The Department for Education is planning a multi-million pound data aggregation project in a bid to create a platform that allows parents in the UK to easily compare and analyse different schools’ performance.
According to an online contract notice, the central government department is also looking to achieve greater efficiency in its back office processes to generate savings that can be passed onto the tax payer.
The £31 million project, called the ‘School Performance Data Programme’, will bring together data that is currently held in various data files and databases into a single data warehouse, in a bid to create a ‘one-stop shop’ for the department.
The notice reads: “The Department for Education is seeking to modernise its data management arrangements and improve its enquiry and publication services by rationalising and reorganising its websites, systems, data and contracts relating to school performance data.”
“The aim is to provide parents, teachers and other educational professionals with more accessible and intuitive ways to compare schools’ performance according to their own needs.”
It claims that this will be achieved “without placing any new burdens on the schools, colleges and local authorities who provide the data”.
The contract is divided into two lots, the first of which is for services relating to the data warehouse, including data collection, import and management. The second is for services relating to the development and maintenance of the web presentation and regular publication of a range of core information, bringing together functionality currently provided by separate sites.
A business impact level 4 has been applied to the aggregated set of data to be included in the data warehouse. The government applies a Business Impact Level classification to suppliers to indicate the security level of their services.
IL0 (protected) is the lowest level of security, while IL6 (top secret) is the highest. IL2 is often the minimum requirement for government services, for example, it is the minimum requirement for providers bidding for network contracts.
The contract is set to last for seven years and those interested in participating in the tender process have until the 21st August to contact the department.
In other education news, it was recently announced that ICT will be removed from the curriculum from September.
This has been a concern for stakeholders such as the Open University, which warned earlier this year that some teachers could use the decision as an excuse to take out all teaching of computing, as it would no longer be assessed until a new curriculum is implemented – which could take more than a year.