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County Council Support Grants

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what additional support grant for Leicestershire county council would be required if it was funded at the average for English counties for (a) primary and (b) secondary pupils based on the (i) current financial year and (b) each financial year between 1996–97 to 2002–03; [125241](2) how much funding has changed per pupil in real terms for

(a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Leicestershire since 1996–97; [125242]

(3) if he will make a statement on the level of education funding in Leicestershire; and if he will estimate the (a) percentage and (b) cost difference between Leicestershire and the top funded county outside London. [125243]

Proportion of people of working age1 holding qualifications at NVQ level 4 or above2

Male

Female

All

95% confidence interval between3

95% confidence interval between

95% confidence interval between

London32.0%30.9%-33.0%29.5%28.5%-30.6%30.8%30.1%-31.6%
Sefton21.8%18.3%-25.4%22.5%18.8%-26.3%22.2%19.6%-24.7%
Great Britain24.3%24.0%-24.5%23.1%22.8%-23.4%23.7%23.5%-23.9%

1 Working age is defined as all males aged 16-64 and females aged 16-59.

2 NVQ level 4 or above covers postgraduates, first degrees, HNDs and other undergraduate qualifications.

3 The confidence interval figures show in the answer indicate the potential margin or error of the data for each area, given that the LFS is a sample survey and that estimated populations for each area are therefore subject to sampling variations.

The Education Formula Spending (EPS) system, which distributes the bulk of the financial support for schools, sets out not to provide the same level of funding for all pupils but to allow for the extra costs of educating children with additional needs, those in rural areas with sparse populations and those in areas where it costs more to recruit and retain staff. Therefore there are differences in the levels of funding which authorities receive recognising the differences in circumstances. For that reason, Leicestershire receives £380 per pupil (10 per cent.) less in overall resources than the "top" funded county outside London but since 1997–98 (the last year for which comparable data are available) real terms funding in Leicestershire has increased by 620 (29 per cent.) for primary pupils and by 550 (19 per cent.) for secondary pupils. The following table sets out the other information requested in cash terms between 1997–98 and 2003–04. For 2004–05, we are working with representatives of schools and local education authorities to ensure that every school receives a reasonable per pupil settlement.

Leicestershire (£)Shires (£)Difference (£)Grant needed (£ million)
Primary aged pupils (3-10)
1997–981,9101,860-50
1998–992,0102,0100
1999–20002,1802,200201.2
2000–012,3802,400301.4
2001–022,5602,590301.6
2002–032,6702,740704.1
2003–042,8603,0301709.3
Secondary aged pupils (11-15)
1997–982,5402,600602
1998–992,6602,710401.5
1999–002,8102,880602.3
2000–013,0603,120602.2
2001–023,2603,320602.3
2002–033,4203,5201003.8
2003–043,5203,7101907.4