What is information sharing?

Information sharing is part of the Opportunities for All policy agenda, where partners are sharing key data on young people aged 16-24. It helps to create joined up information sets between colleges, local authorities, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Scottish Funding Council, Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) and Skills Development Scotland. 

Why are we doing it?

This information gives us a better understanding of the intended and actual destination of young people after they leave school. It enables front line staff to be better placed to provide support for young people who are not in training, learning or work and are at risk of disengagement. Information sharing is about ensuring young people reach their full potential.

Why is information sharing important for schools and our young people?

It is crucial that the right support for our school pupils and leavers is in place. Effective information sharing between partners allows us to quickly identify and engage with a young person who has not secured a positive destination after school, has failed to complete a course of learning/training or has not started working.

It is about helping and supporting them to make a positive transition from school to the wider world of education, training and employment. Information sharing gives partners the confidence that each young person has received the most appropriate support for them.

Who’s involved?

Colleges, local authorities, Department for Work and Pensions, Scottish Funding Council, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and Skills Development Scotland are all partners in the Post-16 information sharing programme.

Some bodies simply supply data to the data hub (DWP and SAAS) whilst the other partners (local authorities, colleges, Scottish Funding Council and SDS) both input and receive data in order to support partners ambitions in delivering the Scottish Government's post-16 policies for young people.

Will this information be used for reporting purposes?

Yes. Some of this information will be use to report on the new Opportunities for All Participation Measure being developed by Scottish Government.

Whilst Scottish Government is mainly focusing on national measures, there is also the facility to report regionally and locally which is important for local authorities, colleges and SDS. 

What is the Participation Measure?

This is a new measure being developed by the Scottish Government to support the overall ambitions within Opportunities for All - helping young people access the support, learning and training they need as they move towards employment. 

Find out more about the Participation Measure.

Who manages the information?

The information is managed and hosted by Skills Development Scotland on behalf of the Opportunities for All partners.

Is information sharing compulsory?

The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013 makes post-16 information sharing with Skills Development Scotland a legal requirement for local authorities and other public bodies highlighted in the legislation.

The subordinate legislation came into force on 1 May 2014. It names the partner organisations that are legally required to share data (namely colleges, local authorities, Scottish Funding Council, Student Awards Agency Scotland and Skills Development Scotland). It also specifies the types of data to be shared.

Scottish Government have published statutory guidance (August 2014), making the requirements of the subordinate legislation more explicit for information sharing partners. This includes setting out in detail the exact items of data to be shared. This statutory guidance also updates and replaces the existing Scottish Government Post 16 Transitions Data Practice Framework.

Where can I find out more?

Contact Taylor Stewart for more information.

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