bring in last year’s historical data for those measures which existed last year, so you can use the other tabs to see a bit of trend history despite this being the first quarter of the standardised collection. Note that use of this unvalidated in-year data is governed by a Memorandum of Understanding between LAs and regions across the country. Do not use this data, and especially do not share it further, until you have first understood the terms of that use within your LA. The short version is that you can use this data to inform local decision making but cannot publish it.

If you’re looking to pull stat neighbour data into a regional or local dashboard, the hidden “RIIA Measures” tab is the one you want – it has a long table of all the individual LA data with rates and percentages calculated alongside, plus subsequent tables to the right showing the regional, national, stat neighbour and custom group averages for each period as well.

Any feedback on the tool, just get in touch by email and we’ll be very happy to hear it and plan in further development.

2. RIIA Quarterly Collection Sheet – definitions clarified for Q2

RIIA Quarterly Collection Sheet | Data to Insight

We’ve received a bunch of useful feedback from colleagues working through Q1 of the newly standardised RIIA quarterly measures. Some of that relates to suggestions to change one or two measures slightly, which we’ll consult on more widely, particularly with ADCS colleagues, before doing so. In the meantime, we’ve issued a fresh copy of the collection sheet with some clarifications to definitions. The major ones are to clarify the SEND figures we’re asking for, so if you were struggling with specifying those numbers for Q1, consider taking a look at the revised definitions in the new sheet.

Nothing about the data format has changed so there’s no need to switch sheets or other calculations if you’re already all set. And if your region is using a customised local template with additional measures, please continue to use that until advised otherwise by your local regional data co-ordinator.

3. Early Help Data Partnership – draft measures

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 been working through the recent focus group outputs to pull together a first draft of Early Help benchmarking measures, which we’ll be sharing with contributor LAs – as well as regional and national groups – for feedback. As part of testing this ahead of implementation in Q1 next year, we’d like to run a pilot collection between now and then. So if you’d like to be involved in that, or 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.

4. SEND ChAT page – seeking collaborators

We’re pulling together a small team of LA experts to work together on turning the new SEND person-level data specification and the forthcoming Ofsted SEND inspection dataset into a workable addition (or supplement) to ChAT. We’re currently waiting for further detail on Ofsted’s plans, after which we’ll look at what we think we can usefully present back from that in ChAT style – either as a separate report or additional ChAT pages depending on volume and complexity of data.

If you’d like to be involved, please email us

5. Apprenticeships – round 4 registrations opening soon

Apprenticeships | Data to Insight

We’re looking to kick off a new round of the D2I children’s services data apprenticeship 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.

Applications will open in the next month or so, with a deadline new Christmas for the initial application, so that we can spend January working through enrolment details. To stay in the loop, complete the “Join our mailing list” form on this page and we’ll make sure to email you when it’s time to apply. If you have questions in the meantime, email us

6. Upcoming workshops and presentations – APAN showcase, next open house

APAN showcase 7th November at 14:00

The Local Government Association (LGA) supports a group called the Advanced and Predictive Analytics Network (APAN), and they’re dedicating their November showcase to three talks all from D2I colleagues. I’ll be talking about how we think data collaboration across LAs works; Tambe Tabitha, our colleague on the data quality Python projects, will be talking about working together on Python development; and Alastair Lee from East Sussex and the NPIMG will be talking about our demand modelling work and what we learned from it.

The session is on 7th November at 14:00 and you can find out more (and register to attend) at this link.

Separately, 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

7. Credits

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





Eastern Region


East Midlands Region

Yorkshire & Humber


East Sussex






Department for Education

Richmond and Wandsworth

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

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