OK – here it is

Finally received a response for the DfE regarding discount codes! I have uploaded the files to google docs at the following address – let me know if there are difficulties accessing them – interesting reading! https://drive.google.com/?pli=1&authuser=0#folders/0B4SP0xPZw12AcHlwd0h4TkowdTA

Does anyone have further information on Susan Tate, Sharon Moore, Paul Johnstone, Diana Muallem or Chris Jones and their professional relationship with the DfE and their “expert” status? The only link I have found for Diana Muallem is a website which is currently “under construction”


I refer to your request for information received on 1 March 2013 and the subsequent correspondence between yourself and the Department and with the Information Commissioner’s Office. 


You formally requested the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

•           Please can you identify by name the subject experts you refer to who were consulted in relation to the application of discount codes to all subjects?

•           Please can you provide the written recommendations from all the subject experts regarding all the new discount codes?

•           Please can you provide the minutes of meetings where the decisions were made regarding the application of new discount codes and the final decisions in relation to the different recommendations from these subject experts?


The Information Commissioner has asked the Department to reconsider the way it has handled your request and to try to resolve your complaint by informal means.  The Department has taken this opportunity to review the case in full and we are now minded to release the information in relation to questions 1) and 2) of your request.  In light of the passage of time and in view of the increased public interest in this information we are now inclined to share the written recommendations from qualification experts regarding the new discount codes as well as the names of the companies involved.  We have written again to the experts involved in this case and their responses indicate they are content for this release.


The subject experts we consulted in relation to the application of discount codes to all subjects were:


Susan Tate

Sharon Moore

Paul Johnstone

Diana Muallem

Chris Jones.


The advice we received is contained in the attached zip file.


In relation to 3), as we stated in our original response we do not hold the information requested as no such meetings were held. Decisions regarding the application of new discount codes for all qualifications that will count in the Key Stage 4 Performance Tables from 2014 were made independently by DfE staff members who each considered a range of qualifications in broad subject areas.  The suggested new codes were then sent (via email) to the subject experts who were asked to advise us about the decisions taken and either agree with our recommendations or make alternative suggestions in their written advice. Where subject experts advised changes that were accepted the list of qualifications and discount codes was updated and then published on RAISEonline in the Library together with guidance for schools.

 Qualifications Reference Database Team (QRDT)

School Performance Data Unit

Education Data Division

5 thoughts on “OK – here it is

  1. Paul Johnstone – adviser at DfE. On his own LinkedIn page confirms he is advising on inclusion in performance tables. How does that square with DfE wanting to keep it a secret?

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