On 20 July 2018, the Official Statistics Order 2018 came into force. This legislation lists the Office for Students as a producer of official statistics. As a result we are required to apply the principles and practices of an official statistics producer.
This recognises that we publish statistics based on official administrative and survey data, and that we follow the Code of Practice for Statistics.
Announcement of release dates for official statistics
The release dates of our official statistics can be seen on our statistics release schedule. We aim to provide exact release dates four weeks in advance of publication and by month for releases in the next twelve months.
As a new organisation, this schedule may be more likely to change as we review and update our work. Any change to our planned publication dates will be announced on our statistics release schedule.
We limit access to official statistics before their public release to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, or for quality assurance and operational purposes.
The circulation of official statistics in their final form ahead of publication is restricted by the Office for Students to eligible recipients, in line with the rules and principles on pre-release access set out in legislation.
Eligible recipients are restricted to:
- ministers (as listed in the legislation)
- heads of government departments
- members of the Welsh Assembly Government
- those accountable for government policy which the statistic has direct relevance
- those accountable for the delivery of public services which the statistic has direct relevance
- advisers to those listed above.
We record who has been granted pre-release access on our statistics release schedule and assess this on a case-by-case basis.
Pre-release access is allowed only in circumstances where the public benefit outweighs the detriment to public trust in statistics. Pre-release access is limited to 24 hours prior to publication.
The OfS data strategy 2018 to 2021 sets out our approach to data and its use. Our strategy is in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics and describes our approach to a number of key elements of statistical processing and practice.
Occasionally it may be necessary to make revisions to our data and published statistics in order to update or correct data. Our statistical policy statement on revisions sets out how we will comply with the Code of Practice when making scheduled revisions or unscheduled corrections to official statistics and data.
We will regularly review user satisfaction with the relevance and usefulness of our statistics. We are currently developing a strategy for understanding student and other stakeholder perceptions, including through a dedicated student engagement strategy (as described in the 2019-20 business plan).
Through our engagement we will also seek to increase public awareness of the statistics we publish and maintain a dialogue with users on their needs, through formal and informal routes, and identify where new data may be beneficial.
If you have any feedback please email [email protected]
Where can I find out more?
Our contact for these statistics is Mark Gittoes, Head of Profession for Statistics. If you have any questions or complaints about our statistics, contact Mark at [email protected] or on 0117 931 7052.
The Office for Students is committed to following the Code of Practice for the statistics it produces. Details can be found on the website of the UK Statistics Authority.