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GSS > Events > GSS Conference 2020

GSS Conference 2020

From 20th October 2020 10:00am to 21st October 2020 4:00pm
The Celtic Manor Resort, Coldra Woods, The Usk Valley, Newport, South Wales, NP18 1HQ

We are pleased to announce that the 2020 GSS Conference will be taking place at The Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales on 20 and 21 October.

The conference is titled “GSS Conference 2020: Local Statistics, Global Significance” with a theme of connecting the UK with quality statistics we can trust.

The conference will be an exciting opportunity to meet other statisticians and data scientists working across a variety of organisations, allowing you to share ideas and learn about the excellent work that is being produced across government.

Tickets will be allocated through your department, there will be more information on this soon.

Watch this space for updates on speakers, agenda, sponsors and more!


Given the uncertainty around the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we will be continually reviewing our plans for the conference and prepare contingencies as the situation develops.

The conference is still planned to go ahead and preparations are currently on track. We are hoping to attract a variety of parallel presentations for delegates to attend. On top of this we will also be showcasing the work undertaken by various organisations in the poster presentation exhibition room.

The parallel sessions are an excellent opportunity to share your knowledge of how statistics produced on a local scale can have a national or global impact.

The parallel sessions team are looking abstracts for consideration for the parallel sessions and poster presentations. We are asking all statisticians and data scientists across government departments, as well as other public and private sector organisations, who may be interested in presenting at the GSS Conference, to submit an abstract. Have you worked inter-departmentally to produce some statistics? Do your statistics aid the local communities? Have you seen a wider national and international impact of your statistics? The conference team would love to hear from you!

We are happy to accept abstracts for work that is not yet completed as long as it is due to be completed before the conference. Please note that submission or acceptance of a poster presentation does not guarantee a place at the conference.

Please use this template (docx, 54KB) for your abstract and submit it by email it to by Friday 31 July.


Jade Carruthers (Public Health Scotland)

I really enjoyed being part of the 2019 GSS conference organising committee so I was super keen to volunteer to co-chair this year’s conference with Pooja. It is an excellent opportunity to meet lots of new people from across the GSS. The conference every year has a great atmosphere, unlocks potential working relationships and a chance to share best practice. To make it even more special it will be the first GSS conference since our new National Statistician. I can’t wait to continue working with Pooja to make the GSS Conference 2020 the best one yet!

Pooja Ramnarain (Ministry of Defence)

I have really enjoyed being part of the 2018 and 2019 conference organising committee and most certainly happy to be co-chairing the 2020 conference with Jade. With World Statistics day and the new GSS Strategy round the corner, this year’s conference is a special opportunity for the GSS community to come together, share best practice, and showcase some of the innovative work statisticians are doing across government. Having secured this year’s venue we’re continuing to make good progress and I am excited for what we have planned.

Communications Team

Kate Brosnan (Department for International Trade)

Having only become a member of GSS relatively recently, I volunteered to join the 2020 conference committee to meet new people and immerse myself in the GSS community. The conference will be a great way to showcase the statistics helping to drive policy, to gain an appreciation of alternative ways of working and ultimately to learn from each other. Having lived in a London bubble for two years I am also looking forward to getting a sense of the GSS membership outside of the capital. I’m excited to work with the other committee members to organise a conference that we can all be proud of.

Jon Mitchell (Office for National Statistics)

Allowing statisticians from different departments to meet and share ideas is essential, so I really wanted to help organise the conference. It is a perfect way to do something slightly different to my day job, giving me the opportunity to meet and work with a lot of new people from across government and gain experience organising a large scale event.

Delegates Team

Rajni Sandhu (Office for National Statistics)

I was interested in joining the GSS conference committee after attending the 2019 conference in Edinburgh. The whole event was well organised so I was interested in getting experience of how this event came together behind the scenes. It will also give me an opportunity to get to know other people working across the GSS and get a better understanding of the range of statistics in government.

George Pickering (Office for National Statistics)

I volunteered to be part of the organising committee for the GSS conference as I think it offers an excellent opportunity at the start of my Civil Service career to get more involved in the GSS. At the same time, I hope to gain valuable experience in helping to run a large-scale event. I am looking forward to working with people from across government in order to deliver a conference that is as inspiring, informative and engaging as possible.

Keynote Session Team

Rachael Fairley (Registers of Scotland)

I volunteered to be part of the GSS conference committee as I feel it’s a great opportunity to build relationships with others across a variety of other government departments and to get more involved in the GSS as a whole. I am really looking forward to working with the rest of the committee to organise this year’s GSS conference and can’t wait to see it all come together.

Leigh Dowd (Public Health England)

I volunteered to be on the GSS conference committee as I wanted to build relationships with statisticians from across government, in order to gain a better understanding of the work completed by other departments. I also wanted the chance to work on something completely different to what I do on a day-to-day basis. I presented some of my work at the 2019 GSS conference and found the conference as a whole to be really interesting, so I’m really looking forward to shaping the conference this year.

Parallels Session Team

Toni Stansfield (Ministry of Defence)

I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the committee last year and meeting new people across the departments. Therefore when the opportunity arose to continue as a part of the team this year I was keen to experience it all again with a new crowd of people. I look forward to another year of helping to display the variety of work undertaken throughout the GSS.

Alex Matthews (HM Revenue and Customs)

I wanted to get involved after attending the 2019 conference. I felt motivated by seeing all the great work statisticians had been doing across government and really enjoyed meeting others, sharing ideas and learning about their work. I’m looking forward to doing something a bit different from my current role, getting more involved in the GSS and organising some interesting parallel sessions for this year’s conference.

Sponsorship Team

Peshali Diyasena (Office for National Statistics)

I volunteered to be part of the GSS conference committee as it would be a good opportunity to get to know other statisticians across government and help organise an important GSS event. It is also a good chance to understand what kind of work goes on behind the scenes and hopefully deliver another great conference.

Ellen Clowser (Cabinet Office)

As I am new to the Civil Service and the GSS, I wanted to be part of the GSS committee to get to know other statisticians from across government. I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with new people and learn a bit about their experiences. I am looking forward to building on the skills that I use in my day job, and previous experience, to support the organisation of such a large-scale event.

Venue Team

Mike Baird-Parker (Office for National Statistics)

Upon hearing about the opportunity to join the GSS conference organising committee, I immediately jumped for the opportunity as event planning is something I have never done before. I love the opportunity to learn new things and develop new skills and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Ollie Nixon (Office for National Statistics)

I volunteered to join the GSS conference organising committee so that I could get more experience in organising and planning a large project, as well as having the opportunity to discover more about the work going on across the GSS and wider government analytical community. And of course, I hope to be involved in delivering a conference that is successful and enjoyable for all who attend.

The second GSS awards will be held on the first evening of this year’s conference. The awards will recognise and celebrate the excellent work being done across the GSS. There will be four awards presented to teams from across the GSS.


This award recognises collaboration between teams, departments, external organisations and researchers to deliver a statistical output or project.

The judging panel will consider the following when judging nominations for this award:

  • collaboration which improved data and methods
  • ways of working which enabled effective collaboration
  • collaboration which enhanced the insight and understanding of the findings
  • collaboration with stakeholders such as: other teams in your department, other government departments, organisations outside government, topic and method experts, other analytical professions, policy professionals, producers of related statistics or international organisations and researchers


This award recognises innovation in methods of data collection, statistical analysis and data science.

The judging panel will consider the following when judging nominations for this award:

  • use of innovative data collection, statistical analysis or data science methods
  • use of methods which led to new insight, answered complex questions or improved efficiency
  • consideration and effective communication of strengths and limitations of methods used
  • invitation of feedback from peer reviewers and experts which was then acted upon to refine methods


This award recognises clear and successful presentation and dissemination of statistics using commentary, visualisations, interactives, social media etc.

The judging panel will consider the following when judging nominations for this award:

  • use of innovative methods for communicating and disseminating statistics
  • clear presentation of statistics with meaningful explanations which provide insights to serve the public good
  • consideration of the needs of different types of users and potential users when determining how to communicate the statistics
  • communication of statistics in a way that engaged users and encouraged appropriate reuse of the statistics


This award recognises statistics which have had impact through use, influenced decisions made by policy-makers, politicians or the public or have contributed to public debate.

The judging panel will consider the following when judging nominations for this award:

  • a demonstrable link between the statistics and impact – for example: evidence to show that the statistics influenced a policy decision
  • the nature and significance of the impact from the users’ point of view (user feedback can be provided) – actual delivered impact will be considered more effective than anticipated or future potential impact
  • pro-active action to ensure statistics have impact
  • development of new statistics or analysis to meet an identified knowledge or information gap

Want to get in touch with us?

For any questions about the conference please email