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Statistics

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on how many occasions in the last five years the publication date of statistics produced by his Department has been changed; what the (a) subject of the statistics, (b) (i) original and (ii) final date of publication and (c) reason for the delay was in each case; and who took the decision to delay the publication in each case. (113673)

In accordance with the National Statistics Code of Practice (2002), the Head of Profession for Statistics in the Department for Education and Skills has sole responsibility for determining, pre-announcing and, if necessary, altering the dates of publication of “National Statistics” and other relevant statistics produced by the Department.

Any decision to change a pre-announced publication date will be based on a range of professional considerations such as the completeness of the underlying data, their fitness for purpose, the need for consistency and coherence, the need to promote widespread access and informed debate, or any earlier accidental or wrongful release. In reaching a decision, the Head of Profession will also take into consideration the detailed procedural guidance given in the “National Statistics Protocol on Release Practices”. The Head of Profession has published a statement describing how the Department’s release practices comply with the Release Practice Protocol. This can be accessed at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/compliance06.pdf The code and its 12 supporting protocols are available in the Library of the House, and can also be accessed using the following address: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/about/national_statistics/cop/default.asp

There have been only 27 occasions from a total of 322 publications in the last five years when the Head of Profession has changed a pre-announced publication date. The details are as follows:

Subject of the statistics

The original publication date

Final date of publication

Reason for the delay

Who took the decision to delay

SFR: GCSE/GNVQ and GCE A/AS Level Performance of Candidates Attempting two or more GCE A Levels or AS Equivalents: 2000/01

27 March 2002

25 April 2002

Due to the time taken to quality assure the charts and tables

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: Pupil Progress in Secondary Schools by School Type in England: 2001

March 2002

17 June 2002

Discussions with users about the proposed content of the publication took longer than expected

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: Adult Education Enrolments in England: November 2001

22 May 2002

4 July 2002

Record of reason is no longer available

Head of Profession for Statistics

Volume: Statistics of Education Schools in England 2002 Edition

September 2002

28 October 2002

Due to quality assurance of the tables taking longer than expected

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England: January 2002

October 2002

17 December 2002

Due to our own quality assurance processes revealing discrepancies with the data

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: GCSE/GNVQ and GCE/VCE A/AS Results for Young People in England (Provisional Statistics)

December 2002

January 2003 for the GCSE/GNVQ element and March 2003 for the GCE/VCE A/AS element

This publication was based on the data that underpins the Secondary School Performance Tables. As a result of the delay to the 2002 Performance Tables, the SFR had to be delayed until early 2003

Head of Profession for Statistics

Volume: Statistics of Education: Teachers in England 2002 Edition (including teachers pay in England and Wales)

December 2002

30 January 2003

The preparation of the publication was delayed because of other work priorities, and staff shortages

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: Class Sizes and Pupil: Teacher Ratios in England 2002

January 2003

20 February 2003

The preparation of the publication was delayed because of other work priorities, and staff shortages

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: Adult Education Enrolments in England: November 2002

March 2003

15 May 2003

The release was delayed because of the lateness of returns from some local education authorities and the need for further quality assurance of the dataset to be completed

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: GCSE/GNVQ and GCE A/AS/VCEs level performance of candidates attempting two or more GCE A levels/VCEs or AS Equivalents in 2001/02

April 2003

29 May 2003

Due to the delay in publication of the post-16 performance tables. The final performance tables dataset was not available week beginning 17 March 2003; therefore the Bulletin followed at a later date

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: Statistics of Education: Vocational Qualifications in the UK: 2001/02

29 May 2003

26 June 2003

Due to problems with data from one Awarding Body on the National Information System for Vocational Qualifications (NISVQ)

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: National Curriculum Assessments of 7 and 11 year olds in England 2002 (This publication is only available on the internet)

June 2003

October 2003 However, instead of being published as a separate bulletin, extra tables were added to the provisional SFRs

Delayed in order to incorporate final information on pupil performance in 2002 taken from the National Pupil Database in June 2003

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 3, GCSE/GNVQ Examination Results and Associated Value Added Measures in England 2001/02 (This publication is only available on the internet)

June 2003

October 2003 However, instead of being published as a separate bulletin, extra tables were added to the provisional SFRs

Delayed in order to incorporate final information on pupil performance in 2002 taken from the National Pupil Database in June 2003

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: Participation in Education, Training and Employment by 16-18 Year Olds in England: 2001 and 2002

June 2003

20 November 2003

The publication was delayed to allow further quality assurance of the underlying data

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: School Workforce in England (including pupil teacher ratios and pupil adults ratios) January 2003 (Revised)

August 2003

9 September 2003

Due to a change in priorities, this statistical first release was released in September

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: Information and Communications Technology in Schools in England: 2003

September 2003

30 October 2003

Delayed until October 2003 because of other work priorities and staff shortages

Head of Profession for Statistics

Volume: Higher Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 2001/02 (Prepared and published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in consultation with DfES statisticians)

25 September 2003

23 October 2003

Delayed due to printing difficulties

Head of Profession for Statistics

Bulletin: Participation in Education and Training by 16 and 17 Year Olds in Each Local Area in England: 2004 (internet only)

December 2003

26 February 2004

Delayed to allow further quality assurance of the underlying data. The delay was also due to the knock-on effect of the delay to the publication of the national participation estimates

Head of Profession for Statistics

Volume: Statistics of Education: School Workforce in England 2003 Edition

December 2003

20 January 2004

Delayed because of other work priorities and to allow for the inclusion of up-to-date figures on initial teaching training

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: National Curriculum Assessments and GCSE/GNVQ attainment by pupil characteristics, in England 2002 (Final) and 2003 (Provisional)

January 2004

24 February 2004

Delayed in order to incorporate a later version of the 2003 data.

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: Qualification and Participation in learning at a local level: England 2002/03

April 2004

11 May 2004

The original publication date was dependent on receiving the dataset for the Local Labour Force Survey from ONS in February. ONS were unable to provide the dataset for analysis until the end of March

Head of Profession for Statistics

Volume: Statistics of Education: School Workforce in England 2004 Edition

September 2004

27 January 2005

As an interim measure, an update to SFR 09/2004 was released in September. This included revised national and regional tables together with LEA level tables

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: Children looked after in England (including adoptions and care leavers): 2003-04

October 2004

17 November 2004

Delayed due to problems related with the implementation of a new data collection system

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England: January 2005 (Final)

August 2005

28 September 2005

The date of publication was deferred until September to allow further quality assurance of the sub-national data to be carried out

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 Value Added Measures in England 2004/05 (Revised)

November 2005

1 December 2005

The slight delay was due to the additional time needed to finalise the SFR that included some new features. For example, confidence intervals quoted alongside the key stage 1 to key stage 2 Value Added (VA) measures

Head of Profession for Statistics

Volume: Statistics of Education: School Workforce in England 2005 Edition (including teachers’ pay for England and Wales)

December 2005

26 January 2006

The volume had been rescheduled to January from December. The slight delay was due to a combination of other competing work pressures and the need to incorporate the latest data from external sources

Head of Profession for Statistics

SFR: National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post-16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics in England 2005

February 2006

1 March 2006

This SFR was originally planned for publication in late February 2006. However, its release was delayed until early March to allow for additional quality assurance

Head of Profession for Statistics