§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if updated data on the gender disparity in secondary education in UK development partner countries have been published. 
§ Clare Short
We expect updated data on gender disparity in secondary education in developing countries to be published by the World Bank within the next two months. We will then use it to update our reporting against our Public Service Agreement targets.
§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the nature of the problems with the data on primary education in UK development partner countries that are published by the World bank. 
§ Clare Short
There are difficulties both in the coverage and the timeliness of primary education data compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and published by the World bank, for some of the major UK development partner countries.
The problems with coverage which we have encountered in reporting against the Public Service Agreement targets are due partly to the difficulty of calculating net primary enrolment rates (ie proportion of children of primary school age in school), often due to lack of data on the ages of children in school. Gross 142W enrolment data (which use the total number of children in school regardless of age) are relatively easy to obtain for most countries, but do not give a clear picture of the number of children who are out of school.
In some countries the reliability of the pupil data is also questionable due either to lack of technical capacity, poor school record keeping, or, in a few cases, political manipulation of the figures. Calculating net enrolment rates also requires figures for the population of school age children, which are often based on out-of-date census data. Where there are doubts about the reliability of either the pupil or population figures, UNESCO can often either decline to publish figures for a country, or revise earlier figures.
For most countries, it can take a long time for data produced at country level to be provided to international bodies (principally the UNESCO Institute for Statistics), be verified by them and published in international reports. For example, the latest officially published net primary enrolment figure for Uganda is 57 per cent. although we knew from our work in country that the figure is much higher and is probably over 85 per cent. This published figure is more than five years old.
We are working at country level and with the World bank and UNESCO Institute of Statistics to improve the availability of timely data on primary education to assist with policy making, both for developing countries and for bilateral donors and the international community.