Statistical premise doesn't add up

28th November 2008, 12:00am
Dr Kate Chamberlain

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Statistical premise doesn't add up

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/statistical-premise-doesnt-add

It is unfortunate that David Reynolds used his article on funding to criticise the availability of the very statistics upon which he bases his arguments ("'Funded for failure'", TES Cymru, November 14). His criticisms are ill-founded.

Far from being published in an "obscure part of the website", these reports are in the "statistics" section of the Welsh Assembly government website. In the previous Assembly, data was presented to the education, lifelong learning and skills committee. The new structure, created for the third Assembly, has disbanded this committee, and there is no longer one to which this report could be presented. Even so, we have continued to produce and publish this report.

Statistics are taken very seriously by the Assembly government, and our statisticians act independently of policy officials. The Assembly government is fully signed up to the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, and statisticians operate in line with the related code of practice.

I am always keen to see our statistics used and challenged in informed debate. Given the extent of reliance placed on statistics in his article, it is disappointing that Professor Reynolds chooses to criticise the accessibility of the evidence - which is publicly available - in this way.

Dr Kate Chamberlain, Chief statistician, Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff.

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