Dear Ed,


Thank you for your letter of 30 May. I continue to take the matter of good and proper use of statistics very seriously, and I appreciate the work you and your teams have been undertaking with DfE officials over the last few months.

As you have recognised, we have taken a number of steps over the last few months to ensure statistics are always accurate and used in the appropriate context. And, more broadly, I am committed to ensuring we build the Department’s reputation as a trustworthy communicator of statistics. My Head of Profession for Statistics and his team continue to work closely with policy and communications teams across the Department to raise awareness of these important issues.

The facts around school funding are complex. And the debate around school funding can be impassioned. The Department publishes a wide range of information on school funding and on funding of the wider education system. I agree with you that there is more we can do to bring that wide range of information into one place and to help users navigate this complex landscape, as well as to consider the potential for additional information where this would be helpful. We have recently published a “contents page” for school funding streams on our website and are considering what more we can do in this area. My officials will continue to work with your team as we develop our plans.

I am happy to discuss ways in which the Department can continue to improve its presentation and use of statistics.

I have copied this letter to Neil McIvor, Head of Profession for Statistics, Mike Jones, Deputy Head of Profession, and to John Pullinger, the National Statistician

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Slater
Permanent Secretary


Related Links:

Ed Humpherson to Jonathan Slater (May 2019)

Ed Humpherson to Neil McIvor (May 2019)

Sir David Norgrove to Damian Hinds MP (October 2018)