Government has spent almost £14m on academy brokers

MP Edward Timpson
MP Edward Timpson
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THE DEPARTMENT for Education has spent almost £14m on academy brokers in the past five years, according to figures given by a minister.

Education minister Edward Timpson revealed the spending in a written answer to Parliamentary questions from Labour MP Jess Phillips.

He also reveals that the DfE no longer uses dedicated academy brokers. The role had seen people paid to attempt to persuade head teachers to convert their schools into academies.

But Mr Timpson said: “The department no longer has dedicated academy brokers. We have procured a pool of educational experts, through open competition.” He said each regional schools commissioner - responsible for decision making over academies - has a group of experts they can call upon to support them. Ms Phillips had asked how many academy brokers there were? How much had the DfE spent on them since 2010 and how many complaints there had been about them?

The answer does not reveal the number of academy brokers but reveals £13.9m had been spent on education advisers doing brokerage work since 2010. In 2013/14 the figure was £4.4m and in 2014/15 it was £2.1m Mr Timpson also says that there have been 13 written complaints made against education advisers since 2011. Of these complaints one was upheld and another two were partially upheld. However Mr Timpson declined to provide more information about the complaints.

He adds; “Providing further information about the nature of the complaints, and the grounds on which they were partially or fully upheld, would risk identifying individual cases and therefore jeopardise the confidentiality afforded to the complainant and subject, and be prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs.

The figures related to academy broker spending by the DfE were as follows

2010/11: £1,497,856

2011/12: £2,829,582.59

2012/13: £4,438,358.13

2013/14: £3,031,794.39

2014/15: £2,192,228