Data systems engineered and delivered by SDA to the education sector

1. Online Free School Meals (OFSM) and Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

OFSM and EYFSP provides a simple online form for a parent or carer to fill out then automates the entire process by which an application can be made and a decision notified. Instead of taking days or weeks it takes minutes or even seconds. The children get their free meals - and often other benefits like uniform grants - and schools and academies get their Pupil Premium. Check out the case study here.

2. Key to Success

Data portal for school and Local Authorities to securely transfer pupil level data. The system was subsequently put to work to expedite all manner of data collection and dissemination projects and programmes.

3. School Performance Tables

The national School Performance Tables. The granddaddy of them all. SDA delivered them for nearly two decades!


Our flagship "parents as consumers" school comparison website, also featuring compiled Ofsted reports and other national and local comparative data.

5. Pupil premium searchable database and downloads

Following the introduction of the Coalition Government's Pupil Premium, SDA put forward a mechanism by which schools could use the Key to Success system to quickly establish PP eligibility. It was eagerly and nationally adopted.

6. CBDS <-> ISB conversion tool

The DfE is introducing the Information Standards Board Open Education Standard (ISB) to underpin its new data interoperability mechanism called Data Exchange. As leading members of the A4L community SDA are designing a convertor mechanism to better enable its deployment.


SCROLL® is SDA's data processing, analysis and presentation package. Collect and collate your data. Analyse it, report on it. Put your data to work.

8. Forms S1-S4

Yes, back in the day SDA converted Ofsted's paper-based Inspection Framework into an efficient, centralised IT system...

9. SEF/pilot for SEF

...On the back of which we also developed their original self-evaluation tool.

10. National Pupil Database prototypes for better data access

When the Coalition came to power School Minister Nick Gibb said he wanted an "Amazon for Education" (I was there when he said it, one of the Officials charged to deliver it). SDA were contracted to provide the initial prototypes, with great success. The main event, called SPDP - not contracted to SDA - ended in dismal failure.

11. Online Pupil Database (OPD)

Veterans of School data, this is SDA's own on-line school MIS.

12. Census XSD validation checker

Something the DfE missed out - this parses census data in milliseconds, providing details of errors and comments for correction, making the upload error- and pain-free.

13. Statistical Databank including secure transfer system

Data management and statistical package supplied to LAs for school profiling, comparison and benchmarking within the Authority.

14. School Profiles, based on Statistical Databank data

"Ready Reckoner" PDF output from the Statistical Databank for school benchmarking.

15. AComp

SDA produced the assessment framework specification files for software suppliers developing management information systems (MIS).

16. One to one tuition

SDA delivered the online portal to enable schools to record their One to One Tuition management information for their own management of the scheme and for DfE summary management information.

17. Single level tests

SDA designed and delivered the central management information system for the QCA's Single Level Test (mathematics, English reading and English writing) pilot.

18. Making Good Progress

Ditto Making Good Progress, this time for the DfE.

19. Collection of P Scale data
SDA designed the collection and validation system by which the DfE collected schools' performance attainment data (P scales) and performance descriptors for pupils aged 5 to 16 with special educational needs
20. Collection of Teacher Assessment (including XML Schema construction)

SDA designed a system by which Teacher Assessment data could be abstracted from Census, validated (against a schema developed and implemented by SDA), aggregated and reported to QCA in real time.

21. iLSYPE: longitudinal study

SDA designed the interactive wrapper by which researchers could securely interrogate the Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England (LSYPE) dataset.

22. PICSI/PANDA (for Ofsted)

Pre-Inspection Contextual School Indicators/Performance and Assessment tables. The forerunners to the School Performance Tables. SDA made them.

23. Research and Statistics Gateway

Designed and administered by SDA, this was the DfE's portal to all their research and statistical data, statistical first releases and other statistical information. As both an almanac and search engine it was designed to ensure that the most relevant and timely information was always delivered first.