Councils fail to meet data-sharing targets

    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
    agencies.

    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

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