DfE ‘Stops’ Schools Performance Data Project (SPDP); The Future of DX?

Yesterday, the Department for Education dealt the interconnected education data landscape a likely terminal blow by ‘stopping’ the Schools Performance Data Project (SPDP); the data warehouse replacement for all schools collected data. With Data Exchance (DX) forming the crutial front-end connection to this, it is very likely despite obscure language that DX will also be quietly forgotten (why collect data if you have no where to put it?).

Here is an extract of the official communication dent by DfE:


“I can now inform you that the Department for Education (DfE) and RM Education Limited (RM) have decided to stop work on the School Performance Data Programme (SPDP) with immediate effect.

It had become apparent that the programme was going to experience some delays to delivery and with a significant IT transformation programme taking place within the Department, and other changes across Government, including a proposed Crown Hosting Service, it is clear that it is not the right time to progress with this work.

The Department remains committed to achieving the vision set out by the Data Transformation Programme. Iain Bell has joined the Department as Director of Data and Education Standards and will be taking over as SRO on Data Transformation and leading work over the coming months to assess the best approach for achieving the vision. Iain is happy to come and talk to the group at a future meeting to discuss his early thinking on the next steps for Data Transformation if you wish.

As Data Exchange was reliant on some deliverables from SPDP, we are working through the implications for Data Exchange. This will be considered as part of the wider Data Transformation work Iain is leading on.

In the meantime, the DfE and RM have committed to working together to continue to deliver the school performance tables and associated services in partnership.”


In a number of previous posts both here and on other websites, I fully backed and promoted the concept of DX, although had reservations about it’s scope and implementation. I still fully back the concept and very much hope there is a reversal of this clearly political, not technical, decision. Many felt and even advised me that this was just another government flirt with moving a sector forwards finally, and they we 100% right, and so I can join the ranks of educationalists that have been promised much yet delivered nothing! Lets all hold hands and say in one clear voice:


Posted in Big Data, Data Exchange

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