• Dame Julia Cleverdon (Chair)
  • Tina Chui (Statistics Canada)
  • Professor Jenny Gibson (University of Cambridge, Nesta)
  • Professor Anthony Heath (University of Oxford)
  • Lela Kogbara (Black Thrive Global)
  • Si Chun Lam (West Midlands Combined Authority)
  • Professor Tom Shakespeare (LSHTM)
  • Dr Milly Zimeta (Former Director of Policy, Open Data Institute)
  • Nitesh Prakash (Energy, Natural Resources & Sustainability Partner, Bain & Company)
  • Marc Verlot (Cabinet Office)
  • Richard Laux (Cabinet Office)


  • Sir Ian Diamond (agenda items 5 and 6)
  • Ruth Studley
  • Fiona Dawe
  • Dawn Snape
  • Amie Dede-Benefor
  • Alex Buckley
  • Jesse Ransley
  • Dan Thomas
  • Louise Fryer
  • Sarah Wood
  • Paola Serafino
  • Matthew Minifie
  • Charlotte Standeven
  • Jude Hanlon


  • Sam Freedman (Institute for Government)
  • Dr Evelyn Collins (former Equality Commission for Northern Ireland)
  • Uzo Iwobi (Race Council Cymru)
  • Professor Shannon Vallor (University of Edinburgh)

1. Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed members to the sixth meeting of the NSIDAC, noting apologies from Sam Freedman, Dr Evelyn Collins, Uzo Iwobi and Professor Shannon Vallor.

Fiona Dawe introduced the new Inclusive Data Governance and Monitoring (IDGM) team to support the NSIDAC (Amie Dede-Benefor, Alex Buckley and Louise Fryer) and thanked Dawn Snape’s team (Jesse Ransley, Emma Jones, Louise Fryer and Claire Bosanko-Green) for the support to date.

The Chair also thanked those who were able to contribute to the future of population and migration statistics recommendations letter, specifically Professor Anthony Heath.

Action: IDGM team to circulate an updated accountability chart demonstrating reports and responsibilities.

2. Update on the National Disability Strategy and the Disability Action Plan – for discussion and advice

The Chair firstly noted that the previous minister for disabled people, Tom Pursglove, had moved post to Minister of State for Legal Migration and Delivery, leaving the position empty.

Richard Laux (Cabinet Office) and Mark Velot (Cabinet Office) began their update by agreeing that their work was focused on prioritisation, given a lack of funding centrally for a disability survey.

There was consensus that there is a clear need for a focus on the collection of disability data between members. The Chair highlighted the need for more data on disabled people and work, pointing out the need for data to understand why only a small proportion  of people with learning disabilities are in work in the UK at the moment. Prof Anthony Heath discussed some recent work in conjunction with the Social Mobility Commission (SMC) using Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, which demonstrates a cumulative pattern of disadvantage over the lifecycle of a disabled person, beginning in education and getting worse as someone moves through into employment.

Members discussed several considerations relating to a potential disability survey, including:

  • definitions (medical vs social)
  • self-report considerations
  • inclusion considerations relating to multilingual respondents
  • potential coverage topics

Action: ONS to investigate potential for follow-up meeting with the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work of the United Kingdom.
Action: ONS to coordinate meeting with relevant people from DFE and DWP to discuss benefits of data collection relating to educational experiences of disabled people in UK.

3. Feasibility research – identifying people with a disability from administrative data – for information

Sarah Wood (ONS) gave a presentation to the committee regarding the feasibility research which provided a basis for the modelling work ongoing for the next 6 months, which includes linking admin sources to establish rules to identify people with a disability. It can be benchmarked against the responses to the 2021 Census, currently limited to England and Wales but depending on outcome could look to include Scotland and Northern Ireland. Admin data sources include statistical data from HESA or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) data.

Comments on the work from the members included requesting more information about inclusion based on definitions, and consideration of other data sources.

Action: Sarah Wood to meet with Anthony Heath to discuss the model in more detail and share the modelling details with him.

4. Data from non-household population groups – for discussion/advice

Paola Serafino (ONS) presented an update on the work to date undertaken within the Centre for Equalities and Inclusion (CEI) on non-household populations, which included:

  • an evidence review on “hidden” homelessness in the UK: summary of existing data and data gaps​
  • the outcome of commissioned research on a methodology to capture the scale of women experiencing “hidden” homelessness ​
  • an analysis of how the characteristics of people living in communal establishments compare with people living in private households using Census 2021 data​
  • a review of data sources and evidence on residents in communal establishments, information from which has been included in an update to the Equalities Data Audit

In the context of the realignment of the work to IDTF recommendations and the Future of Population and Migration Statistics (FPMS), and their subsequent new structure and remit, the team request input from members on priorities for work to extend data coverage to people not routinely included in data collection activities.

Members discussed the current context, approach to data collection, and potential routes to explore, for key population groups:

  • People in higher education
  • Young people in children’s homes
  • Children not in school
  • Older people in a range of institutions including prisons/detention centres
  • Hidden homelessness

Action: ONS team to review collated evidence in relation to groups of interest and follow up as appropriate with Louise Casey, Centre Point and relevant contacts from ONS’s existing networks in relation to homelessness and non household population groups including local authorities.

5. Annual self-review of the Committee’s work and effectiveness – for discussion – and 6. Prioritisation for the coming year. Sir Ian Diamond (National Statistician) joined the meeting for this agenda item.

The committee were thanked for their contribution to the FPMS consultation. The Chair noted the earlier discussion on admin data modelling and the use of census as a benchmark, and questioned what the benchmark will be if not census.

Sir Ian Diamond discussed his thoughts on admin-based delivery and what needs to happen to ensure it is inclusive. Considering people from marginalised groups who do not show up in data at any point, and thinking about the collection of data relating to lived experiences, are a priority for ONS in 2024.

An overview of the sessions’ discussion on people who are more likely to be under-represented in surveys such as the under 5s, people with severe learning difficulties and refugee populations, hidden homeless, people in non-household populations including prisons, and people with disabilities was presented to Ian Diamond.

Harmonisation was also discussed in relation to admin data, and noted as a topic to explore further by the committee, particularly regarding the 4 UK nations.

The Chair emphasised the importance of young people having trust in statistics, praised ONS schemes such as apprenticeships for getting young people interested and into ONS, and posed the question of how the ONS brand can be demonstrated as being trustworthy.

The structure and approach to NSIDAC meetings going forwards was discussed. Members requested more clarity in what ONS and speakers wanted input from them on. The committee also requested tangible examples of where their contributions had had an impact.

Action: Secretariat to identify work across ONS which relate to the work of the committee.
Action: Secretariat to provide guidance to committee in future meetings around objectives and where input would be helpful.
Action: ONS to provide update on social contract work in March meeting.

6. Forward Agenda Items

Members were invited to share any views on future agenda items with the convening team, which includes:

  • Children’s and young people’s data
  • Proposed revised workplan for IDTF Implementation plan and reprioritisations following ONS organisational change will be brought to NSIDAC for advice and discussion.

7. Any other business

Nothing was raised due to time constraints.

The papers that informed this board meeting are attached as a PDF document for transparency. If you would like an accessible version of the attached papers, please contact us at