DfE and agencies' performance-related bonus spend rises to over £6m

The Department for Education and its agencies paid out over £6 million in performance-related bonuses in 2018-19, an increase of almost 7 per cent on the previous year.

Data on non-consolidated performance-related payments shows the DfE itself paid out £4,611,694 last year, up from £4,482,570 the previous year, while Ofsted paid out £1,181,764, up from £990,255 in 2017-18.

Ofqual, the exams regulator, paid out £90,473, up from £84,950, while the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education paid out £130,150, up from £83,400.

In total, the four organisations paid out £6,014,082, up from £5,641,175 in 2017-18.

Non-consolidated performance-related payments are “one-off” payments made to civil servants that don’t form a permanent part of their salary. They are either “end-of-year” payments, made at the end of each financial year on March 31, or “in-year” payments, made at other times.

The documents show 55.4 per cent of DfE civil servants on delegated grades received an in-year bonus in 2018-19, up from 50.7 per cent in 2017-18. And 97.4 per cent received and end-of-year payment, up from 94.2 per cent in 2017-18.

Forty-three per cent of senior civil servants – those at deputy director and above – received a payment in-year, up from just 10 per cent in 2017-18. The proportion of senior staff receiving end-of-year payments decreased from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.

At Ofsted, the proportion of those on delegated grades receiving in-year bonuses rose from around 75.7 per cent to around 86 per cent, while none received an end of year payment.

Twenty per cent of senior staff at Ofsted received in-year payments, while 37 per cent received them at the end of the year. This is up from 10 per cent and 23 per cent in 2017

The documents also show the maximum bonus paid by each agency, and it appears Ofsted was the most generous, handing out in-year bonuses of up to £5,000 to civil servants on delegated grades and end-of-year payments of up to £12,000 to senior civil servants, though this is down from £15,000 in 2017-18.

The reduction in the maximum end-of-year payment for DfE senior civil servants from £15,000 in 2017-18 to £4,000 in 2018-19 means the total spend on senior staff bonuses only rose from £542,000 to £580,300, despite the proportion receiving in-year bonuses having quadrupled.