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STHC Process - Client Input Data

By way of reassurance from the outset, all the datasets we require in order to undertake our STHC spatial analysis process are "standard issue" within UK local authorities and so should be readily obtainable. However if they have not worked with this data before, clients may need to establish the internal supply process with the various data holders (in the knowledge that it will be that much easier next year as a result of their efforts!). We can liaise directly with various data holders if it makes things any easier.

The datasets we require are as follows:-

Note: A comprehensive list of what data fields we require, as well as the reasons why we ask for them and who the likely holders of the data within the authority will be, is contained in STHC Guide Document 2: Client Input Data, available from our download section.

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School Census (Pupil Mode of Travel) Data

The following data fields are required at pupil level:-

  • Unique ID
  • LEA Code
  • Home Postcode
  • Actual School DE Establishment Number
  • Mode of Travel
  • National Curriculum Year
  • Gender
  • Free School Meal Entitlement
  • Ethnicity Code

We appreciate the data protection sensitivities associated with pupil-level school census data. If you still have concerns after reading our guidance document then please contact us to discuss them.

Note: Whilst the removal of "Usual Pupil Mode Of Travel" field from the National School Census by the DfE is not ideal, there is no technical reason why the data cannot still be collected by the school and compiled by the LEA information team as usual. Contact us if you have any concerns.

School Gazetteer Data

The following fields are required at school-level for each school in the authority that is to be analysed:-

  • School Name
  • LEA Code
  • DFE Establishment Number
  • School Type (DfE Census School Type Code and/or LEA-Specific School Type)
  • School Phase of Education (PoE)
  • National Curriculum Year (NCY) Range (Minimum (NCY) Year Group and Maximum (NCY) Year Group)
  • Ordnance Survey Grid Reference (Easting & Northing in separate fields)
  • School Postal Address
  • School Telephone Number
  • School Email Address
  • School Website Address
  • Intake Type
  • Free School Meals Taken
  • Number of Full Time Equivalent Staff
  • LEA-specific Unique School ID (if routinely used)

We appreciate that the advent of academies seriously "muddies the waters" of data collection as academies send their school census returns directly to the DfE rather than via their LEA information team. If "whole-LEA" analysis is to be undertaken - and it detracts from the results if it isn't - it is essential that data sharing agreements are put in place with academies so that pupil mode of travel data can be collected by the LEA information team and "whole-LEA" data supplied to us. We do not have the resources to collect and compile data from individual schools at our end.


In particular ensure that for any schools that have been merged & relocated, or are new builds, that the grid references have been updated accordingly. Whilst we make every effort to look out for potential sources of errors and inaccuracies as we are going along, we are not responsible for the accuracy of any of the grid references supplied to us. We can quality check your data before processing and carry out any remedial corrections of the grid references as an Additional Service if required.

Digital Mapping & Aerial Photography Data

Given that we are undertaking spatial analysis, we inevitably require Ordnance Survey digital datasets in order to do it. The good news for clients though is that as we are now part of the OS Multi-Client Contractors Scheme, which means that they automatically supply us directly with national coverage of all the datasets we need. This means that we no longer need each local authority client to supply us with their OS data before we can begin our analysis.

Note: we still need to sign an Ordnance National Mapping Agreement Contractors Licence with each authority, even if they have not physically supplied the data to us. However the good news here is that we only have to do it the first time we work with an authority, and that it is a standard form that should be readily available from your Authority Liaison Officer (ALO). They are the person responsible for managing the digital map data supplied under the NMA, and incidentally a very useful person to know anyway if you are working with spatial data. This can be emailed to us to sign and email back to you (or post) by return so this requirement needn’t delay any other aspect of the processing.

If you are commissioning School Packs we will require your authority’s digital aerial photography coverage, copyright permitting, along with any specific copyright message (this will usually be covered by a separate licensing agreement with a supplier that is not Ordnance Survey). We can deal with your authority GIS Team directly to sort this out if required.