On 1 April 2009 Arts Council England became a provider of official statistics under the extended scope of the Statistics and Registration Act 2008.
This means that when the Arts Council produces, manages and disseminates official statistics we strive to abide by the Code of Practice for Official Statistics published by the UK Statistics Authority in January 2009.
The Code sets out a number of important principles and practices to ensure that official statistics meet the needs of government and society and are both trustworthy and trusted.
As a result you can expect the Arts Council to:
- be clear about who our official statistics are for, how they are used and how they inform decision-making
- produce official statistics according to scientific principles and to a level of quality that meets users' needs
- manage and present official statistics impartially and objectively
- make reports on official statistics available to all and easy to access
One of the most important requirements of the legislation relates to the way in which official statistics are released publicly.
Whenever the Arts Council releases a new report on an official statistic you can be confident that only a small number of Arts Council staff will see the report and the data it is based on prior to release:
- a small number of named senior staff will see the report no more than 24 hours before it is published
- prior to that, the data will only be seen by researchers and analysts for production, publication and quality assurance purposes
This means that our official statistics will be released into the public domain with sufficient factual information to enable users to interpret the figures, and any comment from the Arts Council about what the figures might mean will be provided separately.
If you have an enquiry that requires information from official statistics data that is still being compiled, we will not be able to share it with you until the headline information is published.
Arts Council official statistics 2013/14
In 2013/14 the Arts Council will produce five official statistics:
- annual submission for regularly funded organisations - figures on the organisations receiving regular funding as National Portfolio Organisations, or as Major Partner Museums under the Renaissance programme
- Stakeholder focus - a regular survey to track perceptions and experiences of the Arts Council among our key stakeholder groups
- Music Education Hubs data return - figures on the Music Education Hub lead organisations
- Accreditation scheme update - figures on the museums and galleries in the Accreditation scheme
- Designation scheme update - data on designated collections and the organisations that hold them
Note the last two official statistics in this list became the responsibility of Arts Council England from 1 October 2011. Releases of these official statistics prior to this date were the responsibility of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).
The official statistics publication timetable sets out the release dates for these surveys and the names of our staff that will have access to the data prior to release.
The Arts Council also disseminates official statistics from Taking Part, the national survey of culture and sport participation (official statistics are produced by the DCMS). In disseminating data from the Taking Part survey the Arts Council abides by the principles of the Code of Practice as instructed by the DCMS.
Recent and forthcoming changes to Arts Council official statistics
The Arts Council recently ceased publication of arts attendance figures from the Target Group Index survey. The last statistics produced were for 2009/10. Users of statistics on arts attendance will continue to be able to use data from the Taking Part survey. Users can also subscribe to the Target Group Index survey themselves as it continues to be conducted by TGI Insights and Integration. The Arts Council also recently ceased publication of figures from A Night Less Ordinary, as this initiative has concluded.
The Arts Council has made some changes to the scope and frequency of the data produced about the Renaissance programme. When the Arts Council assumed responsibility for the Renaissance programme from October 2011
these were collected via an independent data collection process and published as the Renaissance museums performance indicators. From 2013/14, data on the Renaissance programme will be collected via the Arts Council's Annual Submission survey for regularly funded organisations. This involves the following changes to the data:
- annual, not quarterly, publication
- adding statistics on museum staffing and finances
- ceasing publication of data on priority group visits (known as Core Performance Indicator 4). This data was based on a separate research programme of exit interviews commissioned by the MLA and the Arts Council is not funding the continuation of that research programme.
Finding out more
The Arts Council's lead contact for official statistics is Rachel Smithies, Director, Research. If you have any questions or complaints about our official statistics contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7973 5301.
For more information on the official statistics produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and other culture and sports agencies please see the DCMS website.
Any complaints that relate to professional integrity, quality or standards will be forwarded to the National Statistician. The UK Statistics Authority is entitled to assess the Arts Council's compliance with the Code of Practice and to deal with any breach. For more information on the UK Statistics Authority and the Code of Practice see www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk.