DfE U-turn on hiding controversial apprenticeship data ‘welcomed’

The DfE’s rethink on publishing the revised provider achievement rate data for 2014/15 is a welcome change of heart – though it is possible that FE Week’s front page two weeks ago claiming they were hiding the data prompted tough questions within the department.

It may seem like a technical issue, but this is very important.

Not just to expose the true impact of closing the loopholes, but because comparable data is needed to judge what progress providers are making year on year.

At the risk of repeating myself, the government was right to close the “loopholes” in February that had previously caused over-inflated achievement rates.

And it needlessly exposed itself to accusations of a cover-up by initially opting not to publish comparable data earlier this month.

Although you could argue it’s a shame that this U-turn was only revealed in a low-key manner, at the bottom of updated bulletin for the tables, at least it is now going to be resolved.

It is now important that this data is published as soon as possible and the old over-inflated rates are removed from the government’s website promptly.

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