Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics: Key Stage 4 performance statistics for England

13 July 2022
Last updated:
13 July 2022

Use of Technology

  1. In March 2020, DfE launched its new EES platform. This platform embeds the statistical bulletin into HTML which enables users to interact with the charts and tables and to more easily navigate the commentary, compared with a static PDF document. The bulletin is a strong example of best practice in statistical presentation.  
  2. The EES platform also hosts new functionality to explore the underlying data and create bespoke tables. Users can build their own data tables by selecting from over 20 subjects such as ‘KS4 local authority data’, the geographic region, over 70 indicators, the time period they want to look at, and characteristic options such as gender. The implementation of EES has enabled DfE to improve its data presentation, enhance insight, and better meet the needs of different types of users.  
  3. Most users reported that they found EES relatively easy to use although some reported that the number of options could be overwhelming at first. Some users flagged that it wasn’t always clear what data were available, which could result in blank tables being generated. We also heard from some users that the metadata could be difficult to navigate as they were provided in a separate text file. 
  4. The EES platform includes metrics that allow DfE to see how users interact with the statistics including which datasets they download, and which variables are most commonly used in the bespoke tables. This information will allow DfE to make improvements to the presentation of the statistics on a continuous basis.   
  5. The Code of Practice for Statistics states that statistics and data should be released using accessible communication formats. The accessibility of the KS4 statistics greatly increased following the migration to the EES platform. Although EES is not yet fully compliant with accessibility standards (as outlined in DfE’s accessibility statement),accessibility statement DfE continues to test the service for accessibility issues and to work on resolving issues. We welcome DfE’s ongoing commitment to improving the accessibility of all their statistics.  
  6. Users were generally positive about the KS4 statistics included on the Compare School Performance website however some issues were raised including the level of information provided to users on metrics such as Attainment 8 and Progress 8 to aid their interpretation. DfE is currently investigating possible changes to mitigate these issues.  
  7. The KS4 statistics team is working to automate more of its systems and are making use of innovative technologies such as Power BI and R. In addition, the team has adopted the principles of Reproducible Analytical Pipelines as set out in our recent review. This will help improve the efficiency of the production of the statistics and further reduce the risk of human error. 
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