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Education: Statistics

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what data on education and skills his Department collects at lower layer super output area level. (275353)

DIUS collects a variety of information which in theory is capable of being analysed at lower layer super output area (SOA) as it includes the postcode of the business, provider or learner (see Table 1). In many cases, however, the data is not suitable for analysis, or not routinely made available, at this geographic level.

Lower layer SOA is generally only used as a building block to aggregate data to higher level geographies. Very few datasets allow for meaningful analysis to be produced by lower layer SOA (there are over 32,000 lower layer SOAs in England). Even where this is possible, significant work may be involved in establishing a suitable method for presentation and in resolving other statistical issues such as avoiding disclosure. Therefore, data may not be fit for purpose at lower layer SOA under National Statistics protocols.

Table 1 provides details of education and skills data collected by, or on behalf of, the Department which includes information by postcode of business, provider or learner. It also provides information on the level of geography which is currently released.

Table 1: Data used by DIUS which could in theory be analysed at lower layer super output area

Data

Collected by

Geographies available

UK Innovation Survey

ONS on behalf of DIUS

Not published below regional level although independent analysts have derived various sub-regional geographies.

Individualised Learner Record (Further Education, Work Based Learning, Train to Gain learner information)

Data Service

Published by parliamentary constituency, local authority, region, England.

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record

HESA

Published by parliamentary constituency, local authority, region, England, UK. Can produce data on Lower and Middle Layer SOAs. This is not generally published although the HESA Information Provision Service can provide this to customers on request.

Student Support Applications from Student Loans Company (SLC) data

SLC

Generally published for England. Some local authority figures can be produced.

Applicants to full-time undergraduate HE courses

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Published by parliamentary constituency, local authority, region, England, UK. UCAS has provided SOA level information to organisations (e.g. local authorities) on request and some of those have published reports based on the information.