Monday, October 12, 2009

A Brief Summary of Some of the Major Flaws in Badman's Statistics

Simple factual errors, eg: incorrect reporting of the percentage of NEETs in the national population wrong. Badman said 5%. It is actually 10.3%.

Since all LAs do not record their data in the same way, it is extremely difficult to aggregate the data reliably. With such hasty data aggregation, Mr Badman could not possibly know if he was lumping different things together.

eg: in one local authority, 100% of runaways were recorded as HE! Of course, this could could be just one child. We have no way of knowing from this data, as Badman gives percentages of runaways who are HE, not numbers for individual LAs.

Also there would be a difference in a figure like this, and the NEET figures too, if the child concerned had always been HE, or if they had recently been taken out of school because of bad experiences there. After all, a high percentage of HE children will have suffered badly from bullying.

The numbers of home educated children with Child Protection Plans (CPPs) are tiny. With such small numbers, any change is going to look much more significant than it really is; if an LA has one HE child with a CPP one year, and two children the next year, their frequency of CPPs has doubled.

The histograms Badman sets out in the annexes in his letter to the Select Committee display a wide range of CPP rates in different LAs - several have none for HE children; some have several. We don't know if the high numbers are because one authority has CPPs for each of the children in several large families, or whether they have a policy of setting up CPPs at a lower threshold than other authorities.

2 comments:

Baz said...

As Patch of Puddles points out (http://www.patchofpuddles.co.uk/archives/2886/again-with-the-numeracy-lessons-for-people-who-should-know-better), 0.4% of 20,000 children is 80 children.

Even with Badman's wonky, extrapolated stats, there are only 80 Home Educated children with CPCs in the whole country.

No wonder he is spinning the 'findings' as a percentage rather than quoting actual figures.

Jemmo said...

But haven't you heard? "Every child matters!"

This shows the fundamental flaw (one of them anyway) with the ECM project. Even if only one child was under a CPP, it would still, by the terms of ECM, excuse the draconian regulation of childhood the state is bent upon.