Too small to count

30th January 2009 at 00:00

Your article "Poor score for grading system" (FE Focus, January 9) reported on the responses of 61 of the approximately 1,200 delegates at the Association of Colleges conference. QDP Services, the company conducting the survey, felt able to conclude that the results represented valid evidence about the strengths and weaknesses of the Framework for Excellence.

As a professional educational researcher with 20 years of experience in the FE sector, I have to disagree. Even if its 5 per cent sample had been fully representative, QDP's reported results would have had a margin for error of +- 12.2 per cent. If the sample was skewed, the margin would become so large as to render any findings meaningless.

If the QDP survey shows anything it is how much the sector needs the sort of statistically robust provider-level data that will come out of the Framework for Excellence.

Gordon Aitken, Director, RCU (research and consultancy in education).

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now