Evaluating the Usefulness of Official Statistics

Official Statistics are numerical data collected by governments and their agencies. This post examines a ranges of official statistics collected by the United Kingdom government and evaluates their usefulness. The aim of this post is to demonstrate one of the main strengths of official statistics – they give us a ‘snap shot’ of life in the U.K. and they … Continue reading “Evaluating the Usefulness of Official Statistics”

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Outline and explain two practical advantages of using official statistics

Official Statistics are a quick and cheap means of accessing data relevant to an entire population in a country. They are cheap for researchers to use because they are collected by governments, who often make them available online for free—for example, the UK Census. Marxists might point out that the fact they are free enables … Continue reading “Outline and explain two practical advantages of using official statistics”

Official Statistics on Ethnicity and Crime

Unlike with social class, the home office does record explicit data based on the ethnic backgrounds of those stopped and searched, arrested and imprisoned. There are a lot of different official statistics on ethnicity and crime, reflecting the different stages of the criminalisation process:  Stop and search stats Arrest statistics Penalty order notices and cautions … Continue reading “Official Statistics on Ethnicity and Crime”

The limitations of School Exclusion Statistics

The Department for Education publishes an annual report on exclusions, the latest edition published in August 2018 being ‘Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England: 2016 to 2017. The 2018 report shows that the overall rate of permanent exclusions was 0.1 per cent of pupil enrolments in 2016/17. The number of exclusions was 7,720. The report … Continue reading “The limitations of School Exclusion Statistics”

Official Crime Statistics for England and Wales

The two main sources of official statistics on Crime in the UK (or rather England and Wales!) are: Police Recorded Crime – which is all crimes recorded by the 43 police forces in England and Wales (as well as the British Transport Police) The Crime Survey for England and Wales which is a face to … Continue reading “Official Crime Statistics for England and Wales”

What is the significance of the ‘increase’ in student suicides?

How doe we explain the recent increase in higher education student suicides? Are there any underlying causes, or is this just a ‘moral panic’?

Education in the UK – Key Facts and Stats

Official Statistics on schools, teachers and educational achievement provided by the United Kingdom government provide an overview of the education system. They are useful for providing an ‘introduction to the state of education in the U.K’, before embarking on the core content of any sociology of education course and providing a basis for comparing the U.K. education system … Continue reading “Education in the UK – Key Facts and Stats”

Using contemporary examples to evaluate for theory and methods

A level sociology students should be looking to using contemporary examples and case studies to illustrate points and evaluate theories whenever possible. In the exams, the use of contemporary evidence is something examiners look for and reward. Below are a few examples of some recent events in the news which are relevant to the theory … Continue reading “Using contemporary examples to evaluate for theory and methods”

Official Statistics on Educational Achievement in the U.K. – Strengths and Limitations

How useful are official statistics for understanding differences in educational achievement by social class, gender and ethnicity? How do GCSE results vary by social class, gender and ethnicity? The data below is taken from the Department for Education’s document – GCSE and Equivalent Attainment by Pupil Characteristics 2014 Firstly – GENDER –  Girls outperform boys … Continue reading “Official Statistics on Educational Achievement in the U.K. – Strengths and Limitations”