Government to publish new data on health, schools, courts and transport

The Government has announced the next stage in its transparency agenda with a commitment to publish key data on the NHS, schools, criminal courts and transport. The new commitments are set out in a letter from the Prime Minister to Cabinet colleagues.

In his letter, the PM said transparency was “at the heart of the Government’s agenda”.

“We recognise that transparency and open data can be a powerful tool to help reform public services, foster innovation and empower citizens. We also understand that transparency can be a significant driver of economic activity. These commitments represent the most ambitious open data agenda of any government in the world.”

The letter commits the Government to publishing the following new data sets:


  • Data on comparative clinical outcomes of GP practices in England to be published by December 2011, following the lead of the NHS in London which has agreed a set of 22 indicators with local GPs.
  • Prescribing data by GP practice to be published by December 2011, as per the Growth Review.
  • Complaints data by NHS hospital so that patients can see what issues have affected others and take better decisions about which hospital suits them. This commitment will be met by October 2011.
  • Clinical audit data, detailing the performance of publicly funded clinical teams in treating key healthcare conditions, will be published from April 2012. This service will be piloted in December 2011 using data from the latest National Lung Cancer Audit, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP).
  • Data on staff satisfaction and engagement by NHS provider (for example by hospital and mental health trust) will be published from December 2011.
  • Data on the quality of post-graduate medical education by provider from April 2012.

Education and skills

Data enabling parents to see how effective their school is at teaching high, average and low attaining pupils across a range of subjects, from January 2012.

  • Opening up access to anonymised data from the National Pupil Database to help parents and pupils to monitor the performance of their schools in depth, from June 2012. This will enable better comparisons of school performance and we will look to strengthen datasets in due course.
  • Bringing together for the first time school spending data, school performance data, pupil cohort data and Ofsted judgements, from January 2012, in a parent-friendly portal, searchable by postcode.
  • Data on attainment of students eligible for pupil premium to be published from January 2012.
  • Data on apprenticeships paid for by HM Government, by organisation and by success rate to be published from July 2011.

Criminal justice

  • Sentencing data by court will be published by November 2011, enabling the public to see exactly what sentences are being handed down in their local courts, and compare different courts on a wide range of measures. The data, anonymised, will include the age, gender and ethnicity of those sentenced, the sentence given, and the time taken at each stage from offence to completion of the case in court.
  • Data on performance of probation services and prisons including re-offending rates by offender and institution. To be published from October 2011.
  • From May 2012, the national crime mapping website,, will provide the public with information on what happens next for crime occurring on their streets, i.e. police action and justice outcomes.


In addition to opening up data owned by DfT and its arms length bodies, we are committed to working with the transport industry and data users to make public transport data open and freely available for re-use. Over the next year we will deliver:

  • Data on current and future roadworks on the Strategic Road Network to be published from October 2011, and subject to consultation to extend this during 2012 to Local Authority Streetworks Registers maintained under statute.
  • All remaining Government-owned free datsets from Transport Direct, including cycle route data and the national car park database to be made available for free re-use from October 2011.
  • Real time data on the Strategic Road Network including incidents, speeds and congestion to be published from December 2011. Office of Rail Regulator to increase the amount of data published relating to service performance and complaints by May 2012.
  • Rail timetable information to be published weekly by National Rail from December 2011.

Government financial information

We are working with the purchase and payment card providers to provide a consistent method of reporting government procurement card spend data for transactions above £500 in value, so this is available for publication on departmental websites, from end September 2011. 

See also:
David Cameron’s article in the Telegraph on transparency
ICO statement on Cabinet Office transparency event

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