England’s annual PE and School Sport Survey ended

As part of the government’s comprehensive spending review, the comprehensive survey of children and young people’s participation in PE and School Sport has been ended after seven years, as the axe falls on the entire £162m School Sport Partnership programme.

 Department for Education, Data Series: 2003/04 to 2009/10

 Cost in 2009/10: £329, 275.  Source: http://www.education.gov.uk/research/data/general/Contract%20Awards%20DCSF%20March%202010.pdf, Contractor: TNS-BMRB

 Most recent report at: http://www.education.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/DFE-RR032-WEB.pdf

 Survey Summary: The largest most comprehensive survey of children and young people’s participation in PE and School Sport.  Seven annual surveys on behalf of the Department for Education (formerly Department for Children, Schools and Families). The surveys aimed to collect information about participation in PE and out of hours school sport, and took place between 2003/04 and 2009/10. The most recent survey comprised a census of all schools in England, and achieved a response rate of 99.8% (21,436 schools), with data collection taking place during May – July 2010. In addition, a separate survey was also conducted among FE colleges in both 2008/09 and in 2009/10: the most recent of these surveys had a response rate of 99.4% (357 colleges).

Cut details: £162m funding for School Sport Partnership programme removed on 20th October 2010. Ref: http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/inthenews/a0065473/refocusing-sport-in-schools-to-build-a-lasting-legacy-of-the-2012-games 

Extract from the letter from Secretary of State to Baroness Sue Campbell Chair of the Youth Sport Trust:

“I am removing the need for schools to:

– plan and implement their part of a ‘five hour offer’;
– collect information about every pupil for an annual survey;
– deliver a range of new Government sport initiatives each year;
– report termly to the Youth Sport Trust on various performance indicators;
– conform to a national blueprint for how to deliver PE and sport, and how to use their staff and resources; and
– get permission from the Youth Sport Trust and the Department to use their funding flexibly or to vary how they do things.”

Information supplied by Simon Tanner, Research as Evidence Ltd

UK Office for National Statistics cut by 17.4%

ONS have begun consultation to prioritise its products, to help it decide where to make the 17.4% cuts demanded by government in the period 2010/11 to 2014/15. The consultation ends on 24th December and includes a London meeting organised by the Statistics User Forum on 23rd November. ONS proposes prioritising: statutory requirements including those of the EU, quality of continuing products, IT infrastructure to deliver products; and reducing the frequency or cutting completely other products for which least demand can be demonstrated.

This consultation refers to ONS outputs. Welsh and Scottish devolved administrations will declare their own expenditure reductions around the 17th November.

The 2011 Census is safeguarded. A ‘Beyond 2011’ project will examine ways of replacing the Census, which the government minister Francis Maude and the statistics authority have declared too difficult and costly: the intention is that 2011 will be ‘the last of its kind’.

Statisticians’ Video Mourns Canadian 2011 Long-form Census

As the world celebrated the first World Statistics Day on 20th October, a group of statisticians conducts a funeral for the long-form census in a YouTube video. “We in Canada are in a unique position in this celebration,” said Don Mcleish, president, Statistical Society of Canada, “having boasted (according to the Economist magazine) one of the pre-eminent government statistical agencies in the world. Certain events, including cancellation of the long form census this past summer, have cast a shadow on the WSD celebration.”

The Statistics Society of Canada screened the 8-minute amateur video based on the irony of the inaugural World Statistics Day occurring in the year of the cancelled census. You can view this video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntU3_x6PqpY.

England’s Tellus survey of child well-being ends

 The UK government has with immediate effect cut the national survey which measures by area the emotional well being of children in England and their misuse use of drugs and alcohol amongst much else concerning their wellbeing. Details are at:


 To quote from that:

 “Welcome to the Tellus Portal

The Government has decided to stop the delivery of the Tellus Survey as part of its commitment to reduce the burdens which data collection imposes on schools and local authorities. The decision is with immediate effect, which means the Tellus5 survey will not be delivered as planned in the Autumn Term.

“The Tellus portal will remain live until 17 September 2010 so that schools and local authorities who participated in Tellus4 can access their data using the online analysis tool and save or print a copy of the information that they want to keep beyond this date. ”

Local authorities can only access their data – not all the data – it will be lost. Deleting the historic record is maybe even worse than not collecting in the first place.

Bugdet cuts reach official statistics in Spain prior to the largest statistical operation, the 2011 Census.

Although the initial plan for the 2011 Census was to carry out an improved version of the previous census in 2001 with a combination of a traditional census (with an exhaustive collection of information) and the use of information from administrative registers, the impact of the economic crisis has forced a revision of the whole census operation with fundamental changes in the methodology (it will finally be based on population and administrative information supplemented with the collection of new survey data) and a significant reduction in the number of census agents to do the fieldwork (from 42.000 in 2001 to 5.000 in 2011).

 News stories (only available in Spanish)



UK 2011 Census to be the last

July 2010. UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude proposed scrapping of the 2021 Census as a cost-cutting exercise. The information would be replaced by use of administrative records. Status seems to be that of a decision to review alternatives (as usual) but with expectation of change to significantly reduce costs.
Blog with link to news pieces http://bit.ly/bhkMFM

Canada 2011 Census detail replaced by voluntary survey


July 2010. Chief Statistician resigns after Canada’s Census long-form is to be abandoned in favour of an enlarged voluntary national survey. Government states privacy as reason.

News stories http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/StatsCan+boss+quits+over+census+mess/3305387/story.html


Petition http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/keep-the-canadian-census-long-form.html

Public letter of protest http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2010/07/19/strange-bedfellows-invite-clement-to-work-with-them-towards-census-solution/

American Statistical Association protest http://www.amstat.org/about/pressreleases/ASACallsforLongFormReinstatement.pdf