Trio of Welsh councils sign IT deal to make it easier to help vulnerable children and families sooner

Three local authorities in Wales have invested in software that will help them identify and address the issues affecting the lives of vulnerable children and families sooner.

Gwynedd Council, Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) County Borough Council and Wrexham County Borough Council have chosen Capita’s One Analytics to bring together information from their different teams working with families into a single dashboard.

The dashboard will ensure authorised staff can get a complete picture of the issues affecting a child or their family. This will help staff to make the right decisions, at the right time, about what help families need.

Owen Owens, senior manager of the Education Resources Service at Gwynedd Council said: “One Analytics will allow us to scrutinise data much more easily to explore the relationship between school exclusions and performance, for example. It will allow us to uncover connections between different pieces of information much faster.

“This will help us to get to the heart of the challenges local families and communities are experiencing so we can address them sooner.”

Esther Thomas, Temporary Director of Education and Lifelong Learning, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council added: “There might be many different teams already recording information on the challenges vulnerable children and their families are experiencing, but bringing this data together and joining the dots can be a complicated and time-consuming task.

“Using the One Analytics package, the information from different places is pulled together and displayed simply, in a very visual way. This means that staff with the appropriate authorisation can drill down into details of school attendance, attainment and exclusions to identify the factors that put young people at higher risk of becoming NEET, for example. Steps can then be taken while children are still in education to prevent disengagement.”

One Analytics helps local authority staff to see how well children entitled to free school meals are performing compared with their peers, by pinpointing local areas of deprivation to target support for families where it is needed most.

Dafydd Ifans, Acting Head of Education at Wrexham County Borough Council concluded: “Being able to see a clear picture of the most vulnerable children, and the issues affecting them, means we can work effectively with schools and other teams to tackle the difficulties faced by families in high risk groups.”

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