The National Archives’ Diversity Bursary Programme

FOI request reference: F0062415
Publication date: August 2020

Please can you disclose any information which explains the reasons why you stopped providing diversity bursaries?


Please use the links below to access the following documentation concerning the discontinuation of our Diversity Bursary Programme.

Diversity Bursary Review: 7th December 2016
Executive Team briefing paper: 1st March 2017
Executive Team meeting minutes: 1st March 2017

Information which identifies junior members of staff has been redacted from this documentation under section 40(2) of the FOI Act. For further information about why this exemption has been applied, please see the explanatory Annex at the end of this letter.

Information which identifies members of staff at Head of Department level or above has been released as we consider that these individuals are sufficiently senior for their names and/or job titles to already be in the public domain.

Information which falls outside the scope of your request, as it does not relate to the diversity bursary programme, has also been redacted.

Advice and Assistance
Please find below supplementary information concerning the background of The National Archives’ Diversity Bursary scheme and our current work in this area.

The National Archives’ bursary scheme was offered to individuals who wanted to embark on a career in the archives sector. The bursaries were designed to support candidates in gaining a qualification by providing financial support and helping to address socio-economic barriers. The bursaries welcomed applications from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and disabled applicants, amongst others. The scheme provided financial support for a one-year full-time professional preparation qualification: an MA or equivalent, including Archives, Records Management, Information Management or Humanities computing courses.

As noted in the above documentation it was agreed in 2017 that the bursary scheme was not meeting its original aims and therefore the decision was made to redirect funds toward the implementation of a workforce development strategy.

Since the discontinuation of the scheme, TNA has developed the workforce development strategy, one of the primary aims of which is diversifying the sector. This includes work to develop a Level 7 Apprenticeship in Archives and Records Management, recruitment of an Inclusion manager and a programme of work to provide training, tools and guidance to the sector.

Exemptions applied.

Section 40(2): Personal Information where the applicant is not the data subject
Data Protection Legislation prevents personal information from release if it would be unfair or at odds with the reason why it was collected, or where the subject had officially served notice that releasing it would cause them damage or distress.

Publishing the names of junior members of staff is considered an unfair use of personal data. Junior members of staff would have no expectation that their names would be made available in the public domain; to do so would be unfair and contravene Art. 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation. As such, the names of junior officials have been withheld under section 40 (2) of the FOI Act.

Further guidance can be found at:

Supplementary Information
The Diversity Bursary Review: 7 December 2016 features a hyperlink which has been deactivated in the attached pdf version, please use this link to access the relevant webpage.
Paragraph 19 of the Executive Team briefing paper: 1st March 2017 features an incomplete final sentence. We have performed a search of our filing system and can confirm that we do not hold a version of the document with a completed final sentence.
Please note that a published version of the Executive Team meeting minutes: 1st March 2017 can be found here.