The CBDS provides a standard for data used in software systems for management information in schools, LAs, other children's institutions, the Department and other government bodies.

The Department has successfully encouraged software suppliers to use the same definitions so that data can be transferred between different systems in different institutions (for example, when a learner moves from primary to secondary school).

The CBDS is a set of data definitions and code sets; a data model for the CBDS does not exist. The CBDS does not indicate what information ought to be held in any particular school's management information system (MIS) as it is a complete set representing the needs of many different agencies.

The CBDS should be used with some caution. The Department's Information Standards Board (ISB) has given the CBDS an "inherited" status. This means the CBDS data definitions and code sets can be used for new systems and data collection exercises unless it has been superseded by an ISB standard. The ISB is currently working on an ESCS business architecture data model – it is envisaged the CBDS will be subsumed into this data model and any new ESCS metadata repositories.

For more information, you can download the CBDS update presentation and the document, What is the CBDS?, from this page.