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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20995: Alison Harris (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 15 January 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the appropriateness of giving local authorities the freedom to define FTE according to their own classification, as outlined in the recent progress report on the expansion of funded childcare, and what impact inconsistent data collection methods have on the quality of conclusions drawn from the collation of such data.

Answered by: Maree Todd 29 January 2019

There is variation in how local authorities define full-time equivalent (FTE) members of staff, as staff are subject to different terms and conditions across local authority areas. For example, the standard contractual hours worked in a week can differ across local authorities. Requiring local authorities to adhere to a standard definition of FTE would therefore not provide a meaningful measure of progress with delivery of the expansion. The approach taken in the Early Learning and Childcare Expansion Delivery Progress Report ensures that data provided by local authorities provides an accurate and consistent progress update against local recruitment needs and this is not negatively impacted by different definitions of FTE across local authorities.