At least I think they’ve apologised. Is it maybe a tease?
Here’s my original complaint:
Full Complaint: BBC Complaint 26.9.18: School Exclusions: On Tuesday 24th September 2018 at 06:26am and repeated five times by 09.00am, BBC Scotland headlined: ‘A report commissioned by three charities suggests that over a third of children with autism have been unlawfully excluded from school in the past two years.’ https://www.notengaged.com/download/SA-Out-Of-School-Report.pdf This is an incorrect reading of the report suggesting 37% of all children with autism, with the effect of seriously exaggerating their evidence. On page 19, the report says: ‘We described unlawful exclusions to respondents as when a child has been sent home from school or asked not to attend, without being formally excluded (e.g. school asking parents to pick up their child early). 37% (n=478) of parents who responded to this question told us that their child had been excluded in this way.’ Note that 37% of the 478 parents who responded (176) indicated ‘unlawful’ exclusion. The full sample was 1 434 and that was thought to be around 10% of the total population of autistic pupils in Scotland (page 14). So, more accurately and thus more informatively for the TV audience, the headline should have said: ‘A report commissioned by three charities suggests that over a third of the 478 children with autism whose parents responded have been unlawfully excluded from school in the past two years.’ More helpfully, the percentage should have been changed to 12% of those who took part in the research and the size of the sample, 10% of the total population, should have featured in the report. More helpfully still, the deeply flawed research should not have been reported. See this for a full assessment of it: https://thoughtcontrolscotland.com/2018/09/25/report-used-uncritically-by-bbc-scotland-on-unlawful-school-exclusions-is-fatally-flawed-and-hopelessly-biased/
Here’s the BBC response:
Dear Professor Robertson
Thank you for your correspondence. Your comments were passed to the Editor of Reporting Scotland, who has asked that I forward her response as follows:
“Thank you for being in touch about Reporting Scotland on the morning of 24th September. You have raised concerns which I share about a report on a survey of parents and carers of autistic children. In retrospect we should not have carried this story in the way that we did and I apologise for that. I am taking steps to try to ensure that we do not do so again with similar stories. I believe that this was an honest mistake and that there was certainly no intention to mislead our audience, but that does not detract from the fact that we got it wrong. I am grateful to you for taking the time and the trouble to explain the reasons for your concern.”
While few of us would believe that this was an honest mistake, it’s certainly the first time I’ve had an apology of any kind!
Am I missing something here?