Colleges fear more data demands

The government is failing to cut the burden of data collection and bureaucracy, a study has suggested.

Nearly 80 per cent of delegates surveyed at the Autumn College Data Conference last week thought that data demands would continue to increase in the next few years.

The survey, organised by Lsect, found that data demands would increase dramatically for around 41 per cent of respondents. A further 38 per cent said they thought their data demands would increase a small amount in the future.
In comparison only four per cent thought their data demands would decrease.

David Willetts, Minister of Universities and Science, said in 2009 that reducing the amount of resources spent on data collection was a priority.
He said: “Every college principal I meet tells me they have literally dozens of staff whose job is to collect data for a multiplicity of regulators and funding bodies which is not needed for the good management of the college. This is where the savings have to be made.”

The survey also showed that nearly 20 per cent of delegates hadn’t submitted their Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data return (RO2) on time.

Roughly half of respondents said they had completed their R02 without mistakes, while 23 per cent said they had sent their report with a small number of errors.

Rich Williams, Head of the Data Service, clarified at the conference that 687 out of 1,081 providers had submitted their R02 on time. This means that only 528,464 learners were accounted for in the R02 return.

Read the full report from the Lsect Autumn College Data Conference (click here)