Financial Year 2021-22

Serious incident notifications

Data guidance

Published

Description

This guidance describes the data included in the Serious Incident Notifications experimental statistics release. The release methodology, available on the release web page should be referenced alongside this data. It provides information on the data source, coverage and quality as well as explaining methodology used in producing the data.

Coverage

Notifiable serious incidents are those that involve death or serious harm to a child where abuse or neglect is known or suspected, and the deaths of looked after children, whether or not abuse or neglect is known or suspected.

This release provides information on serious incident notifications, including by:

  • Ethnicity;
  • Gender;
  • Age group;
  • Disability;
  • Cross-characteristic breakdowns;
  • Notification nature;
  • Placement type;
  • Whether the child is known to any agencies or has a child protection plan;
  • Region and local authority;
  • Financial year quarter.

Rounding  and Suppression

Rounding and suppression is applied to the data. The Code of Practice for Statistics requires that reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that all published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality. The publication follows the DfE policy statement on confidentiality. 

Regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. National and Local authority numbers are unrounded.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

As a result of rounding components may not sum to totals and percentages may not sum to 100.

Where any number is shown as zero, the original figure submitted was zero.  

Symbols

The following symbols have been used:

‘c’ to protect confidentiality - secondary suppression may also be applied to figures to protect confidentiality
‘:’ for not available

Data files

All data files associated with this release are listed below with guidance on their content. To download any of these files, please visit our data catalogue.

Data files

All data files associated with this releases are listed below with guidance on their content. To download any of these files, please visit our data catalogue.

All year totals

Filename
serious_incident_notifications_totals.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2014-15 to 2021-22
Content

Total number of serious incident notifications for each financial year.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
numberNumber of serious incident notifications
Footnotes
  1. Figures between 2014-15 and 2017-18 are based on Ofsted published data.

Characteristic totals

Filename
serious_incident_notifications_characteristic_totals.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018-19 to 2021-22
Content

Number and percentage of serious incident notifications for each financial year. The data is broken down by the following:

  • age group;
  • gender;
  • ethnicity;
  • disability;
  • notification nature;
  • placement type; 
  • whether the child is known to any agencies or has a Child Protection Plan (CPP); 
  • financial year quarter.
Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
categoryCategory
nature_of_notificationNature of notification
numberNumber of serious incident notifications
percentagePercentage of total notifications for that nature
quarterFinancial year quarter
Footnotes
  1. The majority of incidents in the other category relate to notifications with child perpetrators.
  2. "Residential children's home" includes a small number of incidents that occurred in residential schools.

Cross-characteristics

Filename
serious_incident_notifications_cross_characteristics.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018-19 to 2021-22
Content

Number of serious incident notifications for each financial year. The data is broken down by the following:

  • ethnicity by gender;
  • ethnicity by age group;
  • gender by age group.
Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
age_groupAge Group
ethnicityEthnicity
genderGender
numberNumber of serious incident notifications

Headline figures

Filename
headline_figures.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2021-22
Content

Number of serious incident notifications, total and by nature of notification.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
child_deathSerious incident notifications relating to child death
serious_harmSerious incident notifications relating to serious harm
serious_incident_notificationsSerious incident notifications

Region and Local Authority

Filename
serious_incident_notifications_region_local_authority.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018-19 to 2021-22
Content

Number of serious incident notifications for the financial year, by local authority and region.

PLEASE NOTE: Neither high nor low numbers of serious incident notifications alone should be interpreted as a performance measure of the local authority or its workforce. When interpreting data on serious incident notifications, local authority contextual information is an important consideration. Local authorities with larger populations tend to be more likely to report more serious incident notifications than those with smaller populations. Those with higher levels of deprivation also tend to be more likely to report higher rates of serious incident notifications than those with lower levels of deprivation. In addition, whilst reporting has improved in recent years, the Department cannot be certain that all incidents that meet the definition for a serious incident notification are notified. Data relating to population size, the number of Children in Need and deprivation have been included to provide further contextual information to the data on serious incident notifications. 

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
cin_31marchNumber of Children in Need at 31 March
idaci_avgscore_2019IDACI Average score in 2019
numberNumber of Serious Incident Notifications
ons_midyear_populationONS mid-year population estimates
Footnotes
  1. The source of the data on serious incident notifications is the Child Safeguarding Notification System. The data shows the number of incidents reported in the financial year, rather than the number of incidents that occurred in the financial year. The local authority should notify the Child Safeguarding Practice review panel within 5 working days of becoming aware that the incident has occurred; however, in rare cases, there can be a significant delay in local authorities notifying the panel of an incident. When interpreting data on serious incident notifications, local authority contextual information is an important consideration. Local authorities with larger populations tend to be more likely to report more serious incident notifications than those with smaller populations. Those with higher levels of deprivation also tend to be more likely to report higher rates of serious incident notifications than those with lower levels of deprivation. In addition, whilst reporting has improved in recent years, the Department cannot be certain that all incidents that meet the definition for a serious incident notification are notified. For these reasons, neither high nor low numbers of serious incident notifications alone should be interpreted as a performance measure of the local authority or its workforce. 'c' has been used where applicable to protect confidentiality. Regional figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
  2. The source of the data for the Children in Need at 31 March figures is the Characteristics of Children in Need National Statistics release. These figures have been added to provide further contextual information to the data on serious incident notifications. 2021 data for Hackney is not available for the year ending 31 March 2021 but 2020 data has been included in the 2021 national total and regional totals for Inner London and London. As per the 2020-21 figures on serious incident notifications, figures for 2021-22 have continued to show the 2021 Children In Need data alongside as 2022 figures were not available at the time of publication. National and regional figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
  3. The source of the data for the IDACI Average score figures is the English indices of deprivation 2019. These figures have been added to provide further contextual information to the data on serious incident notifications. The Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) measures the proportion of all children aged 0 to 15 living in income deprived families. The average score for a given LA is calculated by taking the (population weighted) average of the combined scores for the LSOAs (Lower Super Output Areas) under that particular LA. The values range from 0.032 to 0.327, with a higher score indicating that the LA is more deprived according to this measure.
  4. Mid-year ONS population estimates are based on children aged 0 to 17 years in England. These figures have been added to provide further contextual information to the data on serious incident notifications. As per the 2020-21 figures on serious incident notifications, figures for 2021-22 have continued to show the 2020 mid-year ONS population estimates alongside as 2021 figures were not available at the time of publication. National and regional figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
  5. The unitary local authority Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole was formed on 1 April 2019 by the merger of the previous unitary authorities Bournemouth and Poole, and the non-metropolitan district of Christchurch. As a result, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole data is available for 2019/20 and 2020/21, but not for 2018/19. Conversely, data for Bournemouth and data for Poole is available for 2018/19 but not for 2019/20 and 2020/21. The non-metropolitan districts of Weymouth and Portland, West Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck and East Dorset combined with Dorset County Council to form Dorset Council on 1 April 2019; as a result, there is one data entry for Dorset for 2018/19 and another separate entry for Dorset for 2019/20 and 2020/21. On 1 April 2021, the unitary local authorities North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire were formed, replacing Northamptonshire. However, data was provided under the former Northamptonshire basis in 2021-22.