Department for Education funding statistics
I am writing following our correspondence in the autumn. Since then, I have been encouraged by the steps you and your colleagues have taken to improve your communication of statistics – for example by improving the process which ensures statements released by the Department for Education are cleared by relevant analysts.
We consider, as I know you do too, that there is scope for the Department to improve further. For a meaningful debate about public spending in any area, it is necessary to have a trustworthy data source. In that context, we note that the Department does not produce a comprehensive set of official statistics on the funding of schools. A wide range of data sources on school funding are currently used to inform debate, by both the Department and others. This in turn can mean that statements using data are hard to verify and replicate, and this creates a risk of undermining the perceived trustworthiness of those making the statements.
We are therefore encouraged that the Department is considering the potential for publishing regular official statistics on school funding, and formally recommend that you do so.
I have today written to the Department’s head of profession for statistics setting this out in more detail.
Director General for Regulation