Children and families directorate slashed
The Department for Education's children, young people and families directorate will receive a 13 per cent blow to its budget in 2012/13 and lose 106 full-time posts, an email leak has revealed.
The email, signed by the department’s directors including Ann Gross, head of early years, and Jeanette Pugh, head of safeguarding, reveals the directorate’s budget will be £21.7m for 2012/13, a reduction of around 13 per cent from October last year.
The number of full-time equivalent posts will also fall from last October’s level of 436 to 330 during the coming financial year. This will not account for the transferral of staff from the Children’s Workforce Development Council after it is disbanded at the end of the month.
The email states: "The directorate will get smaller over the coming year. For our policy groups, our administration budget for next year was set at the start of the business planning process at around £21.7m.
"That constitutes a reduction of around 13 per cent from the baseline of October last year, when our business planning assumptions were set (whether the number is nearer 15 per cent or 10 per cent depends on the details of how the baseline was calculated – the important thing is that the budget for next year is fixed and we must focus on how to live within it)."
The email also warned that while the number of staff set to go from the department currently stands at 106, more roles could be scrapped if further budget changes are made throughout the year.
"On a like-for-like basis we will see staffing levels reduce from 436 full-time equivalent last October, to around 330 by the time business plans are fully implemented at the end of March 2013," it states. "The average headcount over the year will be around 360, consistent with the 13 per cent budget cut.
"As our administrative budget is fixed, if we make changes later in the year then this does mean reducing more posts overall."
Overall, the DfE's staff headcount is set to increase, despite the reduction of the children, young people and families directorate (CYPFD), as schemes including the academies programme continue to expand.
"We should emphasise once again that, while CYPFD is set to reduce in size over the coming year, the department is not," the email explains. "From next month the department will be notably larger and with a greater focus on implementation and delivery, presenting exciting new opportunities for individuals to progress their careers."
The directorate’s priorities for the coming financial year will be early years education; special education needs and disability; care and adoption; child protection and the wider safeguarding system; and youth services.
The email makes assurances that work including analytical support or local authority intervention work will be properly resourced.
"These changes are, of course, unlikely to be end of the story," the email goes on. "Like others across the civil service, we work in an organisation where change is constant as we respond to new challenges and, shortly, new leadership.
"The arrival of a new permanent secretary [Chris Wormald] and, in due course, a new board may well prompt further changes. But our immediate focus is to lead staff though the changes set out above, which the Secretary of State has approved."