Iain Bell, the Department for Education’s Head of Profession for Statistics, said:
Since August we have been reviewing and improving the presentation of our statistical releases with the aim of ensuring that they provide more insight into the data, what can be concluded from the statistics, and an accurate presentation of trends.
As part of this review, we have been looking at the key stage 4 and 5 statistical first releases and for these bulletins we will be making more substantive changes to align with statistical best practice. Our analysis has shown that every year the results are revised upwards between publication of the provisional data in October and revised data in January.
As head of profession, I have therefore decided that comparisons in the releases should be made on the basis of comparing this year’s provisional data with last year’s provisional data to give the most accurate picture of change possible. The revised figures for 2014 will also be published so users can also see the final data.