“‘Do what you can’ would be my advice to other HR teams for this year’s submission to the SIR Data Insights service,” says Helen Williams, Personnel and Staff Development Officer at Strode College.
“You just need to provide the data you have available – you can enter zero or unknown for fields where you haven’t got the data. Once you get into the flow, it’s not difficult to do. The system is better than it was and you can see the data you’ve entered much more quickly.”
An Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ college, Strode is based near Glastonbury in Somerset with a long history going back to 1899. Now serving 1,600 16-18 year olds and over 2,500 adult learners each year, the College has 400 staff and has always submitted data to the Staff Individualised Record (SIR) system for national statistics on the sector.
Helen Williams explains, “We have always felt it is the right thing to do to contribute to national data. We are very familiar with SIR but this is a new service and the data collection is more detailed. We have entered what we can and we will look at collecting the other fields for next year’s submission.
It was easier to find our way round the new system. Everything is in front of you, you can see all the options on the screen. When you start to upload the data, you can see the stages on screen, which is helpful. Then you can see reports straightaway.
We had an issue with our UKPRN number and we had to ring the Help Desk. The person there, Toby, was very helpful. The information on the website is good as well.
We have 400 staff and it’s taken about one week alongside other work. It’s a quiet time of year so it’s a good time to do it.”
We conclude our conversation by talking about the use of the data. One of the main differences about the new service is that data is available for providers to use. This presents the issue of how to communicate this opportunity to Principals. Helen suggests that it would be good for the SIR Data Insights team to let Principals know that they can access data if it has been submitted and ask them to request a login. We agree to take that forward. Thank you Helen!