We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

The ONS is assessing the feasibility of a survey measuring the current prevalence of child abuse in the UK. We published an article in January 2021 outlining our findings to date.

We are currently in phase one of the project, which aims to establish whether there is enough evidence to support carrying out a pilot survey (phase two).

As part of this, we consulted with users to understand:

  • the need for improved statistics to understand the prevalence and nature of child abuse in the UK
  • the impact of not having this data
  • whether the proposed survey includes the elements that users feel are important and would meet their needs
  • any other important considerations that should be explored in our research going forward

You said

We received 91 responses to the consultation. Nearly half (44%) worked with or represented children or young people and 11% were decision or policy makers in national or local government.

Overall, there was strong support to take this work forward. Responses demonstrated the importance of survey data for designing strategies to prevent and respond to child abuse, developing and providing relevant services, and raising awareness of abuse.

You told us it’s important that;

  • a survey includes all children, particularly, those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and who are home schooled
  • a survey covers the whole of the UK and includes young people aged 16 to 25 years
  • a survey provides appropriate support and takes proportionate safeguarding action
  • schools are prepared and able to effectively handle the possible impacts a survey could have
  • the limitations of a survey are clearly communicated alongside the data produced

We did

We will undertake qualitative research with:

  • children and young adults with experiences of abuse and parents of children with experiences of abuse, to hear their voices
  • headteachers, special educational needs coordinators and safeguarding leads in schools to understand how a survey could be carried out in schools and how children and young adults with SEND could be included
  • child protection leads working in local authority children’s social care services to understand how appropriate support and safeguarding could be ensured, and how home-schooled children could be included

We will also:

  • carry out further research to understand how all UK countries can be included and how robust data for each of these can be achieved
  • carry out further research to understand how young people aged 16 to 25 years can be included
  • continue to engage with key stakeholders to understand how a survey could be integrated into schools
  • continue to work with stakeholders, such as support organisations and the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee (NSDEC), to ensure any research is conducted in a sensitive and appropriate manner
  • publish a progress update this winter, providing the qualitative research is completed, which will summarise the findings from further work, our conclusion to phase one, and outline our next steps

We asked

The UK Statistics Authority/ONS Inclusive Data Consultation was open to the public from 5 January to 26 March 2021 (12 weeks). The purpose aligned with the UKSA strategy, Statistics for the Public Good, and supported the work of the Inclusive Data Taskforce to ensure that: “…our statistics, [analysis and publications] reflect the experiences of everyone in our society so that everyone counts, and is counted, and no one is forgotten.” (Statistics for the Public Good, 2020).

 

We consulted to gain views on what was needed to improve inclusivity of UK data and evidence, where the gaps are or where data and evidence are currently lacking or partial (topics, quality), and where further work is needed. We also sought views on where to make improvements and what is currently working well.

You said

The consultation received 185 total responses. These consisted of:

  • 100 responses from individuals
  • 83 responses from organisations
  • 2 responses did not identify whether they were an individual or an organisation.

Of the responses received from organisations, ‘Charity and voluntary sector’ organisations provided the majority, 32 responses (38.6%). A further 14 responses (16.9%) were from ‘Local authority’ organisations and 11 (13.3%) were from ‘Academic/research’ organisations. There were 8 responses (9.6%) from ‘Government departments’ and 6 responses (7.2%) from ‘Public body’ organisations. Other organisations that responded included campaigning/lobby groups, unions, IT professionals, engineering/design, education, health and social care. 

We did

The findings from this consultation have been used alongside other evidence gathered to inform the recommendations of the Inclusive Data Taskforce on improving the UK’s inclusive data holdings and infrastructure.

The recommendations, including a full analysis of responses received, can be found here.

We asked

In December 2020, ONS released the provisional, or 'beta' version of a new Health Index for England. The release provides an illustrative presentation of what this new statistic could look like and how it could enable new analysis.

Alongside the publication, ONS launched a 12-week consultation asking for feedback on the provisional ‘beta’ version of the Health Index. ONS will use the feedback gained to develop the Health Index into a finalised product.

You said

The consultation received 131 total responses. These consisted of:

  • 46 questionnaire responses from the public
  • 42 questionnaire responses from analysts
  • 8 questionnaire responses from government decision-makers
  • 14 questionnaire responses from other respondents
  • 21 responses via email

Responses were submitted on behalf of individuals and organisations. Some respondents provided feedback based on the views of multiple organisations.

The majority of responses were supportive of both the concept of a Health Index in general, and the ONS’s beta version as a means of achieving that concept.

Many made suggestions for improving the Health Index’s content, methodology and presentation – further detail of which can be found in the consultation response.

We did

ONS will carefully consider the suggestions put forward with its expert advisory group.

Amendments which can be acted upon in the short term will be incorporated into the next version of the Health Index, to be released later in 2021. Others will inform the development the Health Index in the longer term.

We asked

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) invited views on our proposed Census 2021 Output Geography Policy, and our plans for geography products and services. The consultation took place from 5 November 2020 to 18 December 2020.

The policy largely focuses on our maintenance plans for small area geographies – Output Areas (OAs), Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) and Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs). We provided detail for each of the proposed publicly available geography products and services, including digital boundaries, look-up files and statistical products.

We consulted with users to:

  • obtain feedback on all aspects of Census 2021 Output Geography Policy
  • specifically understand whether they supported our recommendation for a refinement to the OA best-fit approach for producing ward and parish census statistics
  • provide a detailed list of the geography products we intend to make available
  • understand any user interest in a comparable UK small area geography

You said

We received 132 responses to the consultation. Of these, 69 respondents (52%) answered on behalf of an organisation and 63 respondents (48%) answered as an individual.

All respondents stated the sector in which they worked, with a small number stating two or more sectors (which accounts for the differences in totals). There were 20 respondents (14%) who did not work in a sector listed, who were most typically retired.

Overall, 84% of users supported our recommendation set out in the consultation. We recommend continuing to publish ward and parish outputs using an OA best-fit approach, with additional alignment of some OA boundaries to wards and parish boundaries.

Users also told us that:

  • they generally support our intention to keep the Census 2021 Output Geography Policy relatively unchanged from the existing policy
  • they recognised the need to maintain a balance between updating statistical geographies to reflect change and preserve comparability with historical data
  • they had concerns that realignment of OAs to ward boundaries could be quickly undone if these ward boundaries were to undergo further change in the future  
  • clear supporting information was vital to inform users of any boundary changes
  • they support our proposed publicly available products and provided detail of additional products that would help their work
  • they partly support a comparable UK small area geography – around half voiced their support, with the remainder not having a specific requirement

We did

We intend to:

  • proceed with our proposed Census 2021 Output Geography Policy
  • implement our recommendation for a refinement to the OA best-fit approach for producing ward and parish census statistics
  • consider boundary changes and reflect the geographies in place at the time of the release of census outputs
  • consider what supporting information we can produce to inform users of boundary changes
  • keep users informed about plans to release census outputs for 1 km grid squares
  • produce OA, LSOA and MSOA look-up files to assist users in identifying if current geographies are comparable from 2011 to 2021
  • consider any additional requirements mentioned by users  
  • discuss options for producing a comparable UK small area geography for Scotland and Northern Ireland with the devolved administrations

We asked

From 11 March 2020 to 21 August 2020, the UK Statistics Authority and HM Treasury ran a joint consultation on reforming the methodology of the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

The UK Statistics Authority has a proposed technical approach that they intend to take to transition between the current and new methods and data sources of RPI. The Authority was seeking responses on their proposed approach.

The Government sought responses on the potential impact of the Authority’s proposal on the holders of index-linked gilts, the impact on the wider index-linked gilt market and any consequent public finance implications. The consultation sought evidence, with regard to these relevant factors, to inform the Chancellor of the impacts of the Authority’s proposal if implemented before 2030.

The UK Statistics Authority and the Government were also mindful that they did not have full sight of the use of RPI in the economy and financial contracts and therefore welcomed evidence on the use of RPI and its sub-indices more widely to inform future policy decisions.

For full details, please see the Consultation Document.

You said

At the close of the consultation on 21 August 2020, the government and Authority had received 831 written responses, including 209 to the Engagement Hub, 619 to the consultation email address, and three by post. These responses included 240 from companies, trade associations, trades unions or think tanks, with the remaining 591 submitted by private individuals or community groups.

Proposed technical approach

Of the 831 responses to the consultation, 37% provided a response on the Authority’s proposed approach for making the change. Of those who answered this question, the most common response was that respondents agreed that the approach was statistically rigorous (34%). Around half that number (17%) took a different view and suggested that the approach was not statistically rigorous.

A number of respondents made the point that although the proposed transition method was statistically rigorous, they felt that the consultation was too narrow, and should have included the proposed reform of RPI methodology itself. Others suggested that economic impacts – not statistical rigour – should be the primary consideration.

For full details of the responses to this question, please refer to the consultation response.

Timing

There were 229 written responses offering information relevant to these questions. The majority came from stated investors in index-linked gilts. Of these, there were 125 responses from trustees of defined-benefit pension schemes (both private and local government schemes), 17 responses from asset managers and investment firms, and three responses from insurance companies. In addition, the consultation received seven responses from trade associations, which mostly represented investors in index-linked gilts, and from consultancies who advise defined-benefit pension schemes.

Almost all respondents noted that reform will reduce the remaining interest and redemption payments of all index-linked gilts maturing after the implementation date. In turn, this will reduce the market value of index-linked gilts. The direct impact of this on the Treasury would be reduced debt interest and lower maturity payments.

For full details of the responses to these questions, please refer to the consultation response.

Broader impacts

The majority of responses to the consultation addressed the broader impacts of reform. The responses made clear that the RPI is used widely in the economy by individuals, businesses, and government. Broadly speaking, responses to the consultation outlined the impact of reform on two areas of use of the RPI: first, in private arrangements and contracts, and second, by government.

Inflation indices are used widely in private contractual terms to reflect the rise in the general level of prices over time. Examples given include defined benefit pensions, financial instruments (such as derivatives or swaps), property and infrastructure.

Alongside its use as the reference rate in the index-linked gilts, the government uses the RPI to revalorise some taxes, to determine changes in rail fares, and to calculate the rate of interest on student loans. At Budget 2018, the government committed to not introduce new uses of the RPI.

For full details of the responses to these questions, please refer to the consultation response.

We did

Proposed technical approach

After considering consultation responses and advice from its Technical Advisory Panel for Consumer Price Statistics (APCP-T), the Authority has concluded that its preferred approach for bringing the methods and data sources of CPIH into the RPI remains that set out in the original consultation document.

For full details, please refer to the consultation response.

Timing

Having considered the responses to the consultation, on 23 October 2020 the Chancellor wrote to the Authority Chair stating that, in order to minimise the impact of the Authority’s proposal on the holders of index-linked gilts, he will be unable to offer his consent to the implementation of a proposal (such that the Authority intends to make) before the maturity of the final specific index-linked gilt in 2030.

For full details, please refer to the consultation response.

Broader impacts

The government and Authority are mindful of the widespread use of the RPI in the economy and of their responsibilities as public sector bodies to consider the impacts of reform in future policy making.

For full details, please refer to the consultation response.

We asked

We asked for people’s views on taking an indicator-based approach to measuring human capital. Human capital is a measure of the skills, knowledge and experience of an individual or population that can be applied to the economy or to society at large.

The key elements of the consultation were developing a new lifetime measurement indicator-based framework, which complements and augments the current Human Capital Stock measure. In practice, this means we will aim to produce a suite of indicators (data summarising the population which can be tracked over time) based on the themes set out in the consultation.The indicators are designed to work together to help everyone from the policy maker to the citizen understand the elements that can enhance an individual’s and the country’s human capital. This will help with making key decisions on investing in people at the right time and in the right place.

We requested general feedback on whether this indicator-based approach would be useful for respondents and the work that they do or if they had suggestions for alternative approaches that we could take. We also asked for feedback on specific aspects of the proposal such as:

  • Whether respondents agreed our proposed themes (Health, Compulsory, further and higher education, Work, Family and Home, Crime, Independent Learning and Personality Traits) were complete and relevant.
  • Whether respondents agreed with our proposed three types of indicator; input, enabling factor and outcome.
  • Whether respondents were more interested in us filling data gaps or creating proxy indicators.

You said

We received over 130 responses to the consultation from a wide range of users including central government, local government, industry organisations, academics, third sector organisations, trade unions, public corporations and individuals. We also held an engagement day with over 40 people attending and providing feedback on our proposals.

Overall, users agreed with our proposed indicator-based approach to measure human capital and were particularly in favour of us expanding our measures to consider the full lifetime of individuals, beyond the economically active population. Users said they would also like us to expand our measure to consider the impact on personal and social well-being, as well as retaining some priority on the economic well-being impacts.

Half of respondents thought the measure would be useful for the work they are planning to do, although some users had concerns around the complexity of the proposal. We received many suggestions for additional approaches which we are beginning to consider.

In terms of the proposed themes, there was a broad consensus from respondents that the health, compulsory, further and higher education, family and home and work themes were most relevant and important. The personality traits and crime themes were less well received as respondents were concerned with some of the terminology used and indicators suggested. Users also suggested additional indicators for us to consider.

The majority of users agreed with the approach of using 3 types of indicators, although some suggested also including wider background indicators.

When asked about anticipated data gaps, there were some common priorities highlighted amongst users including outcomes on skills, knowledge, competencies and attributes, data relating to the health, education and work themes and data relating to young adults and children, or those nearing retirement. Overall, users wanted us to prioritise filling data gaps over creating proxy indicators, but they recognized that proxy indicators were a useful way to allow the work to begin sooner.

We received over 50 responses highlighting that users would be interested in helping us to develop measures through involvement in a technical panel.

We did

We intend to:

  • Begin to develop an indicator-based approach to measuring human capital, which would aim to take a lifetime acquisition approach, and where possible, have a broadened definition which includes impacts on personal and social wellbeing.
  • Develop this indicator-based approach iteratively, focusing on the Health, Family and home, Work and Compulsory, further and higher education themes first
  • Aim to first derive indicators where we have data available, but use proxy measures where this is not possible, looking to fill gaps in the medium to longer term
  • Carry out further work on the personality traits and crime themes to reflect the concerns users had around the use, terminology and suggested indicators for these themes.
  • Consider how to incorporate suggested new factors which users felt did not fit within the proposed theme structure, such as cultural engagement, volunteering and caring.
  • Consider how to incorporate an additional type of indicator to reflect a user need for wider background indicators which give more context for the mechanisms that we are reporting on
  • Engage more widely with different types of stakeholders such as academia, industry and head-hunters.
  • Set up agreed roles and terms of references for each user who is interested in becoming a member of the technical panel
  • Continue to get feedback to make sure we are meeting a wide range of users’ needs through the first iterations published

We asked

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is a recognised framework that enables all UK occupations to be classified according to skill level and specialisation. SOC is essential in the creation of occupational statistics which, in turn, are used to inform policy and the public. There are also many examples of how SOC is used outside of the statistical environment including matching job seekers to vacancies and in the identification of skills gaps and training needs.   

We asked representatives from a variety of businesses and organisations whether they thought the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) required more detail than is currently available, and if so, what additional detail was required.

We asked:

  • Whether and how often they used SOC
  • Whether the current version of SOC was detailed enough for their needs
  • Whether they felt their occupational area was sufficiently represented within SOC
  • Which areas of SOC would benefit from more detail
  • Examples of the additional detail required
  • Examples of job titles within their occupational area

You said

We received 170 responses to our survey. A wide range of occupational areas were represented in the results, including a variety of Public Sector representatives, Universities and educational organisations. We also heard from a large number of overarching bodies representing specific industry sectors. Coverage of the framework was high, with all SOC Major Groups being represented in the results. 

Overall, there was support for adding greater detail to SOC. Around half of those responding were already users of SOC with specific requirements whilst the remainder wanted to help ensure that their own occupational area was accurately represented within the extended classification.

Around two thirds indicated that there are areas where they would like to see greater detail added. Examples of where respondents requested greater visibility and detail with the classification included amongst others: event planning, mediation services, bloggers/social influencers, engineering and the craft industry

A full report of the survey results will be available on this page shortly.  

We did

The feedback we received highlighted occupational groups within the classification which would benefit from an additional breakdown and what this breakdown could look like. Using your feedback, we have begun drafting a structure for the SOC extension. Draft extended structures for each of the areas the classification will be made available on the GSS website in due course for you to view. There will also be the opportunity for you to provide feedback on these. To provide feedback, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact SOCExt@ons.gov.uk

We asked

What is your general view on the proposed definition of avoidable mortality?

Do you have any concerns with ONS implementing the proposed definition?

Will the proposed change to the definition affect your future use of these statistics?

You said

Overall, respondents were supportive of ONS implementing the new definition of avoidable mortality.

Some users highlighted limitations of implementing the new avoidable mortality definition from 2014 onwards, requesting a longer time series to be considered. The appropriateness of restricting the new definition to under 75 years was also raised, as well as inconsistences in the drug-related death International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes and the treatment of sequelae ICD codes.

We did

We spoke to our avoidable mortality stakeholder interest group and the OECD working group about the validity of extending the time series back to 2001, rather than the more contemporary 2014. There was agreement across both groups that there would be benefits to having a longer time series; however, this does require an assumption to be made that the causes of death considered avoidable included in the definition were authentically avoidable over a lengthy time period.

ONS are aware of the need to provide information on avoidable mortality in over 75-year olds and this is something we will be looking at in the future.

We have discussed with the OECD working group the inconsistencies in some of the cause of death coding. As a result, OECD have agreed to update their avoidable mortality definition to correct these inconsistencies.

In February 2020, we will publish the Avoidable mortality in the UK release under the new definition for years 2001 to 2018. In May 2020, we will publish the Socioeconomic inequalities in England and Wales release under the new definition for years 2001 to 2018.

We asked

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) were keen to identify the specific uses of the Occupational Pension Scheme Survey (OPSS) statistics by its users so as to establish if continuation of the survey was warranted and, if so, what form the survey should take moving forward so as to meet user needs whilst representing maximum value for money.

As a result, the ONS ran a user consultation, from 20 June 2019 to 2 August 2019 to review the value of the OPSS.

We asked:

  • Which OPSS statistics do you (your organisation) find most helpful?
  • How do you (your organisation) currently use OPSS statistics?
  • What would be the impact on you (your organisation) if the OPSS was to cease as a survey?
  • Can your needs be partly or wholly met from alternative sources?
  • If the survey is to be retained or developed, would you contribute to the cost?
  • We asked for feedback on the following options:
    • Cease future collection and publication of OPSS
    • Continue to run the OPSS in its current basis
    • Continue to run the OPSS but as an abbreviated version, reviewing sample and form types)
    • We asked for a reason for their selection.

You said

You Said:

We received 2 responses to the consultation, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Both said that they still utilise OPSS data, the ONS mostly for quality assurance of other surveys and the DWP for ad hoc policy analysis. Both respondents said that the extended, relatively consistent, time series of membership by type was extremely useful.

We would like to thank both respondents for taking the time to respond to the consultation.

We did

We Did:

The ONS does not think that the quality assurance of other surveys is a strong enough reason to merit continuance of the costly OPSS, and, that it is no longer essential given that the surveys mentioned are well enough established in their own right. The ONS also feels that the occasional use of some data for ad hoc policy analysis is not sufficient to merit its continuance and the very considerable burden on respondents alongside the costs involved. The ONS understands that the data could occasionally be valuable but most of it is not designed to answer current policy questions.

The ONS does think the points raised about the membership time series are valid. However, our internal quality assurance of the new Financial Survey of Pension Schemes (FSPS) shows that the membership figures are consistent with both the OPSS and administrative sources. Therefore, the FSPS now provides an extended, relatively consistent, time series of membership by type, which was one of the key requirements highlighted by both responses to our user consultation.

The ONS has made the decision to cease collection and publication of the annual OPSS so as to minimise duplication and respondent burden especially given that the ONS has successfully rolled out the quarterly Financial Survey of Pension Scheme (FSPS). However, the ONS will still publish the results of 2019 OPSS (in late June 2020).

To provide feedback, or if you have any questions about the project, please contact OPSS@ons.gov.uk

We asked

The Office for National Statistics is working in partnership with the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) to create an indicator framework to show progress towards ending homelessness sustainably across the UK. In our consultation, we asked for your views on: 

  1. What we should measure 
  2. How we should present the indicators 

We would like to thank everybody who took the time to respond to our consultation. It is really important to us that we listen to and consider your views in the development of the indicator framework. We want to be confident that we are measuring the right areas relating to homelessness. We are keen to use the full range of data available while ensuring that data are fit for purpose. We also want to make information on homelessness indicators accessible and ensure that the reporting platform meets your needs.

You said

We received 94 responses to the consultation from a wide variety of respondents representing local and central government, charities, academia, media and business. We also spoke to over 400 stakeholders at the four CHI Impact Forums, held in the 4 nations, in June and July 2019. 

We did

We have used your responses from the consultation to develop the indicator framework covering a wide array of topics relating to homelessness, ranging from housing supply and employment to connectedness and relationships. The indicator framework will be developed over time; we are currently in the process of refining the data sources for these indicators, and will be reaching out to various stakeholders to gather more views in the next few weeks. We want to ensure the indicator framework is as comprehensive as possible, and where gaps may be identified, outline plans to address these gaps where possible.

A full report containing a list of the indicators and data sources will be published in Autumn 2019 by CHI on the CHI website.

Alongside this, CHI are developing an interactive reporting platform to disseminate these indicators and associated data. CHI designers are creating and user testing the platform, while ONS are producing new data and collating existing data for the platform. CHI plan to launch the platform by the end of 2019.  

We will take onboard your suggestions and feedback as we continue to produce data tables, explore data gaps and our approach to reporting.

We asked

We asked for people’s views on the proposal to stop publishing several low-level series for both Output and Input Producer Prices (PPI). This is due to changes to our current disclosure policy, which we plan to introduce later this year as part of the new modernised systems we are developing to support the publication of Business Prices statistics.

We provided an annex which contained a list of the indices we proposed to stop publishing, alongside possible “replacement” higher level indices which stakeholders and customers could use.

We also sought additional information on how our statistics are used, particularly our PPI input series.

Finally, we reminded stakeholders and customers that we will stop producing net-based series later in the year.

You said

We received 8 responses from a variety of organisations, including government departments as well as non-commercial users.

Half of the respondents said they would have an objection to the low-level series being removed from the monthly PPI publication. The responses indicated that the type of indices that stakeholders did not want removed were those which would fall in the category of ‘construction materials and parts’.

Also, half of the respondents said they used the PPI input indices. These indices are used in a range of ways by our stakeholders. The majority of respondents commented on how well the indices fitted their needs.

We did

Our plans moving forward:

  • We plan to stop publishing 89 out of 112 of the low-level indices that were published in the consultation’s Annex A, where there were no objections from users.
  • We will be contacting organisations we provide supplementary statistics to, including low-level indices, to discuss possible changes. These supplementary statistics include several bespoke datasets in Excel format that are set-up and maintained by the producer price index (PPI) team. The datasets contain a range of indices to customer specification and are delivered by email each month following publication of the figures.
  • We will continue to publish the low-level indices that relate to construction materials.
  • We are planning to implement these changes in early 2020. We will provide further advance notice of the exact timing in our PPI statistical bulletin.

We asked

We asked for people’s views on our experimental estimates of regional household expenditure for the NUTS1 countries and regions of the UK. This is the first time that regional estimates of household spending have been available for all UK regions in a form that is consistent with the UK National Accounts.

We wanted to confirm that there is demand for these estimates, and gauge what level of geographic breakdown users are interested in. We also looked to identify any concerns people have with our data sources and methods, and to confirm that the variables and level of commodity data provided are suitable for user needs.

You said

We received 14 responses from a variety of organisations, including local and devolved governments and an academic institution, as well as from individuals.

Overall, respondents were supportive of further development in regional household expenditure estimates. For our experimental data, the responses indicated that the level of commodity detail and the variables presented broadly meet user needs. The majority of respondents were interested in having data at country, NUTS1, and NUTS2 levels, and all were interested in having Local Authority level data. We also received suggestions for potential improvements to data sources and methodology.

We did

Our plans moving forward:

  • We will publish revised regional household expenditure statistics for the NUTS1 countries and regions of the UK in summer 2019, as experimental statistics
  • While developing this output, we will take into account the feedback obtained in this consultation
  • We will investigate the alternative data sources suggested, along with the potential use of administrative data
  • We will continue to consult with users and other stakeholders as we progress with improvements to our estimates
  • Dependent on the success of the above, we will look to develop further geographic breakdowns starting with NUTS2 data
  • We will not attempt to produce Local Authority level estimates until we have secured data of sufficient quality and coverage to provide reliable estimates at that level

We asked

We invited views on our initial proposed design of 2021 Census outputs and the dissemination channels for England and Wales.

The consultation covered all aspects of 2021 Census outputs. This included our plans for a flexible dissemination system to access the majority of census data, and the approach for statistical disclosure control for 2021 Census outputs. We also informed users of our plans for specialist products (including microdata and origin-destination products), geography and the use of administrative data to improve and supplement outputs.

We consulted with users to:

  • obtain feedback on our proposed design and method of dissemination for 2021 Census data
  • help us prioritise our future research and development of 2021 Census outputs
  • inform the order in which we release our products after 2021 Census
  • understand user requirements for a variety of census products

Gofynnon ni

Gwnaethom wahodd barn ar ein cynllun arfaethedig cychwynnol ar gyfer allbynnau Cyfrifiad 2021 a'r sianeli lledaenu ar gyfer Cymru a Lloegr.

Roedd yr ymgynghoriad yn cwmpasu pob agwedd ar allbynnau Cyfrifiad 2021, gan gynnwys ein cynlluniau ar gyfer system ledaenu hyblyg i gael gafael ar y mwyafrif o ddata'r cyfrifiad, a'r dull rheoli datgelu ystadegol ar gyfer allbynnau Cyfrifiad 2021. Gwnaethom hefyd roi gwybod i ddefnyddwyr am ein cynlluniau ar gyfer cynhyrchion arbenigol (gan gynnwys microdata a chynhyrchion tarddiad-cyrchfan), daearyddiaeth a defnyddio data gweinyddol i wella allbynnau a'u hategu.

Gwnaethom ymgynghori â defnyddwyr er mwyn:

  • cael adborth ar ein cynllun a'n dull lledaenu arfaethedig ar gyfer data Cyfrifiad 2021
  • ein helpu i flaenoriaethu ein hymchwil a'n gwaith o ddatblygu allbynnau Cyfrifiad 2021 yn y dyfodol
  • pennu ym mha drefn y byddwn yn rhyddhau ein cynhyrchion ar ôl Cyfrifiad 2021
  • deall gofynion defnyddwyr ar gyfer amrywiaeth o gynhyrchion y cyfrifiad

You said

We received 196 responses to the consultation, with more than half of these from local authorities.

Overall, users agreed with our proposed output content and approach for disseminating 2021 Census data.

Users told us:

  • they support our strategy to disseminate census data using a flexible dissemination system, and the associated statistical disclosure control approach
  • there is a need to obtain census data from a single point of access and have an option for downloading large volumes of data through an Application Programming Interface (API)
  • there is a clear need for receiving data about income derived from administrative data sources, especially at lower geographies to help users with analysis and service delivery
  • there is an overwhelming need for timely and accessible origin-destination data

Dywedoch Chi

Cawsom 196 o ymatebion i'r ymgynghoriad, gyda mwy na hanner oddi wrth awdurdodau lleol.

Ar y cyfan, roedd defnyddwyr yn cytuno â'n cynnwys allbynnau arfaethedig, ynghyd â'n dull o ledaenu data Cyfrifiad 2021.

Dywedodd defnyddwyr y canlynol wrthym:

  • maent yn cefnogi ein strategaeth i ledaenu data'r cyfrifiad gan ddefnyddio system ledaenu hyblyg a'r dull cysylltiedig o reoli datgelu ystadegol
  • mae angen cael data'r cyfrifiad o un pwynt mynediad a gallu lawrlwytho symiau mawr o ddata drwy Ryngwyneb Rhaglennu Cymwysiadau (API)
  • mae angen clir i gael data ar incwm sy'n deillio o ffynonellau data gweinyddol, yn enwedig ar lefelau daearyddol isel er mwyn helpu defnyddwyr i ddadansoddi a darparu gwasanaethau
  • mae angen sylweddol am ddata tarddiad-cyrchfan amserol a hygyrch

We did

We intend to:

  • continue to develop the products we outlined in the consultation
  • adopt the flexible dissemination system for census outputs and utilise its benefits beyond census and for other datasets
  • aim for a fully functioning flexible dissemination system to be available before census day to allow user familiarisation with the interface
  • continue to develop the statistical disclosure control methods and seek external assurance of our methods
  • continue to closely engage with users throughout the duration of the design and dissemination of outputs

Gwnelon ni

Rydym yn bwriadu gwneud y canlynol:

  • parhau i ddatblygu'r cynhyrchion a amlinellwyd yn ein hymgynghoriad
  • mabwysiadu'r system ledaenu hyblyg ar gyfer allbynnau'r cyfrifiad a manteisio arni y tu hwnt i'r cyfrifiad ac ar gyfer setiau data eraill
  • anelu at gyflwyno system ledaenu hyblyg gwbl weithredol a fydd ar gael cyn diwrnod y cyfrifiad er mwyn galluogi defnyddwyr i ymgyfarwyddo â'r rhyngwyneb
  • parhau i ddatblygu'r dulliau rheoli datgelu ystadegol a cheisio sicrwydd allanol ynghylch ein dulliau
  • parhau i weithio'n agos gyda defnyddwyr drwy gydol y gwaith o gynllunio a lledaenu allbynnau

We asked

This is the third consecutive year that ONS has published the Economic Statistics and Analysis Strategy (ESAS) for consultation. We sought your views on our priorities for Economic Statistics in 2018/19, and to feedback if they are consistent with their requirements. We are committed to review and annually update the strategy to reflect changing needs and priorities, to give a clear prioritisation of our development of economic statistics

 

 

You said

We received feedback from a number of organisations. Respondents were happy with the strategy highlighting priority areas for Economic Statistics.

We did

 Number of comments were added to the draft strategy which was then published on 26 April 2018. We would like to thank all respondents for taking the time to respond to the consultation.

We asked

We asked for your opinions on the proposed changes to certain labour market tables and related publications. In the consultation launched in February 2018 we proposed to cease publication of some supplementary labour market tables because they are either:

  • based on old pension age breakdowns
  • use variables which are known to have a low survey response rate, which can impact on the results when detailed breakdowns are produced; and/or
  • have low user demand demonstrated by the low number of downloads of these tables from the ONS website.

We also proposed to publish some supplementary labour market tables without gender breakdown and to change the source of some tables from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to the Annual Population Survey (APS). As part of the latter proposal we will also move dissemination of these tables from the ONS website to NOMIS. The final proposal in the consultation related to changing the frequency of the Reconciliation of estimates of employment and jobs article from four times a year (March, June, September and December) to once a year (every March in order to compare estimates for the whole year).  The proposals in the consultation affected only the supplementary labour market tables, with no implications for the tables feeding into the labour market bulletin. The proposals related only to the published tables and at this stage there will be no impact on the LFS microdata used to produce these outputs.

You said

We received some responses from a variety of organisations. We would like to thank all respondents for taking the time to respond to the consultation.

The main feedback was:

  • All respondents agreed with the proposal to cease publication of tables A03 NSA and SA: Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for men aged from 16 to 64 and women aged from 16 to 59 if the historic series remained accessible after the discontinuation of the tables.
  • Most respondents had no concerns about ceasing the publication of the tables listed below:
  1. EMP11: Employment by socio-economic classification
  2. EMP12: Part-time and temporary workers by socio-economic classification
  3. EMP15: Job related training received by employees
  4. EARN07: Gross weekly earnings by industry
  5. EARN08: Distribution of gross hourly earnings of employees
  6. UNEM02: Unemployment by previous occupation
  7. UNEM03: Unemployment by previous industrial sector and
  8. RED02: Redundancies by industry, age, sex and re-employment rates .

However, a minority of respondents had concerns over ceasing the publication of tables:

  1. EMP11: Employment by socio-economic classification
  2. EMP12: Part-time and temporary workers by socio-economic classification
  3. EMP15: Job related training received by employees
  4. EARN07: Gross weekly earnings by industry and
  5. EARN08: Distribution of gross hourly earnings of employees.  
  • Most respondents agreed with the proposal to produce the tables below without a gender breakdown:
  1. EARN05: Gross weekly earnings of full-time employees by region and
  2. EARN06: Gross weekly earnings by occupation .
  • All of the respondents agreed in principle with the proposal to change the data source of the list of tables provided below from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to the Annual Population Survey (APS).
  1. EMP04: All in employment by status, occupation and sex
  2. EMP08: All in employment by occupation
  3. EMP09: Employees and self-employed by occupation and
  4. EMP10: Part-time and temporary workers by occupation .
  • Most respondents agreed to the proposed change in publication frequency of the Reconciliation of estimates of employment and jobs article from four times a year (March, June, September and December) to once a year (every March in order to compare estimates for the whole year).

We did

We reviewed the feedback provided by respondents and we are going to undertake the actions listed below:

  • We will cease the publication of the tables listed below from August 2018 onwards but we will keep the historic time series on the ONS website:
  1. A03 NSA and SA: Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity for men aged from 16 to 64 and women aged from 16 to 59
  2. EMP12: Part-time and temporary workers by socio-economic classification. Even though users had some concerns about ceasing the publication of this table they indicated that it is less vital for their work than table EMP11: Employment by socio-economic classification. This is the reason why table EMP12 is going to be discontinued.
  3. UNEM02: Unemployment by previous occupation
  4. UNEM03: Unemployment by previous industrial sector and
  5. RED02: Redundancies by industry, age, sex and re-employment rates. However, ONS will consider reinstating these tables in the future if the size of the estimates increases.
  • We will continue publishing the tables listed below as there is demonstrated user need for them:
  1. EMP11: Employment by socio-economic classification
  2. EMP15: Job related training received by employees
  3. EARN07: Gross weekly earnings by industry and
  4. EARN08: Distribution of gross hourly earnings of employees.
  • We will produce the tables listed below only at the people level from August 2018 onwards:
  1. EARN05: Gross weekly earnings of full-time employees by region and 
  2. EARN06: Gross weekly earnings by occupation.
  • We will change the data source of the list of tables provided below from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to the Annual Population Survey (APS) and we will move dissemination from the ONS website to NOMIS. Moreover, the estimates will be available for an annual period rather than quarterly. The data on NOMIS will be in a presentational format and we will add links on the ONS website to direct users to the new data homepage. An example of a table produced on NOMIS is available. The change in the data source for these tables will take place from February 2019 onwards.
  1. EMP04: All in employment by status, occupation and sex
  2. EMP08: All in employment by occupation
  3. EMP09: Employees and self-employed by occupation and
  4. EMP10: Part-time and temporary workers by occupation.
  • We will change the publication frequency of the Reconciliation of estimates of employment and jobs article from four times a year (March, June, September and December) to once a year (every March in order to compare estimates for the whole year). This change will come into effect following the scheduled publication on 12th June 2018.

 

We asked

We Asked

ONS currently produces Health State Life Expectancy estimates for local areas of the UK. These estimates at both national and subnational level are calculated using health state prevalence data available from the Annual Population Survey (APS). Stakeholders have wanted estimates of these summary measures of population health at a subnational level, and they are a national indicator in the Public Health Outcomes Framework.

We tested three alternative methods, designed to address the current weakness of small sample sizes producing somewhat erratic health state prevalence estimates across the age distribution in those areas with smaller populations. Each method modelled age-specific health and disability-free state prevalence using a least squares regression containing a quadratic line of best fit.

ONS wanted to ensure stakeholders had the opportunity to respond to the proposed change in methods, having had the opportunity to appraise its impact in the Proposed method change in UK health state life expectancies paper published in December 2017.

ONS wanted to elicit the opinion of key stakeholders on the proposed change, particularly regarding its complexity and ease of communication. We also asked whether other methods should be considered, whether they had any concerns with us implementing the method and whether implementation would impact on their use of these statistics.

You said

You Said

We are grateful to everyone who took time to respond to the consultation. There were 5 responses received, but some of these were a collation from separate organisations although not all wanted to be identified. Those willing to be identified can be found in the final section of the consultation report titled ‘List of responding organisations’.

The key points to note from the responses to the consultation are:

  • Further complexity to improve the model should not be undertaken at the expense of ease of communication of the statistics. It was thought the modelling approach was already somewhat complex and shouldn’t be made more so.
  • Four respondents agreed that the method proposed to model health and disability state prevalence reduces the volatility in the estimates for sub-national areas and at the older ages, making comparisons over time easier.
  • The proposed method complexity can be simplified by explicit explanation of the changes in methodology in plain English, which will mitigate the risk of figures being misinterpreted.
  • Concerns were raised as to whether health and disability questions would be asked in the 2021 Census, and if they did, would they be comparable and would changes present challenges for using the new proposed method. Over longer time horizons, there was also a concern about the adequacy of data expected to replace the Census in 2031.
  • ONS must ensure sufficient information is available to allow other departments and organizations to calculate figures and not be reliant on ONS calculating the health state life expectancy estimates using other sources or for different population sub-groups. This will also reduce the risk of users misrepresenting figures.
  • There was a concern raised over whether the method will continue to be developed, as this would cause further breaks in the time-series. Another respondent expressed concern that the implementation of the method would put at risk a long, consistent time-series.
  • One organisation has said they will implement the method that ONS decides to use, provided sufficient information is available to allow them to replicate the estimates. The proposed changes provide data for all subnational areas which would make the data more usable for one organisation’s purposes.
  • Respondents said the health state life expectancy estimates feed into public health frameworks for England and Wales, which help understand how public health is being improved and protected. The estimates also have policy impact in that they are used in consideration of the State Pension age.

We did

We Did

As a result of this consultation the following actions will be undertaken:

  • We will implement our proposed method based on modelling health and disability-free state prevalence to calculate future health state life expectancy estimates and provide a back series;
  • Our next publication for sub-national areas of the UK, due to be published in December 2018 will apply this method;
  • Subsequently, ONS will no longer publish statistics based on the previous method;
  • The December 2018 and March 2019 publications referred to above will also take account of the revised mid-year population estimates for sub-national and small area populations in England and Wales and provide a back series from 2009 to 2011 for the former and from 2011 to 2013 for the latter;
  • The December publication will include additional areas such as combined authorities (geographic codes E47) for England and Health Boards for Wales;
  • Facilitate further work with the devolved administrations to ensure understanding of the methodology to allow other departments to replicate the estimates and calculate their own estimates with other areas of interest;
  • We will additionally undertake an evaluation of the method’s performance, comparing the 10-year trajectory between 2010 to 2012 and 2020 to 2021 using the new method and that using the censuses to interpolate census-based prevalence over the decade;
  • ONS will ensure any changes brought about by what is learnt from the 2021 Census data will be implemented with a back series. If the 2021 Census contains health questions, ONS will wait until a formal evaluation and interpolation study has been conducted and published on. This is unlikely to be published until the late autumn of 2023.

We asked

ONS currently produces population estimates by marital status and living arrangements for England and Wales. Where possible an estimate of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples is provided separately. This is currently a number, not available by age or sex because of very small estimates of this population. Throughout the majority of the publication the population who are in a marriage between opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are presented together as a total married population.

ONS were keen to learn whether the provision of a separate estimate of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples is meeting user need, allowing us to gain a better understanding of who uses these estimates and how they are being used.

The consultation questions were specifically aimed at gathering user need about the number (stock) of people by marital status living in England and Wales not the number of marriages being formed in England and Wales (flow), which ONS has asked users about in the past.

You said

We are grateful to everyone who took time to respond to the consultation. There were a total of 354 responses received from a variety of organisations and individuals that monitor, formulate or influence policy and plan services both at the national and local level. We also received responses from academics, charities and religious groups. A full list of organisations that responded can be found in Annex A. The feedback we received is very valuable to us and has helped us to better understand our users and their data requirements.

The key points to note from the responses to the consultation are:

  • 99.4% of respondents require estimates of the population who are married to be presented separately for same-sex couples and for opposite-sex couples.
  • The majority (71.8%) of responses came from individuals; the next largest group of responses (16.1%) came from religious or church groups.
  • Respondents require estimates of the married population to be separate to allow:
    • Analysis of family and relationship trends and diversity
    • Calculation of divorce rates which allows analysis of the differences in length of marriage
    • Equalities monitoring
    • Provision of a comprehensive picture of the resident population
    • Informed service provision
    • Monitoring of physical/ mental health and wellbeing outcomes
    • Support of evidence based policy making
    • Understanding of the impact and effect of the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
    • Historical and international comparisons of the population who are in a marriage between opposite sex couples.   

We did

As a result of this consultation, we:

  • Have a better understanding of user need which allows us to make informed decisions about marital status data collection in the future.
  • Will continue to provide separate estimates of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples and in a marriage between opposite-sex couples where possible.
  • Will continue to monitor these data to see whether we can provide more detailed estimates in the future which could be of more use to our users.

We asked

Our aim was to gain a better understanding of price discrimination for export of services and how prices could be affected by exchange rates.

You said

Information received varied across service sectors, consistent themes were identified.

We did

Feedback obtained will be used to assist development of the Services Producer Price Index (SPPI).

We asked

We asked for people’s views on our new experimental balanced measure of regional gross value added (GVA). This new development is designed to provide a single best estimate of regional GVA, combining the best parts of the existing income and production measures.

We wanted to be sure that users of regional GVA statistics welcomed the single measure, and to identify any concerns that people have with the methods, test results and our proposed presentation of the statistics in future publications.

You said

We received 23 written responses from a wide range of people representing central, local and devolved government, private companies and think tanks, universities and schools. In addition, we met with many other stakeholders to present our consultation and listen to their views, at events held in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. The main feedback was:

  • Respondents strongly supported the introduction of a single balanced measure of regional GVA, and some requested that we continue to publish the pre-balanced income and production measures, at least for the first few years.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with the method we have used, and some offered suggestions for potential enhancements to the methodology.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with the test results, and some offered suggestions for parts that could benefit from further attention.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with our plans for the presentation of the data, and some offered suggestions for additional supporting information.

We did

We intend to:

  • Publish the first experimental balanced estimates of regional GVA on or around 13 December 2017.
  • Publish the pre-balanced income and production estimates alongside the balanced estimates, at least while the balanced estimates remain experimental statistics.
  • Publish nominal and real estimates of balanced GVA for 80 industries at the NUTS1 level, and 71 industries at the NUTS2 level.
  • Publish real estimates of balanced regional GVA one year earlier than before.
  • Publish the existing set of income components at all geographic levels from NUTS1 down to local authority district, consistent with the balanced GVA estimates.
  • Consider the various suggestions made by respondents, with a view to introducing further improvements in future publications, as resources permit.

We asked

Whether you found the publications useful, the methodology appropriate, and whether you wanted the outputs to continue in future

You said

That the new output was very welcome, the methodology was basically suitable but could use a few additions, and that it should continue to be developed

We did

Started planning for the next round of outputs in 2018, and set our priorities for next stages of development work