Awarded to Social Finance Ltd

Start date: Thursday 24 September 2020
Value: £50,000
Company size: SME
Hackney Council

Opportunities and challenges around joining-up education and childrens’ social care data

17 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 4 large

18 Completed applications

16 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Saturday 13 June 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 19 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Saturday 27 June 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
A successful project will provide tangible examples of the insights that might be available, a high-level business case for the costs and benefits of a different operating model, the immediate steps necessary to achieve this and the types of challenges that need to be explored through further work.
Latest start date
Monday 20 July 2020
Expected contract length
2 years
Organisation the work is for
Hackney Council
Budget range
We expect to invest £30-50,000 in the project but this can vary if we identify project outputs that would deliver tangible value as we ‘learn through doing’ (eg a specific piece of business intelligence or data science that is co-produced). Therefore, we are procuring to a potential value of £80,000 + VAT.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Hackney Council is using data to design and deliver excellent services for our residents. As part of this we are exploring ways we can use data as effectively as possible across education and social care teams to both understand and respond to the needs of children and young people but also to 'manage' our services - tracking trends and performance so that managers can quickly identify, understand and respond to pressures and challenges.

Children’s social care has a track-record of innovation with data. We worked with Xantura to explore how to use data from multiple sources to inform more rounded decisions about early intervention and adopted a ‘contextual safeguarding’ practice model to consider the peer group, school and neighbourhood contexts for safeguarding.

We want to understand the available opportunities if our data was easier to join-up and the insight teams could work more closely together; the challenges associated with achieving this (capacity, skills, technology, culture) and the potential costs of greater collaboration (eg. technical, loss of specialist expertise). A recent Ofsted inspection of children’s social care found its use of data and insight to have improved, but we know that more work is needed.
Problem to be solved
Hackney Learning Trust (the Council’s education department) and children’s social care department have separate insight teams responsible for the production of MI and statutory returns. These glean data from separate systems (eg. Synergy and Mosaic) and present these through spreadsheets, reports and Tableau (HLT) or Qlik, the council’s business visualisation tool.
The ICT team has supported children’s social care through the production of operational dashboards to support resource planning and operational decision making. In response to COVID it has joined up data from numerous business applications to build a picture of vulnerability, linking data predominantly via UPRN. Recent investments in APIs have enabled development of single views of people for better decision making.
At the moment, we don’t routinely join-up education and social care data for this type of research or development, limiting our ability to have a holistic view of a young person and their family. Different priorities, skills, systems and cultures make this sort of collaboration hard.
However, there may be opportunities to improve outcomes through better collaboration - for example, in the design of early help, understanding the impact of temporary accommodation on educational outcomes or supporting the transition of care leavers post-16.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a social worker I need a complete view of the child and family so that I can make informed decisions about how best to support them
As an education professional I need to understand the educational attainment of children and other factors affecting their life, including social care input, so that I can support school improvement
As a head of service I need to understand the performance of my team so that I can prioritise improvements
As a manager I need to understand the volume of demand and capacity so that I can plan the resources accordingly
As a senior leader I need to understand trends so that I can anticipate demand
As an insight specialist I need to understand the business problem and the data so that I can help colleagues understand what’s happening
As a decision maker in another council service I need to support children and families by making the right decisions with them
As a responsible officer I need to ensure returns to central government are completely accurate and timely
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The following information helps explain some of the context for this work:
Overview of business intelligence work across the council (Feb ‘19) (
COVID analysis - how we’re understanding vulnerability (Mar ‘20) (
Review of business intelligence (Sept ‘18)
Existing team
Given the nature of the work we do not anticipate providing a dedicated project team. However, we would expect involving the three data & insight teams (education, children’s social care, ICT), frontline practitioners and decision makers (eg heads of service), information governance and finance professionals.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Hackney Council offices in Mare Street, E8
Working arrangements
This work can be done remotely but will require fortnightly reporting (eg via show & tells) to involve key stakeholders and regular engagement with practitioners through video conferences. We will provide access to key systems to project team members where required.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the education and social care context
  • Demonstrate a track-record of user-centred design and Agile approaches to delivery
  • Have experience of assessing an organisation’s current approach and developing actionable recommendations for improvement
  • Share their work freely and openly with the Council and the wider community
  • Demonstrate a track record of successful capability building with internal teams
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Hackney’s approach to technology and data
  • Demonstrate an understanding of existing good practice in the sector

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of the brief
  • Clarity of the approach
  • Experience from a similar project
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
  • Identification of risks and plan to mitigate them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
  • Hackney Council is a diverse organisation, reflecting the diversity of our borough. Describe how you would successfully work as a team with Hackney and other suppliers in a diverse environment.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Has any 3rd Party company(-ies) provided a indicative costs, such as a quote or submitted an RFP or similar in relation to this work? If so, have they currently or previously worked for the Council?
2. Have any 3rd Party Suppliers been involved in the development of this spec? If so, have they previously or are they currently delivering services to Hackney Council? Name of company not required
3. Some of the document links provided under the "Any work that’s already been done" section don't seem to work. Can you amend these or add documents as attachments please?
Overview of business intelligence work across the council (Feb ‘19)

COVID analysis - how we’re understanding vulnerability (Mar ‘20)
4. We notice you were running a Q&A on Google Meet on 15 June.

This session was inadequately promoted. Did it go ahead? Is there a recording of the session? Will there be another one?
We’re not aware of other opportunities to promote the Q&A but given there was no take-up, happy to organise another session. This will be on Thursday at 5pm at
5. Please detail the next stage of the process following initial evaluation, including timescales, deliverables, and engagement opportunities
We expect to respond to all bidders within 2 days of the close of applications. We will invite the highest scoring bidders to submit a written proposal, with the deadline for submission a week later. This will be evaluated against the proposal criteria. Depending on the scores, one of two bidders will be invited to discuss the proposal at a meeting with the senior stakeholders ahead of contract award.
6. Is existing supplier evaluation a requirement of any deliverable
7. Could Hackney Council provide any documentation on their Technology Strategy?
We don’t have a technology strategy. Our approach is documented extensively at
8. If a continued partnership and/or call-off phase is included, as per the above question, would you expect total investment during this period to be capped at £80,000 or could this grow subject to the opportunities thus identified?
Following the successful completion of this project we will consider how best to proceed. Any further investment would be subject to a procurement once we have spent up to the value of this contract.
9. You’ve specified a contract length of two years. From our reading of your requirements, it sounds as if the desired outputs could be provided in a much shorter period of time, but we also note the requirement for fortnightly reporting. Do you anticipate an initial project phase followed by a continued partnership and/or call-off phase, or some other broad segmentation of the two-year period?
The 2 years stipulated in the advert is a mistake. We expect the engagement to last 8-12 weeks, given the budget. We will agree the appropriate contract length with the successful bidder but anticipate this will be less than a year.
10. You’ve specified a potential value of £80,000, but noting that your original expectation around investment was about £30,000-50,000. Should it be assumed therefore that you would like to receive responses to a basic value of around £30-50,000, but with an indication of how additional investment would be used in the event that “project outputs that would deliver tangible value”, as you set out, are identified?
Yes. We imagine a two phase piece of work: the initial project to assess the current position and describe what needs to change to maximise the potential benefits of working differently. Then, a second phase which would take a single business problem and work in collaboration with the teams involved to produce an output. The purpose of the second phase would be to validate the recommendations from the first, make any changes as appropriate and give stakeholders confidence to act on the recommendations.
11. For the final Nice-to-Have criteria for response ('Demonstrate an understanding of existing good practice in the sector') – what do you mean by 'the sector' here? Is it Local Government, Public Sector more broadly, or education/social care more specifically?
By the sector, we’re referring to education/social care specifically.
12. Please can you clarify the budget available for the whole project and the budget available per year.
How many Full Time Equivalent supplier staff would you expect to work on the project?
We expect a team of around 3-5 people for the duration of the project, depending on the skills and seniority of those involved. It will be for the consultancy to determine the hours required.
13. With regards to budget range, could you elaborate requirements around "identifying project outputs that would deliver tangible value"? E.g. would you expect a joint data science project to be delivered with internal HackIT team/infrastructure or do you expect supplier to provide a solution/tool to enable this?
We expect the first phase to identify opportunities that might be available if we were to work differently together. The second phase would then see the consultancy work with our teams to try and realise one of these opportunities. We’d expect it’s easiest to deliver this using our existing infrastructure and tools, but are open to different approaches.