Tory ministers have spent more than £400,000 on ‘unconscious bias’ training, The Telegraph can reveal, including from a consultancy that has previously used Disney characters to highlight issues.
Civil servants usually take compulsory courses every year that cover similar issues, but an extra £416,644 has been spent on further face-to-face courses in the last two financial years.
The Department for Education allocated £92,500 to such lectures in the 2018-19 year, while the Department for Work and Pensions has paid £112,500 to the professional services firm KPMG for 720 staff to be trained.
The Home Office spent £54,080 on training 164 staff as part of two courses run by Civil Service Learning entitled ‘Unconscious Bias’ and ‘Unconscious Bias for Senior Civil Servants’, a Freedom of Information request by the TaxPayers’ Alliance disclosed.
Equality firm Challenge Consultancy received £38,000 from the Ministry of Justice for two of its advocacy courses, which were delivered as training sessions that spanned up to two days.
The Departments of Health, Business, Transport, and Digital, Culture Media and Sport spent a further combined total of £119,564.
A presentation, previously used by Challenge in its workshops, condemned the portrayal of ‘Peter Pan’ character Captain Hook, who has a severed hand, as ‘sinister’ in its ‘messages on disability’.
Another slide referred to Arlene Phillips’ departure from Strictly Come Dancing in 2009 at the age of 66 as sending damaging ‘messages on age’. It is unclear if these slides were used in the training for MPs or civil servants.