As announced in June 2011 the Department for Education is asking local authorities to continue to make a voluntary return of the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care (NMDS-SC) in respect of the children’s social services workforce between 12 September and 7 October 2011. The SSDS001 collection for the children’s workforce will no longer be required.

In response to the findings of the Munro review, the Government is working with local partners to ensure performance data is used more intelligently. We will be encouraging interrogation locally to understand what lies behind it and being mindful of Professor Munro’s caution that data should not be seen as an unambiguous measure of good or bad practice.

While further work will aim to ensure any final data requirements meet the needs of the sector. We will be working with partners such as CWDC to support local authorities with a full or partial NMDS-SC return. It is essential that the right data is collected to ensure it reflects a reliable picture of what is happening on a local and national level.

A report will be produced in March 2012 that will analyse NMDS-SC data received from local authorities from their children’s social services in 2011/12. The report will cover the size and structure of children’s social services and the associated workforce. In line with Professor Munro’s final report to the Government, key areas of analysis will include vacancy and turnover rates, workforce demographics, pay rates, nationality, levels of qualifications, use of agency staff with a key section dedicated to Social Workers.

We have identified a number of fields within the NMDS-SC that we believe would support the direction of data collection in the future and together would build a picture to support workforce planning this year. The report will be based on these data items.

Organisational level

Sector (Establishment Type)
Main Service
Total Staff
Total Staff by Job Role and Employment Status
Number of vacancies (on day of completion) by job role
Number of leavers (in previous 12 months) by job role

Worker variables

Worker identifier
Main Job Role
Sickness (Days off sick in previous 12 months)

Additional guidance and information about completing NMDS-SC is available through the National Minimum Data Set website. Skills for Care are running workshops for local authorities over the summer to support the collection of NMDS-SC; please contact them for more information.

Contact details

National Minimum Data Set for Social Care
Telephone: 0845 873 0129
Email: www.nmds-sc-online.org.uk/contactus/
Website: www.nmds-sc-online.org.uk/content/view.aspx?id=Local%20Authorities