Academics must show research to government two days before publishing, say new DfE rules

Academics and journalists have been ordered to give civil servants two days to look over any research they plan to publish from the national pupil database in a move that some fear will shut down rapid scrutiny of government policy. Researchers were informed yesterday that any analysis produced using statistics from the national pupil database (NPD) must be shared with department officials 48 hours before publication. The department said the change would ensure policy officials and press officers are not “caught off guard” when data is published. But the move has been criticised by academics and journalists who say it will shut down rapid scrutiny. Publications by organisations like Education Datalab and the Education Policy Institute, quickly turned around after the government announced its intention to remove grammar schools, were awkward for the government as they cast doubt on claims the policy would improve social mobility. Data analysis from both organisations were also particularly widely reported in the media and both made use of the national pupil database. The idea I can give 48 hours’ notice is unworkable Professor Stephen Gorard, from the school of education at Durham University, also noted problems for academics who are not abreast of publication timeframes. … Continue reading Academics must show research to government two days before publishing, say new DfE rules