This is the first year that Adult and Community Learning Services have used the SIR service for submitting workforce data; previously, ACL Services have used a survey to provide data for the national picture. ACL Services now join all types of learning provider across the FE sector in trying out the new FE workforce data service from the Education and Training Foundation – SIR Data Insights – which has been rebuilt from the ground up to give providers a useful data analysis tool.
We caught up with Clair Plant, ACL Central Personal Administrator (Human Resources) at Dudley Adult and Community Learning Service, to gauge her reaction to the new service:
“We heard about the new SIR Data Insights service through HOLEX, our membership body, which asked us to submit. I did the data collection and submission for our service.
We decided to use the template provided for manual data collection; it wasn’t too bad. We submitted for our 28 teaching staff.
I had a few issues with login but once I was on, I found my way round. I called the Help Desk when I was having the login problems and they were really good; I couldn’t fault them.
There are extra data fields this year and it took me a while to get my head round it. I kept getting errors back. The way errors are shown is clear and good, it’s just that sometimes one error appears in many places so it looks like you have more errors than you do.
The data upload notes are good. The upload process itself is very simple, really easy to use.
Seeing our data in the dashboards is interesting; it gives us something usable, something my manager could use. We don’t have an HR system in our department, the Council has a central HR system, so this is the first time we have seen a visual presentation of our workforce data.
My tips to other ACL Services would be to work your way through systematically. It’s quite simple using the template, once you figure it out. Once you’ve done a couple of staff entries, you get into the rhythm of what you’re doing.”