LGA Research bulletin

This monthly publication keeps you informed of key issues and developments in research impacting on, or of interest to, local government.

Sign up to receive this bulletin

This monthly publication keeps you informed of key issues and developments in research impacting on, or of interest to, local government.

Sign up for the LGA Research Bulletin.

February Analysis and Research Bulletin

Welcome to the Local Government Association (LGA) Analysis and Research Bulletin.

This comprehensive monthly publication keeps you informed about key issues and developments in research impacting on local government.

The bulletin brings together the work of the LGA and also features relevant publications from the wider research community. The information in this bulletin is grouped under themed areas. This publication is produced by LGA Research and Information and we provide high quality analysis and research across all aspects of local government.

Health and social care

COVID-19 public opinion research - BritainThinks
To help councils as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the LGA commissioned Britain Thinks to explore the ways in which COVID-19 has changed public attitudes and behaviours. The research found a desire to return to normal, coupled with a need to build back better, fairer and healthier communities – and puts forward the case for ‘making normal better’ as a path to recovery that is ambitious and in touch with local people.

Vulnerable children and young people survey: waves 1 to 17 - England
This Department for Education (DfE) publication provides a summary of the latest results from a local authority survey in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on children’s social care.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 19 February 2021
This Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication provides indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

Innovation in treatment for people with rarer or less well-recognised long-term health conditions
This report from The King’s Fund explores how five leading specialist hospital services in the UK are innovating their care for people with rarer or less well-recognised long-term health conditions.

The health of people from ethnic minority groups in England
This article from The Kings Fund examines the differences in health outcomes for ethnic minority groups, highlighting the variation across groups and conditions, and considers what is needed to reduce health inequalities.

Understanding factors that enabled digital service change in general practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted rapid uptake of existing digital technologies to deliver patient care differently in general practice. This report from the King’s Fund looks at how services have changed and the digital tools and services being used to facilitate this.

Anchors in a storm: lessons from anchor action during COVID-19
This analysis from The Health Foundation, summarises insights from local leaders around the UK who are engaged in action to respond to the impact of COVID-19.

We can’t prevent childhood obesity by education alone: lessons from the evidence base
This research from The University of Bristol, suggests that current efforts to address and prevent childhood obesity are likely to be limited in their effect. It provides recommendations for policy stakeholders and research funders on how to improve the potential for research to address this issue.

Outcomes for disabled people in the UK: 2020
This ONS article provides details of outcomes for disabled people in the UK across a number of areas of life, such as employment, education, well-being, loneliness, crime and social participation.

Education and young people

Impact of school closures and subsequent support strategies on attainment and socio-emotional wellbeing in Key Stage 1 - January 2021, England
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published interim findings from a study assessing the extent to which Key Stage 1 pupils’ attainment in reading and maths were impacted by partial school closures during the first national COVID-19 lockdown - and particularly the effect on disadvantaged pupils. 

Estimating the impact of EU exit on UK higher education
This DfE research considers the effect of the EU exit on higher education institutions in the UK.

Further education and skills in England, January 2021
This DfE publication contains further education and skills statistics in England, including learner participation and achievements, covering the first quarter (August to October 2020) of the 2020/2021 academic year.

Apprenticeships and traineeships: January 2021, England
These DfE statistics provide information on apprenticeships and traineeships in England (August to October 2020).

School funding statistics: 2020 to 2021 financial year, England
These DfE experimental statistics provide information on school funding in England for the 2020/2021 financial year.

Higher education student statistics UK: 2019 to 2020
These Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and DfE statistics provide details of student enrolments and qualifications obtained by higher education (HE) students at HE providers in the UK for the 2019/2020 academic year .

Higher education performance indicators UK: widening participation 2019 to 2020
These HESA statistics give provider-level data on widening participation of under-represented groups in higher education for the 2019/2020 academic year.

Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – 23 March 2020 to 11 February 2021, England
These DfE statistics provide information on attendance in education settings in England since 23 March 2020 and early years settings in England since 16 April 2020 through to 11 February 2021.

Higher education performance indicators UK: non-continuation 2019 to 2020 This HESA publication gives provider-level statistics of higher education students not continuing into the 2019/2020 academic year in the UK.

Decision making of adult learners below level two - England
This DfE qualitative study considers the experiences and decision making of adult learners and non-learners with qualifications below level two in England.

I want to do well: a literature review of existing research on children and young people’s experiences of COVID-19
LGA have commissioned a literature review of evidence about children and young people’s experiences of the pandemic. This focuses largely on experiences of lockdown, with further research anticipated to capture changing views and longer-term impacts, as well as to better understand the varied experiences of different groups of children and young people.

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 additional analyses: What does PISA tell us about the wellbeing of 15-year-olds?
This analysis from the National foundation for Educational Research (NFER) considers data from PISA 2018 exploring life satisfaction and the wellbeing of pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The results, released in December 2019, suggest that pupils in the UK were less satisfied with their lives than pupils across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on average and that life satisfaction of 15-year-olds in the UK dropped at a faster rate than other PISA nations since 2015.


Road lengths in Great Britain 2020
These Department for Transport (DfT) statistics provide information on road lengths in Great Britain for the year 2020.

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates: year ending June 2020
This DfT data provides personal injury accident and casualty statistics on public roads in Great Britain for the year ending June 2020.

Reported road casualties in Great Britain, provisional estimates involving illegal alcohol levels: 2019
This DfT publication provides provisional estimates on personal injury drink drive accidents in Great Britain for 2019.

Electric vehicle charging device statistics: January 2021
This DfT publication provides statistics on the number of publicly available electric vehicle charging devices in the UK.

Switching to sustainable transport: a rapid evidence assessment
This DfT review presents evidence from interventions designed to encourage a switch from using cars to more sustainable forms of transport.

National travel attitudes study: Wave four (final)
These DfT statistics provide information on public attitudes to travel and transport restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passenger rail performance: October to December 2020
These Office of Rail and Road (ORR) statistics provide information on passenger rail performance in Great Britain between 1 October to 31 December 2020.

Transport use by mode during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – Great Britain
These DfT statistics provide information on the use of the transport system during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Great Britain by mode.



Emissions of air pollutants in the UK, 1970 to 2019 – summary
This annual Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) publication provides information on the emissions of important air pollutants in the UK from 1970 to 2019.

Fly tipping statistics for England 2019-20
These Defra statistics provide information on fly-tipping incidents recorded by Local Authorities in England between April 2019 and March 2020.

Local government

What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth – Evaluation Panel
What Works Growth offers advice and support to policymakers wanting to evaluate  local economic growth policies. This helps ensure evaluations are high quality and supports policymakers to develop their evaluation skills, knowledge and capacity. To help strengthen this support, eight initial members have been appointed to the Evaluation Panel. More details about each evaluation panel member, and how the Panel could help you, are available on the website.

LG Inform updates:

LG Inform Value for Money Profiles updated with latest 2019/20 data

The LG Inform Value for Money (VfM) profiles have been updated with the latest data provided to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Free to access, these profiles bring together latest publicly available data about the costs, performance and activity of local councils and fire & rescue authorities.

There are over 50 themed reports to explore covering all council services, you can either start with an overview report or, if interested in a specific council service, you can dive straight into that from the ‘Reports’ menu.

For those interested in exception reporting, try out the outliers report. This scans all 500 metrics used throughout the Profiles and only shows those where your authority is significantly different from your peers.

Please contact lginform@local.gov.uk if you have any questions about the Profiles or would like to be included in a virtual steering group we are convening this year.

Public Health Outcomes Framework: February update available in LG Inform

The Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) has been updated for the February release.

From 2019/20, the PHOF consists of 75 high level categories and over 160 individual metric types, many of which can further be disaggregated by sex and age, meaning that in LG Inform there are nearly 300 metric types to chose from - full listing available here (CSV download).

These are available via the standard report and can be found by searching either for the individual metric type names or searching for all metric types tagged with Public Health Outcomes Framework. For more information please email lginform@local.gov.uk 


List tagging now available on standards

List tagging functionality is now available in LG Inform Plus. This lets you add your own tags to terms in any standard list, such as the Areas list or the Services list, to indicate that you’re using those terms in a specific context. The list tagging help page explains more.

You can view tags online, download them in files or read them via the Application Programming Interface. All tags are visible publicly. If you want to add your own tags, email the Support team who will assign permission to your account.

OpenCommunity drives adoption of Open Referral UK

The OpenCommunity project funded by MHCLG’s Local Digital is building resources to help people adopt the Open Referral UK standard, deployed in LGA work on services to address loneliness last year. The pandemic has changed the range and nature of services logged in directories, but software suppliers have been working with councils and other local partners to build directories that make service data open for use in a variety of ways and for interchange between organisations.

The OpenCommunity work will explain better how to deploy services using the standard and the advantages it brings. Details will be emailed to everyone who registered an interest in the initial loneliness work. for those  who wish to be kept informed of progress or to be consulted, please email support@esd.org.uk.

Metrics added to LG Inform this month include:

Deaths of homeless people – 2019, England
For 2019 estimated deaths of homeless people in England is 745 compared to 692 in 2018. This is the number of deaths of homeless people identified from the death registration records held by ONS and statistical modelling applied to estimate the most likely number of additional registrations not identified as homeless people.
Available Geographies: Country – Region – District – London borough – Metropolitan District – Unitary 

Jobseeker's Allowance – December 2020, England
The total number of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants (resident population aged 16-64) in England in December 2020 was 248,226, a fall from 264,068 in November 2020, but an increase of 108,541 from 139,685 in December 2019.
Available Geographies: Combined authority - Council area – Country – County – District - Local Enterprise Partnership - Local Government District - London borough - Metropolitan District - NUTS level 1 - NUTS level 2 - NUTS level 3 – Parliamentary constituency – Region – Unitary – Ward

Higher Education (HE) student enrolments – 2019/20, England
For 2019/20 the number of higher education student enrolments in England reported to the HESA, is 2,000,150 compared to 1,942,540 in 2018/19. Academic year HE enrolments cover all undergraduate and postgraduate students, in full-time or part-time studies.
Available Geographies: UK – Country – Region – District – London borough – Metropolitan District – Unitary

Employment, pay and workforce

Coronavirus and redundancies in the UK labour market
This ONS article considers how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted redundancies in the UK, using labour market statistics for the period September to November 2020.

UK labour market: February 2020
These ONS statistics provide estimates of employment, unemployment, inactivity, average weekly earnings, vacancies and other labour market related statistics for the UK since February 2020.

Labour market in the regions of the UK: February 2020
These ONS statistics provide regional, local authority and Parliamentary constituency breakdowns of changes in UK employment, unemployment, economic inactivity in the UK since February 2020.


UK productivity flash estimate: October to December 2020

This ONS article provides a flash estimate of labour productivity for Quarter Four (October to December 2020) based on the latest data from the gross domestic product (GDP) first quarterly estimate and labour market statistics.

Retail sales, Great Britain: January 2021
These ONS statistics provide a first estimate of retail sales in volume and value terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted in January 2021 in Great Britain.

Forecasts for the UK economy: February 2021
This HM Treasury publication provides a comparison of independent forecasts for the UK economy in February 2021


Statutory homelessness in England, July to September 2020
These MHCLG statistics provide information on statutory homelessness in England between 1 July and 30 September 2020.

Rough sleeping snapshot in England: Autumn 2020
This MHCLG statistical release provides information about the annual single night snapshot of the number of people sleeping rough in local authorities across England.

Social housing sales in England: April 2019 to March 2020
These MHCLG statistics provide information on the number of sales of existing social housing stock in England for 2019 to 2020.

Housing statistics 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020br /> These Homes England statistics present details of housing starts on site and housing completions delivered by Homes England between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020.


Offender management statistics quarterly: July to September 2020, England and Wales

These Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and HM Prisons Service quarterly statistics provide information on offenders in custody (including offence groups, sentence lengths and nationalities), and quarterly statistics on prison receptions, prison releases, adjudications, licence recalls, and offenders under probation supervision in England and Wales between July and September 2020.

Criminal justice system statistics quarterly: October 2019 to September 2020 England and Wales
These MoJ statistics provide details of trends in the use of out of court disposals, defendants prosecuted, offenders convicted, remand and sentencing decisions, and offender histories in England and Wales between October 2019 and September 2020.

Youth Justice Statistics (YJS), England and Wales, April 2019 to March 2020
This MoJ and Youth Justice Board for England and Wales publication looks at the YJS in England and Wales for the year ending March 2020. It considers the number of children (those aged 10-17) in the system, the offences they committed, the outcomes they received, their demographics and the trends over time.

Regular publications and events

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Pilot Pre-doctoral Local Authority Fellowship competition
This pilot scheme has been designed to support the academic ambitions of individuals wishing to develop as health and/or social care researchers whilst remaining employed, or at least engaged, within local authorities or local authority supporting services. A companion doctoral fellowship scheme is also being developed and will launch in spring 2021.

These fully funded pre-doctoral fellowships will enable awardees to retain their existing employment contracts and salaries, whilst protecting their time to prepare an application for a PhD fellowship and undertake a fully funded programme of relevant Masters level training. 

These awards are available to individuals of any profession or background. Applicants must, however, be employed by: 

  • a local authority
  • a provider of local authority commissioned services
  • a non-profit organisation (such as a charity) that provides services on behalf of a local authority, or supports a local authority in meeting its objectives.

Prospective applicants are strongly advised to read the scheme specific applicant guidance notes in full before beginning an application.

Deadline for application submission: 31 March 2021

Awards made: May 2021
Award uptake by successful applicants: from 1 September 2021

NIHR Prioritisation Committee
Could you help spend £17m / year on local government relevant public health research? The NIHR’s Public Health Research programme is looking for senior people in local government to help them prioritise where they spend their research funding. Their Prioritisation Committee meets three times a year, and is currently working remotely which may continue. The programme is working to fund population level research that is relevant to local government decision making, and needs your experience of what is important to local government to decide what to fund. Visit the website to apply.

New Social Research Association (SRA) guidance on Research Ethics
The new guidance replaces the original SRA ethics guide first published in the 1980s (updated 2003), that has been very widely used by social researchers. The new guidance is designed to help researchers to think about ethical issues they face in their work, rather than setting out fixed rules to follow.

LG Inform Webinar programme January - March 2021 now available
The LG Inform team would be delighted to meet you and share knowledge about the LG Inform and LG Inform Plus platforms. A programme of free webinars is now available.

It is easy to book a place and discover more about the data, report writing and the various modules on offer. Just visit the online training page for more details and how to book. If you would like something more tailored to your needs please contact: lginformplus@local.gov.uk

SRA training courses

The SRA are currently offering a range of online training courses using Zoom

SRA - Social Research Practice journal
The latest issue of the SRA's free e-journal is now available.

University of Bristol – policy newsletter 
This policy newsletter from the University of Bristol includes the latest policy research briefings and information on how their research relates to current affairs and legislation.

Project Oracle children and youth evidence hub
Project Oracle is a children and youth evidence hub. The latest newsletter provides a round-up of Project Oracle news, and headlines from across the sector. You can sign up to receive the regular Project Oracle newsletter.

The Rees Centre newsletter
The Rees Centre newsletter is published every two months giving an update on their fostering related research activities and events along with a book review and a section on young voices.

Child Welfare Inequalities Project (CWIP) news
The CWIP at Coventry University studies the links between deprivation and children’s chances of being unable to live safely within their birth families and also aims to establish child welfare inequalities as a core concept in policy making, practice and research. Information about current CWIP projects is available on the website.

What Works Centre for Local Economic growth newsletter
This regular newsletter from the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth provides the latest resources and evidence. Visit the website to sign up for the newsletter.

The Centre for Youth Impact newsletter
The Centre for Youth Impact is a community of organisations that work together to progress thinking and practice around impact measurement in youth work and services for young people. The latest Centre for Youth Impact newsletter is now available.

Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)
The CSA newsletter brings together the most up-to-date research into an accessible overview for frontline professionals and commissioners. Visit the website to sign up for the CSA newsletter.

NFER Direct
This regular NFER newsletter provides research, industry insights and free resources and events. Sign up for the newsletter here.

Economic and Social Research Coucil (ESRC) Centre for Population Change (CPC) Newsletter
The ESRC CPC is investigating how and why our population is changing and what this means for people, communities and governments. Visit the website to sign up for the CPC newsletter.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Centre for Evaluation

The Centre for Evaluation aims to improve the design and conduct of evaluations of complex public health interventions through the development, application and dissemination of rigorous methods, and facilitate the use of robust evidence to inform policy and practice decisions. The Centre produce a termly newsletter.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) society now
This regular magazine from ESRC provides the latest social science research for key opinion formers in business, government and the voluntary sector.

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) news alert
EEF news alerts provide information about teaching and learning toolkits, project evaluation reports, grant funding rounds and news and events.

NESTA is an innovation foundation which aims to tackle society’s big challenges. They produce a regular newsletter.

Early Intervention Foundation (EiF) newsletter
This regular newsletter from the EiF brings together research, evidence and implementation guidance to champion effective early intervention for children and young people.