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Independent Schools

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children have been in receipt of assisted places at independent schools since 1997. [118392]

The Assisted Places Scheme is being phased out. The number of children holding assisted places in each school year since 1997/98 is given in the following table:

Academic yearNumber of assisted pupils
1997/9836,458
1998/9929,795
1999/200023,255
2000/0117,927
2001/0212,550
2002/037,690

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of (a) the number of children in receipt of scholarships, bursaries or other such assistance attending independent schools and (b) the total value of such assistance. [118397]

Information about the number of children attending independent schools who receive scholarships, bursaries or other financial support is not collected centrally. The Independent Schools Council estimate, in respect of their member schools, that over 160,000 pupils receive such help, nearly 114,000 of whom receive fee assistance directly from their schools.There are 7,690 children holding Government assisted places at independent schools at a total estimated cost of £32.7 million in the current school year 2002/03. 792 exceptionally talented children receive help under the Music and Dance Scheme at a total cost of £12.5 million. In addition, £132,000 is available to support 85 Choristers through the Choir Schools Scholarship Scheme.