Education Secretary Damian Hinds could face probe from statistics watchdog over conference speech

Education Secretary Damian Hinds could face a probe from the statistics watchdog over “discredited” claims he made about school standards. The Huffington Post reports

The minister told delegates at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham that there are 1.9m more children in good or outstanding schools since 2010. 

But immediately after his speech, experts at the Education Policy Institute released a statement saying the Government should “ditch their favourite line” because the figure was “flawed in several ways”.  

Now, Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, has told HuffPost UK she has written to chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove, to demand an investigation. 

She said: “The Tories have once again been caught repeating utterly discredited statistics in a desperate attempt to deny the facts facing Britain’s schools. If they really want excellence in maths, they could start by making sure their own numbers add up.

“It is time that ministers stopped the spin and faced up to the reality of an education system in crisis as a consequence of their own cuts.”

After the speech, a spokesman for the EPI said: “The Department for Education should stop using a line based on the fact that there are more children in good in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.” 

They said they had identified “several factors that undermine its status as a fair comparison”, including increases in pupil population and the fact that 579,000 pupils are at schools that have not been inspected since at least 2010.  

Read more Education Secretary Damian Hinds could face probe from statistics watchdog over conference speech

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