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Opinion Leader Research

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many contracts were awarded by his Department to Opinion Leader Research in each year since 1997 was; and what was (a) the title and purpose, (b) the cost to the public purse and (c) the dates of (i) tender, (ii) award, (iii) operation and (iv) completion and report to the Department. (165261)

The Department has contracted with Opinion Leader Research through the Central Office of Information (COI) Market Research Framework on 15 occasions since 2001. The details of those contracts are shown in the following table.

In addition, the Department also contracted with Opinion Leader Research through its own tendering processes to deliver, as part of the 10 Year Childcare Strategy, Parents’ Forums aimed to inform the consultation process on the strategy. The cost was £70,172.14. It was tendered in January 2005 and awarded on 25 January 2005. The project was carried out and a report on findings delivered to the Department on 23 March 2005.

Details of contacts with Opinion Leader Research prior to 2001 are not held centrally and to gather that data in order to answer this question would incur disproportionate costs.

Title and purpose of the project

Cost (£)

Date to tender

Date of award

Date carried out

Date completed/findings put to Department

Student Funding

Strategic qualitative research, as part of a review of student funding in England, to understand fully how the current system is perceived and to pre test a number of alternative approaches


Direct Selection (option available for Framework Agreements)

September 2001

October- November 2001

November 2001

HE Positioning Research

Research as part of the review of student fees and loans to assess attitudes to the current arrangements and how best to communicate with key stakeholders


Direct Selection because it was a continuation of work they had completed in this area

August 2002

September to October 2002

October 2002

Secondary School Positioning W1

Consultation to establish how key audiences perceive future changes to secondary education


December 2002 Mini tendered to three organisations on the framework

December 2002

January to February 2003

February 2003

Supermarket research

Consultation exercise to test parents reactions to the concept and to some communications ideas


December 2003 Mini tendered to three organisations on the framework

December 2003

January 2004

February 2004

Supermarket research follow up

Research to assess the success of the pilot of the Parent Know How stand in 15 ASDA stores around London


July 2004 Mini tendered to three organisations on the framework

August 2004

September 2004

November 2004

Supermarket pilot pre-test

Creative development research to pre-test the look and feel of two design routes being used for a pilot for distributing information about education and related issues to parents via supermarkets


Direct select linked to previous project work

July 2004

July 2004

July 2004

Supermarket pilot research pre-test

Exit interviews on parent information booklet stands in supermarkets


Direct select—Continuation of Pilot evaluation from last year

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

Supermarket research

Pilot campaign evaluation for the Parent Know How stand in 40 ASDA stores


Not tendered—Second part of ongoing research

August 2005

September- October 2005

November 2005

Supermarkets qualitative Booklets Research

Qualitative research to understand the overall appeal of the full range Parent Know How leaflets in terms of look, layout and content


Not tendered— Part of the Supermarket Research run by OLR

October 2005

September -October 2005

October 2005

London Challenge

Qualitative research to explore parents views of London schools and to generate and explore initial ideas for a communications campaign on behalf of London schools


Direct select OLR already working on a linked project

October 2005

October 2005

October 2005

Supermarkets Follow up phase 2

Consultation to assess the success of the pilot of the Parent Know How stand in 40 ASDA stores throughout the country


Direct selection Continuation of an ongoing project

March 2006

March 2006

March 2006

Every Child Matters

Creative Development research to test messaging alternatives relating to its Every Child Matters campaign


Direct selection

March 2006

April to May 2006

May 2006

Skills Challenge Public Debate

Deliberative event to start a process of engagement leading to the Governments response to the Leitch Review later in the year


January 2007 Mini tendered to three organisations on the framework

February 2007

February 2007

February 2007

Parental engagement with local authorities

Research to explore good practice in parental engagement, both for the specific local authorities who are taking part in the research and to disseminate to local authorities in general


June 2007 Mini tendered to three organisations on the framework

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

Children’s Plan deliberative consultation

Deliberative events across England and wider community consultation, to inform the development of the Children’s Plan


August 2007 Mini tendered to three organisations on the framework

September 2007

October to November 2007

November 2007