Links: unreliable data on children’s services (FactCheck)

Channel 4’s FactCheck reports on some very shaky data being submitted by local authorities to the Department for Education. After listing a number of figures which varied wildly from year to year, and a response from a DfE spokesman that the numbers were “not very accurate”, reporter Patrick Worrall sums the picture up:

“So to recap, these spending figures don’t actually reflect the real amount of money spent; figures from different councils are not comparable with each other; spending in one year can’t be compared usefully with other years; and the government doesn’t propose to audit the figures or correct them when they’re wrong.”

The data is important, Worrall points out, because it will be used as part of the way that money is reallocated to the new academies.

“Many councils’ complaints, made plain in responses to an ongoing government consultation, hinge on DfE’s use of S251, a document it has variously described as “unaudited”, “flawed” and”not fit for purpose”.”

Sadly, the post fails to link to either the flawed data, the consultations, or any of the other evidence it mentions – which would allow others to dig further.

Can you can help find those links?

About Paul Bradshaw

Founder of Help Me Investigate. I'm a visiting professor at City University London's School of Journalism, and run an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University. I publish the Online Journalism Blog, and am the co-author of the Online Journalism Handbook and Magazine Editing (3rd edition). I have a particular interest in Freedom of Information and data journalism.
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One Response to Links: unreliable data on children’s services (FactCheck)

  1. Pingback: New-found Access to Unreliable Children’s Services Data… | Help Me Investigate… Education

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