Chris West is Project Manager – Research. Workforce Intelligence at the Education and Training Foundation.

SIR Data Insights is the new free workforce data system for the whole of the further education and training sector.  It builds on the longstanding Staff Individual Record system but SIR Data Insights has a number of significant improvements.   It is now open to all organisations, not just colleges, to submit their data directly.  SIR Data Insights provides workforce analysis tools including benchmarking.  The revised timetable allows that benchmarking to occur much closer to the submission of data.  As a result the new system will be a significant support for organisations in understanding their workforce needs and challenges.

Friday July 1st marks the opening of the data collection period for 2015-2016. www.sirdatacollection.org.uk

SIR has been in existence for 23 years, it has been focused on informing policy at a national level. Significant trends in staff numbers, age profiles and gender pay differences have been highlighted nationally and this continues to be an important purpose of SIR.  However, until now there has been limited scope for learning providers to use SIR for their own planning to recruit and develop their workforce to meet the needs of their communities and programmes.  Even so a third of all colleges took part in 2014-2015.

In response to feedback, SIR Data Insights has been developed to provide instant online analysis, at the time of submission, of the workforce data of an individual further education college, independent training or adult and community learning provider. Once sufficient data have been collected across providers, and within weeks, SIR Data Insights provides benchmarks for key information sets by provider type and size.

An earlier data collection period July-Aug has been set to enable analysis of 2015-16 data to be used for planning purposes early in 2016-17. For the first time providers in the Independent Training Provider and Third Sectors can submit their data directly, at contract level, as distinct from through surveys. HR software providers have modified their systems to export data in the SIR Data Insights format and we provide tools to support smaller providers or those without systems. For support in submitting data, providers should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0345 833 9040

We are working with a number of organisations to progressively refine our reporting to reflect the needs of specific types of provider. We hope that learning providers will value these new key features of SIR Data Insights and the gains from providing data to the system in exchange for instant analysis and bench-marking. 

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Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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