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Data Service

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the functions of the Data Service are in relation to the provision of information for further education; and if he will make a statement. (278246)

The Data Service was announced in the FE Reform White Paper in March 2006 and launched in April 2008 to become the single authoritative source of data for post-16 further education, with sole responsibility for its collection and dissemination.

It is an independently managed entity, formed from and still within the Learning and Skills Council. It is responsible for providing a service to the whole FE Sector and reports to a steering group with representation from across the FE sector.

The Data Service brings together a range of functions related to data collection and dissemination and is building to a mature service able to support all data collection and primary dissemination activities required for the academic year 2010-11. The Data Service collects a range of information including data from providers on learners and learning aims, for operational purposes. Data includes information on learners in FE colleges, Train to Gain and Apprenticeships collected via the Individualised Learner Record.

The Data Service works closely with the Department on the production and dissemination of publicly available statistical information, including a series of National Statistics publications, the most recent of which was released on 26 March 2009: