To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will recalculate the education component of the 1988–89 rate support grant settlement for Bolton to take account of errors discovered and acknowledged by his Department; what steps he has taken to ensure that further errors have not been made; and if he will make a statement.
My Department provides the information on pupil and student numbers which is used in calculating the education component of each authority's grant-related expenditure assessment. This year for the first time students attending TVEI courses at local authority colleges were separately classified, but were inadvertently omitted from the student number count supplied to the Department of the Environment. As is usual, all the student data were sent to authorities for checking in August, but the error did not come to light until November, after the completion of calculations for the settlement. I have asked for procedures to be reviewed within my Department. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment said in reply to my hon. Friend on 10 December, at column 261, the error will be corrected in a supplementary report for 1988–89.