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Additional Educational Needs

Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what representations he has received from local authorities on the disparity in standard spending assessments generated by the additional educational needs factor as it is currently applied; and what plans he has to change the present arrangements for AEN methodology arrangements and the common funding formula for grant-maintained schools;(2) what assessment he has made of the extent to which application of a common funding formula for grant-maintained schools based upon the current educational standard spending assessment methodology would generate unacceptable differences in per capita funding in schools serving very similar districts; and what plans he has to improve the present arrangements in regard to the additional educational needs factor to ensure equitable allocations to schools of comparable site.

My right hon. Friend has received various local authority representations about the additional educational needs—AEN—allowance within standard spending assessments. These will be taken into account in the review of the AEN allowance which is currently taking place as part of a wider-ranging review of standard spending assessments for 1994–95.We are also consulting widely on the common funding formula for grant-maintained schools. This will be based on the education element of standard spending assessments, as calculated in future. It will be introduced gradually with due regard to schools' needs for stability in funding and for additional resources to reflect additional responsibilities, as well as to the relative levels of additional educational needs among pupils attending particular schools.