Ofsted

Education and Skills written question – answered on 27th March 2007.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills

(1) how many members of staff of Ofsted have made formal complaints of bullying in the last 12 months;

(2) how many grievances were raised by staff at Ofsted in each of the last three years;

(3) how much Ofsted spent on (a) in-house training and (b) external training in each of the last three years;

(4) what the total cost of consultants employed by Ofsted was in each of the last three years;

(5) how many consultants were contracted to work for Ofsted in each of the last three years.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and 14-19 Learners), Department for Education and Skills, Minister of State (Education and Skills) (Schools and 14-19 Learners)

holding answer 15 March 2007

These matters are for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to my hon. Friend and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 15 March 2007:

Your recent parliamentary questions have been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for reply. I will address these in turn:

I. You asked how many members of staff have made formal complaints of bullying in the last 12 months (PQ127625).

Of the 20 grievances raised between February 2006 and February 2007, four have related to "bullying and harassment". Of these, two have been heard and the grievance was not upheld, in one case the individual resigned before the hearing took place and a decision is pending on the fourth. This compares to seven complaints of bullying and harassment in 2004-2005; two in 2003-2004 and one in 2002-2003.

The increase in the number of complaints has partly been due to a revised bullying and harassment policy and initiatives implemented following Ofeted's 2004 staff survey results. These raised awareness of this issue and encouraged individuals to come forward with concerns they had. This issue remains a priority for Ofsted.

II. You asked how many grievances have been raised by staff at Ofsted in each of the last three years (PQ127626).

Until fairly recently, Ofsted has not kept records of all types of grievance. Those relating to bullying and harassment are on file as these are reported in our equal opportunities reports. Ofsted started collecting general grievance data as of November 2005 and our data therefore reflects this period onwards.

From the data we hold, we are able to report that, over the last 16 months, we have 22 grievances in total from members of staff (this figure includes the 20 grievances noted in response to PQ127625). Four of these were from the same individual, one was a collective grievance (from four members of staff) and the others were all individual one-off grievances.

III You asked how much Ofsted spent on (a) in-house training and (b) external training in each of the last three years (PQ127627).

The following internal costs (rounded to the nearest £5k) include a programme of courses that have been developed specifically for an Ofsted audience; these include management development, IT skills and nationally supported qualifications such as specialist degrees. They also include the cost of our corporate learning and development team:

£
Internal External Total
2004-05 1,585,000 1,135,000 2,720,000
2005-06 1,645,000 930,000 2,575,000
2006-07 1,540,000 560,000 2,100,000

IV. You asked what the total cost of consultants employed by Ofsted was in each of the last three years (PQ127628) and how many consultants have been contracted to work for Ofsted in each of the last three years (PQ127629).

Based on the DfES definition of consultancy services, which is "investigating problems, providing analysis or advice, or assisting with the development of new systems, new structures or new capabilities within the organisation", we will have spent around £2.5 million (including VAT) in the financial year 2006-07. This spend is through 42 consultants.

Within this total around three quarters is for Information Services related consultancy to build new systems ready for the creation of the New Ofsted with effect from 1 April 2007. The remainder covers other corporate areas such as estates, personnel and finance.

Due to the way in which Ofsted has previously prepared our accounts, this is the only year for which a separately identifiable consultancy figure is available.

A copy of these replies have been sent to Jim Knight MP, Minister of State for Schools, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

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