Presentation on theme: "Improving the Coherency and Focus of School Statistics Products Pete Whitehouse Head of Analytical Services Unit - Learning."— Presentation transcript:
Improving the Coherency and Focus of School Statistics Products Pete Whitehouse Head of Analytical Services Unit - Learning
Background – why do we have official statistics? Statistics Authority – Code of Practice – states that “Official statistics are fundamental to good government, to the delivery of public services and to decision-making in all sectors of society. They provide Parliament and the public with a window on society and the economy, and on the work and performance of government.” The introduction to the Code also states that through employing the Code producers of official Statistics will deliver a “coherent and trustworthy service to the user of statistics”
Links to Civil Service Code Taken from the Statistics Authority Code of Practice : Civil Service core values of integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. In relation to statistical work, these are interpreted as follows. Integrity – putting the public interest above organisational, political or personal interests. Honesty – being truthful and open about the statistics and their interpretation. Objectivity - using scientific methods to collect statistics and basing statistical advice on rigorous analysis of the evidence. Impartiality – acting solely according to the merits of the statistical evidence, serving equally well all aspects of the public interest.
How we are currently responding to these requirements and obligations? Ordered set of statistical collections and publications Significant improvement in quality assurance processes Facilitating access to datasets for statistical and research purposes Increasing the range of background datasets Supporting central and local government – monitoring performance, informing policy development and improving consistency User engagement
What are our challenges? Increasing demand for ‘real time’ statistics Increasing expectation that nationally presented ‘statistics’ are 100 % in agreement with administrative data within a class or school How to prioritise whilst reflecting the wide user needs and the importance of ‘public value’ How to distinguish between data that is necessary within the School system and statistics which should be presented nationally How to add real value to the statistics – moving beyond presentation
Recent Developments Statistics Authority Assessment –better understanding of use made of statistics, needs of users and user views –improve clarity of statistics presentation quality assurance processes –increase availability of datasets
Recent Developments Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Keen to reduce central government bureaucracy –‘A duty to do what I can at a national level to reduce burdens imposed on schools by central government’ – letter to TESS (17 th September 2010) Keen that statistics are presented in a more accessible manner which provides a more rounded picture of Scottish education Keen to remove duplication of statistics – in particular where data are published elsewhere Keen to remove statistics where conclusions are substantially undermined due to local authorities employing different administrative practices.
What are we doing? Workplan in progress to respond to the Statistics Authority report –improve our understanding of user needs –provide greater clarity about how user views influence decisions –improve presentation of statistics –improve access to background data –improve explanations of quality assurance of data (in particular administrative datasets)
What are we doing? Responding to Cabinet Secretary Run a consultation survey of users –Proposed the repackaging of our key statistics Resources, Achievement, Outcomes –Proposed the removal of a number of centrally run statistical collections Currently compiling results and considering advice to Ministers.
The future Clearer awareness of user needs Clearer presentation of how decisions are made Focus on ‘public value’ of our products Continue to make data available for further statistical analysis and research Employ different approaches to the presentation of statistics, background data etc which reflect user needs and maximise use. Recognise the impact of resource constraints – and ensure resources are devoted to priorities.