Race Relations (Amendment) Act

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Labour, Leicester East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what percentage of staff in his Department have received training on the general and specific duties of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, broken down by (a) ethnicity and (b) grade.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Valuing Diversity course includes a section on the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. This course is mandatory for all FCO staff. The course is delivered twice a month. In addition, staff who take on specific roles, for example heads and deputy heads of our overseas posts, and new staff joining the FCO, are briefed on diversity issues including the RR(A)A. Guidance for FCO staff on the RR(A)A is available on the FCO's internal intranet. This guidance includes the FCO's new Race Equality Scheme 2005–08, which is being circulated to all FCO departments and posts, and is available on our website, www.fco.gov.uk

In the 2004–05 financial year, 340 members of staff, 5 per cent. of the total number of UK based FCO staff, attended. This is broken down by grade in Table 1.

Grade Numbers attended HCS grade equivalent
A1 50 AA
A2 56 AO
B3 48 EO
C4 41 HEO
C5 19 SEO
D6 29 Grade 7 (Principal)
D7 8 Grade 6 (Senior Principal)
SMS 23 SCS pay bands 1–4
Unknown 66

Under the employment duty of the RR(A)A we are required to monitor employment factors such as recruitment and promotion. It has not yet been possible to collect data on staff applying for and attending training courses broken down by ethnicity. However, we are working to establish a mechanism to monitor training using the FCO's information management system, Prism. We have asked the development team for a standard report to be available on Prism which will enable ethnicity data to be taken from staff records for all training courses attended. This report should be available in about four months' time.

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