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Further Education (Pensioners)

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pensioners in (a) England and (b) each local authority took advantage of the concession for subsidised further education courses in (i) 2004-05 and (ii) 2005-06. (91696)

There is no national subsidy for pensioners on courses in further education funded through the Learning and Skills Council. However all those on income related benefits and their families do not pay tuition fees for their courses. This includes those pensioners in receipt of the pension credit guarantee. Many pensioners will also benefit from free tuition for courses in literacy, numeracy and language and, where they intend to work, from free tuition for a first full level 2 qualification. Beyond national policy many providers, in both local authorities and FE colleges, have offered fee concessions at their own discretion which may, to varying degrees, be based on age. The following table therefore shows the numbers of learning aims funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in 2004/05 and taken up by learners of State Pension Age, i.e. 65 for men and 60 for women, where fees are waived for whatever reason. Figures are in terms of aims, of which an individual learner may have several, because fee remission applies to individual aims rather than the learner. Additionally, where fees are paid in full by the learner, 75 per cent. of the total tuition cost in 2004/05 for learners in Further Education was still funded by the LSC.

Equivalent figures for 2005/06 will not be available until December 2006.

Table 1: Aims studied by LSC-funded learners of state pension age in 2004/05

Local authority area based on learner's home postcode

Fees waived

Fees paid in full by the learner

England

710,556

215,683

Unknown

8,812

2,336

City of London

205

204

Camden

4,816

1,063

Greenwich

2,907

378

Hackney

2,283

66

Hammersmith and Fulham

3,235

237

Islington

3,258

271

Kensington and Chelsea

2,653

547

Lambeth

2,910

225

Lewisham

2,911

326

Southwark

2,156

289

Tower Hamlets

1,678

68

Wandsworth

4,773

585

Westminster

3,965

272

Barking and Dagenham

1,720

65

Barnet

4,850

994

Bexley

3,330

695

Brent

3,356

296

Bromley

6,232

1,480

Croydon

4,319

768

Ealing

2,688

382

Enfield

2,293

431

Haringey

2,454

510

Harrow

2,289

473

Havering

5,512

162

Hillingdon

2,837

998

Hounslow

2,557

245

Kingston upon Thames

1,348

2,557

Merton

2,007

480

Newham

2,766

55

Redbridge

2,087

908

Richmond upon Thames

3,899

1,022

Sutton

3,014

1,160

Waltham Forest

2,252

366

Birmingham

12,213

888

Coventry

3,735

1,929

Dudley

6,241

780

Sandwell

3,225

250

Solihull

2,223

625

Walsall

2,124

2,440

Wolverhampton

3,767

537

Knowsley

2,178

159

Liverpool

10,032

300

St. Helens

1,621

509

Sefton

6,227

683

Wirral

2,918

1,368

Bolton

1,715

1,827

Bury

2,899

339

Manchester

4,526

863

Oldham

2,288

2,018

Rochdale

1,723

264

Salford

2,513

301

Stockport

3,518

2,181

Tameside

2,496

675

Trafford

2,578

1,294

Wigan

1,995

351

Barnsley

4,189

63

Doncaster

5,090

100

Rotherham

3,855

296

Sheffield

7,344

845

Bradford

5,529

2,020

Calderdale

2,494

279

Kirklees

5,329

224

Leeds

7,871

1,509

Wakefield

5,286

181

Gateshead

5,048

337

Newcastle upon Tyne

6,211

197

North Tyneside

3,556

637

South Tyneside

2,805

143

Sunderland

5,545

320

Bath and North East Somerset

1,605

595

Bristol

3,900

968

North Somerset

3,772

311

South Gloucestershire

1,790

354

Hartlepool

805

198

Middlesbrough

2,293

136

Redcar and Cleveland

2,368

173

Stockton-on-Tees

2,316

2,089

Kingston upon Hull

4,096

279

East Riding of Yorkshire

9,183

589

North East Lincolnshire

4,948

59

North Lincolnshire

5,484

306

North Yorkshire

8,609

3,539

York

2,739

559

Bedfordshire

5,370

673

Luton

2,688

157

Buckinghamshire

2,959

6,529

Milton Keynes

2,251

291

Derbyshire

9,762

7,511

Derby

3,007

826

Dorset

7,216

3,448

Poole

1,944

1,228

Bournemouth

2,883

248

Durham

9,051

1,093

Darlington

775

559

East Sussex

5,237

5,245

Brighton and Hove

1,749

764

Hampshire

14,648

9,863

Portsmouth

1,604

646

Southampton

1,680

615

Leicestershire

12,982

1,624

Leicester

3,735

290

Rutland

342

378

Staffordshire

13,896

3,357

Stoke-on-Trent

3,914

317

Wiltshire

2,082

4,186

Swindon

826

875

Bracknell Forest

2,182

260

Windsor and Maidenhead

1,809

839

West Berkshire

3,400

376

Reading

1,065

349

Slough

862

164

Wokingham

3,427

530

Cambridgeshire

5,302

3,747

Peterborough

1,862

703

Cheshire

8,743

6,181

Halton

1,523

84

Warrington

2,883

214

Devon

8,536

10,733

Plymouth

2,349

343

Torbay

1,147

2,409

Essex

21,215

1,975

Southend on Sea

2,637

90

Thurrock

1,166

53

Herefordshire

1,440

900

Worcestershire

6,006

2,563

Kent

24,966

3,178

Medway

3,305

298

Lancashire

19,547

10,515

Blackburn with Darwen

1,811

278

Blackpool

1,456

1,176

Nottinghamshire

15,391

1,013

Nottingham

3,675

188

Shropshire

2,769

3,446

Telford and Wrekin

4,093

169

Cornwall

10,440

3,422

Cumbria

7,882

1,444

Gloucestershire

10,005

4,603

Hertfordshire

7,629

4,520

Isle of Wight

792

960

Lincolnshire

11,367

1,968

Norfolk

11,039

2,574

Northamptonshire

8,301

2,582

Northumberland

4,993

3,590

Oxfordshire

4,312

3,758

Somerset

4,697

4,964

Suffolk

10,016

5,494

Surrey

19,092

6,668

Warwickshire

6,646

3,280

West Sussex

12,920

3,558