But Government needs to be careful over the figures


The Education Secretary Michael Gove pointed out in the Second Reading of the Education Bill, on 8 February,  that the QCDA quango (shortly to be culled) has a total  staff of  393 employees of which 76 are in its Communications Department. Remember, this quango looks after the curriculum, which will be radically reformed by this Government. The QCDA doesn’t have that many defenders, it has to be said, its new and is , well  sort of, a partial successor to the not much lamented QCA. Education Journalists tend to have   quite good contacts in the communications departments  of these  type of organisations  So,  the education journalist Warwick Mansell, sharing  others astonishment at this figure,  did some  digging on this. He found that this figure  actually  covered the world and his wife –  in fact all staff in the communications and QCDA and Ofqual customer services departments, including switchboard and helpline operators; web and publishing editors; people who support schools and local authorities in delivering national curriculum tests, and those who deliver communications to employees. In April 2010, prior to the announced closure of QCDA, there were in fact  15 staff at QCDA dealing directly with communications, including three in the press office and one in internal communications.

I don’t hold a torch for the QCDA or many other education  quangos for that matter but   if one is going to criticise them (and there are plenty of grounds for doing so) Ministers can I am  sure present a strong case without the need to play fast and loose with the figures. Its all a bit unnecessary and counter-productive.


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