Department for Education: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 18th January 2022.

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Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what training is provided to staff in his Department on avoiding implicit bias in the workplace.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)

The Written Ministerial Statement on Unconscious Bias (December 2020) set out the findings of the ‘Unconscious bias and diversity training - what the evidence says’ report. The findings concluded that there was no evidence that the training changed behaviour in the long term or improved workplace equality. It also found there is emerging evidence of unintended negative consequences. The department has therefore ceased offering Unconscious Bias training.

The government requested other parts of the public sector, including local government, the police and the NHS, to review their approaches in light of the evidence.

Since October 2020, the department has provided separate workshops aimed at supporting staff to have informed and productive conversations on the subject of race.

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