Today’s Education in the Media blog looks to clarify media reporting around the publication of our apprenticeship statistics.
On Tuesday 28 April we published a notice to say that due to Covid-19 outbreak we are making changes to the planned publication of our regular apprenticeships statistics.
This has led to some reports that we are scrapping all in-year apprenticeship data releases. This is not the case. We have released a statement in response, to clarify our position, which makes clear that that we will continue to publish this data and aim to do this to similar timescales to the previously advertised dates.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
It’s simply wrong to suggest we have cancelled the publication of apprenticeship figures. We will continue to publish headline statistics, including on apprenticeship starts, just not on the previously advertised dates. This is a temporary measure in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and during this period we will continue to publish the end-of-year releases as normal, allowing a fuller picture of the period affected by the pandemic.
We recognise the importance of this data. The impact of the coronavirus creates challenges in quality assurance, particularly while colleges are largely closed and we have left collections open on a voluntary basis to reduce burden. Temporarily pausing the scheduled in-year release dates allows us more time to quality assure data, and to ensure that information published remains high quality and includes any additional information that will help to monitor and explain what has happened to apprenticeship numbers during this unprecedented time.