Almost a third of local authorities have failed to meet a set of
government minimum requirements on information sharing, according
to new research.
All local authorities that are not one of the 10 Information
Sharing and Assessment (previously Identification Referral and
Tracking) trailblazers were required to meet the requirements by
the end of March 2004.
Information sharing and assessment aims to identify children at
risk from social exclusion early, refer them to services and
monitor them through improved information-sharing between
The study, carried out at the Royal Holloway, University of London,
for the Department for Education and Skills, states that barriers
to meeting the requirements included a lack of resources, and lack
of support from local authority chief executives and councillors.
Conflicting guidance by government departments on the legality of
sharing information was also cited as a problem.
The requirements include developing a common understanding of
assessment and the thresholds that have to be reached in order for
action to be triggered.
– Information Sharing and Assessment: The Progress of
‘non-trailblazer’ Local Authorities from www.dfes.gov.uk