Portsmouth City Council 

Portsmouth City Council is the local authority of the city of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England (estimated population is 249,956). It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It provides a full range of local government services including adult social care, children's social care and education.  
Portsmouth is an innovative and proactive council, and use Data for Good to help the most vulnerable in society with a focus on effectiveness. Their journey started with the implementation of the Sentinel Data Platform, delivering and integrated data set across approximately 30 systems.

Working as Portsmouth City Council’s trusted data partner, we began by implementing the Sentinel Data Platform, and providing a bespoke version of the Vulnerable Pupil Portal solution (Portsmouth’s Vulnerable Pupil Tracker) to help identify at risk children and prevent involvement in county lines and gang exploitation. These were followed by a Family Support Planning solution, to support Portsmouth’s processes around case work and support provision for families— the solution included single view of child, cohort specific dashboards, scoring rules, and RAG ratings.

We then implemented our Supporting Families Phase 3 solution, to help Portsmouth meet the requirements of the greatly expanded Supporting Families Phase 3 DLUHC Programme. Features included family-overview and drill downs, chronological views, automatically prepared government returns with full audit trail of events and outcomes, and controlled data matching so that eligible family information is up-to-date and accurate. 

Sentinel Data Platform


The Sentinel Data Platform is a fully configurable, rules-based, technology that transforms the way our clients can use the data they have. The Platform can receive data from any source system or database in any format. It can cleanse and validate the data to manage data quality and to apply corporate data standards. It can match data together to create a  Golden Record for a person, property or other data type required. The platform provides any number of additional layers of matching over this, matching individuals together into groups such as families, extended families or gangs. 
The Platform includes an integrated Portal Layer that can be configured to provide access to any number of different types of user. Each portal is configured to meet the specific needs of the user to ensure that they can only access what they need to access. Portals can be created to display elements of the integrated data held withing the Platform, and they can also include forms to enable the collection of additional information. Our clients benefit from many different types of Portal, such as standard Single View scenarios for a person or family, targeted Portals to help identify vulnerably, and more functionally rich Portals such as the Early Years portals that can be used to track child development. 
For Portsmouth, the initial implementation of the Platform included 30 different data feeds from council and partner data sources, to give the first holistic view of individuals and family groups across the city. This was the foundation for all the subsequent Portal based innovations to build upon. 



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Vulnerable Pupil Tracker

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Portsmouth’s Vulnerable Pupil Tracker is based on our Vulnerable Pupil Portal with several local enhancements added. Our Vulnerable Pupil Portal has been developed in response to the DfE’s SAFE Taskforce pilots across hotspot areas of the UK where incidents of serious youth violence are highest. This DfE initiative is aimed at focussing on improving pupils’ attendance, reducing the likelihood of exclusions to keep young people focused on their education. As a part of this, there are new Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforces, which work directly with young people in Alternative Provision settings to offer intensive support from experts from collaborative partner services.

In addition to integrating data from multiple disparate sources, across systems and agencies to provide a complete picture of how to ensure the right alternative provision and specialist support is delivered. The Vulnerable Pupil Portal standard features include:    

  • Junior, Senior Education levelled portals split between schools to manage cross border intakes and outtakes and ensure handover notes are visible across settings and as children move between stages and change peer groups. Local Authority level portals providing high level metrics with drill downs to individual settings and children. 
  • All information concerning a child collated in one easy to view Child Overview screen with actions dashboard covering Safeguarding data, Attendance/Exclusions data, Exploitation Risk, Youth Offending Team data feeds, Police data, NEETS data, Social Care plan, Alternative Provision mentor notes, Vulnerability metrics with full workflow and chronology. 
  • Automated user alerts including behavioural and attendance.
  • Advanced search functionality and drill downs into single view of pupil.  
  • Centralized notes and PDF upload functions per pupil to allow sharing of notes and documents across settings and agencies for handovers. 
  • Workflow and Chronology showing a full list of past and upcoming actions including attendance, case worker actions, and changes reflecting increased or decreased risk, progress or regression. 
  • Access levels tailored to groups with exception criteria for users with risk conflicting interest. 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) for all users. 

For Portsmouth’s requirements we also delivered:

  • Data profiling to assign vulnerability scores to pupils, with configurable weighting to suit school requirements and data feeds Portsmouth pooled. 
  • Profiling for children based on various rules targeting NEETS.
  • RAG risk ratings for children's cases.
  • Workflows for RAG ratings based on child overview.
  • Audit information for all RAG ratings, safeguarding, vulnerability changes.
  • Multiple dashboards across safeguarding levels, education settings, vulnerability reasons, and attendance.
  • Specific dashboards for each educational setting available for high access level groups (e.g., admin users).
  • Integration with Family Support Plan.



Vulnerable Pupil Portal

Integrate from multiple sources, agencies and systems to provide a complete picture of vulnerable pupils to drive alternative support provision.

Learn more about Vulnerable Pupil Portal

Family Support Planning Solution

Portsmouth needed a digital solution for their Family Support Planning processes. Users needed to be able to create, complete, and share forms covering all family members to record progress with actions and scoring based on multiple categories. The solution also needed to integrate data feeds from multiple sources such as Capita, Core , and Mosaic. The solution was to create specific dashboards for Local Authority and Practitioners displaying key metrics. The solution also included a Child Single View detailing information per child such as names, UPN, student id, sibling names, education settings (including those of siblings), as well as Family Support Plan Status, Reviews, and Lead Professional. 

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Portsmouth’s Family Support Plan solution included:

  • Search Functions
  • Push Notifications
  • Reports specific to user credentials
  • Drill Down Options
  • Family Support Plan Cohort Specifics
  • Multiple User Specific Dashboards displaying key metrics
  • Sibling Links
  • RAG ratings
  • Functions to request/accept case transfers (with full audit trail)
  • Review and closure functionalities (with full audit trail)
  • Family Support Plan status displays and updates (with full audit trail)
  • Practitioner Assessment Summaries

Supporting Families Phase 3

Portsmouth adopted our Supporting Families solution in preparation for meeting the requirements of Phase 3 of the national Supporting Families programme, administered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUCH, formerly the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)).  
Our current Supporting Families Solution has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of the Supporting Families Programme Phase 3.  Providing automated data integration and management, it helps identify and support vulnerable families.  
The software matches and integrates data from all available sources to provide up-to-date, holistic and user-friendly records of individuals and family units. The data sharing features of the platform also facilitate collaborative and proactive working. Fully configurable, it put Portsmouth’s appropriate user groups and cohorts in control of setting profiling criteria and the scenarios that trigger automatic alerts – helping teams deliver the interventions that families need and can really benefit from. 

Phase 3 of the Supporting Families programme has two key objectives: 
To see vulnerable families thrive, building their resilience by providing effective, whole family support to help prevent escalation into statutory services 
To drive system change locally and nationally, working with local authorities and their partners to create joined up local services, able to identify families in need, provide the right support at the right time, and track their outcomes in the long term

Phase 3 of the Supporting Families Programme incorporates: 

  • A new outcomes framework including ten headline outcomes rather than the previous six. This will enable more detailed reporting on the problems families are facing, clarify what good looks like for these outcomes, and what levels of evidence would be expected when measuring these outcomes. This new framework will help build consistency of outcome measurement across the country and give clearer guidance to local authorities on what is expected, but also what is possible.
  • An updated funding formula, now using the latest deprivation data and more recent population data. The formula now includes the 2019 Index of Multiple Deprivation which provides a better reflection of current need and supports levelling up by ensuring funding is distributed fairly.
  • A new process for local authorities to apply for Earned Autonomy status has been launched. A prospectus sets out the level of maturity local authorities and their partners will need to demonstrate to move to Earned Autonomy status.
  • A refreshed Early Help System guide has been published following collaboration with local authorities and other government departments. The refreshed version improves on the content and clarity of the self-assessments and works to encourage local transformation in line with the descriptors.

The Supporting Families solution is a powerful, flexible, forward-looking technology that meets these needs. Features include: 

  •  Family-overview and drill-down screens that show you the full picture 
  • Chronological views of families displaying improvements or setbacks history
  • Single point of access for improved data sharing and collaborative working 
  • Flexible user control of rules for validating and merging people’s data 
  • Automatic data profiling to identify families in need and provide early help 
  • Maximised outcomes claims bringing increased income 
  • Automatically prepared Government returns, evidenced by a full audit trail of events and outcomes

Developed to meet the evolving requirements of the Supporting Families Programme (previously Troubled Families), our agile solution helped Portsmouth conform to the Data Maturity Model while enabling them to look ahead and respond to future Government initiatives. 


Supporting Families Programme Solution

Automated integration and management of data for Supporting Families Phase 3

Learn more about Supporting Families Programme Solution

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