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Probation Officers

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much funding his Department and its predecessor allocated for the (a) recruitment and (b) training of probation officers in each year since 1997. (317631)

Recruitment funding is included in the general grant paid to areas for probation officer training delivery. However, information about the specific local spend on recruitment was not routinely collected and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

The following information is the best quality information that is available but it has been transferred over time from the Home Office Adelphi finance system to the Prison Service Phoenix system and there is the possibility that there may be some gaps.

Details of the funding allocated for the training of probation officers is contained in the following tables.

Trainee probation officer (TPO) costs

Financial year

Total (£ million)

2003-04

57.886

2004-05

63.272

2005-06

42.381

2006-07

42.381

2007-08

44.762

2008-09

41.663

2009-10

26.430

Note: 1. The costs detailed include the trainee salary, pension contribution and the university administration cost. Figures are only available from 2003-04 when the Home Office took over responsibility for the higher education contracts. 2. The funding increase in 2004-05 was based on the assumption that Custody Plus would be implemented, requiring a rapid increase in probation officers. When the policy decision was made to suspend this, trainee numbers decreased. The final cohort of Diploma in Probation Studies began their two-year course in October 2008 and the drop in funding in 2009-10 represents the fact that there is only one cohort to fund between October 2009 and April 2010. The new Probation Qualification Framework will be launched in April 2010.

Probation service officer (PSO) costs

Financial year

Training allocation (£)

2003-04

n/a

2004-05

928,000

2005-06

772,000

2006-07

800,000

2007-08

800,000

2008-09

2,520,100

2009-10

2,500,000

Note: The allocation for 2003-04 is not known. In 2005-06, areas were required to bid for PSO training funding. In 2006 to date, funding is provided for 1,000 PSOs at £800 per head per year and Areas are allocated maximum numbers calculated using the cash limit formula. In 2008-09 and 2009-10, an additional investment was made in PSO training in preparation for the launch of the new Probation Qualification Framework in April 2010.