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Quango bosses exposed as bullies

Senior management called staff "wankers" and "shaggable" at a government quango for further education and school sixth forms, according to a report obtained by The TES.

The independent report into bullying claims says managers at the Nottinghamshire Learning and Skills Council swore at, insulted and publicly ridiculed staff.

The council, with a budget of pound;150 million, is one of 47 throughout the country responsible for the planning and funding of post-16 education (except universities), plus school sixth forms, work-based learning for young people, and adult and community learning. Nationally, the LSC, the biggest quango in the country, has a budget of more than pound;7 billion.

In its draft report Acas, the arbitration and conciliation service, says:

"The organisation is sitting on a legal time-bomb. The casual and open use of obscenities and derogatory remarks (both sexual and otherwise) is seen as being propagated at senior level and permeating down the organisation."

The report talks of staff being lied to and being blanked. Tale-telling and gossiping was encouraged. There were secret meetings between favoured members of staff and complaints of unprofessionalism: "Bad language in open forum by senior management, for example, 'you're a wanker, and 'shaggable'."

Acas was called in by the national LSC and the trade union PCS, following allegations of bullying.

David Russell, head of human resources at the national LSC, said Acas's recommendations would be acted on, in full consultation with the union.

"Our aim is to establish an environment where staff feel they can work happily and effectively as soon as possible."

Page1, FE Focus

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