Further Education and Skills: October 2017

This document reports a breach of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, or the relevant Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Orders, to which the Code applies as if it included these orders.

Child death reviews: year ending 31 March 2017

This document reports a breach of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, or the relevant Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Orders, to which the Code applies as if it included these orders.

Statistics for England on Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics, and on Absence and Exclusions

This report concludes that the statistics on the characteristics of schools and pupils should retain their National Statistics status, as long as DfE demonstrates it has enhanced their value, quality and trustworthiness in the ways that we describe in chapters one to three.

We temporarily removed the National Statistics status of statistics on unlawfully large class sizes after DfE told us it was concerned about their quality. To re-instate National Statistics status, DfE needs to check the actions it has taken to improve the quality have worked in the way they expect, as described in chapter two.

We have asked DfE to report on its actions by the end of April 2017.

The statistics are already well-used. Local authorities, academy chains, schools and parents use school-level data to learn more about individual schools and their pupils. Academics and researchers use the data to improve society’s understanding of the effects of education and how education policy affects different groups of pupils. And local and national government use the statistics and data to make decisions about schools’ funding and to develop policy for local areas and for England as a whole.

DfE’s work to make data available in innovative formats – through the Performance Tables – to share data and to make data held in the National Pupil Database more available, increases their public value. We encourage and support DfE’s efforts to put appropriate safeguards in place to protect individual pupils’ privacy as it works towards delivering wider access to the data about schools and pupils.


This document was republished on 17 February 2017 to include a reference to the published correspondence that we refer to in paragraph 3.7.

 

Related links:

Confirmation of National Statistics and re-designation of statistics on unlawfully large infant class sizes

 


Access to education attainment data

The Authority awarded National Statistics status in 2014 to school-level attainment statistics for England as presented in DfE’s Performance Tables. Following an enquiry about access to education attainment data highlighting the absence of unregulated IGCSEs from attainment statistics, the Director General for Regulation commissioned an investigation to gather new evidence about the school-level attainment statistics and the underlying data, and to consider the implications for the National Statistics status of these statistics.

Our overall conclusion is that the National Statistics status of the school-level attainment statistics for England – as presented in DfE’s Performance Tables – should continue, on the understanding that DfE implements the requirements that we have set out in the report.

We concluded that there was a gap in coverage across the suite of statistics and that DfE’s planned actions ­– along with information available from other organisations – should be sufficient to meet most needs associated with the gap. We have asked DfE to keep demand under review to ensure that this is and remains the case.

Before the enquiry, DfE had begun to put in place actions that will improve access to education attainment data and has identified others that will help to meet the gap in coverage that the enquiry identified. The Authority welcomes these actions and looks forward to seeing improvements to the statistics that result.

We will continue to keep the National Statistics status of the school-level attainment statistics for England as presented in DfE’s Performance Tables under review.


This document was republished on 11 August 2016 to remove references to IGCSEs â  – which is the registered trademark of Cambridge International Examinations – and replaced it with international GCSEs.


Related downloads

Letter from Ed Humpherson to Iain Bell

Letter from Ed Humpherson to Simon Briscoe

Publishing statistical reports at 9.30am – Department for Education

Protocol 2 Practice 4 of the Code of Practice for Official Statistics provides for statistical reports to be published at 9.30am on a weekday.

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that it plans to bring forward publication of key stage 2 assessment results compared with previous years. Because of the compressed timescale, DfE told us that it is highly unlikely that it will be able to release these results at 9.30am, but expects to publish them as soon as possible after 11am.

The Authority has confirmed that in these circumstances it is acceptable for DfE to publish these statistics after a delay.