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Special Educational Needs

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much special educational needs (SEN) funding was provided to students in (a) further education and (b) higher education in each year between 1997 and 2006; and if he will make a statement on his Department's submission for future levels of SEN funding in further and higher education as part of the forthcoming comprehensive spending review. (127431)

[holding answer 14 March 2007]: Information on the funding allocated to support learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities who studied in the further education sector is in the following table.

Further Education

Number of learners supported

Funding provided (£ billion)

2003/04

579,000

1.3

2004/05

641,000

1.5

Source: LSC

Information for 2005/06 will be published in July 2007 and I will write to the hon. Gentleman once this is available. Comparable information is not available before 2003/04 as it was not collected in the same way under previous funding arrangements.

The information includes all LSC funding to support post-16 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities studying in England. This includes learners attending further education colleges, school sixth forms and work based learning providers.

For higher education the details are as follows:

Higher Education

Mainstream disability funding (£ million)

Disabled student's allowance (£ million)

Number of students in receipt of disabled student's allowance

2000/01

7.0

39.2

14,500

2001/02

8.7

39.3

18,600

2002/03

9.8

50.4

24,600

2003/04

10.3

1

1

2004/05

10.4

70.7

32,400

2005/06

12.3

78.0

35,400

1 A change in reporting arrangements for 2003/04 means aggregated figures are not available for this year Source: Student Loans Company

The information includes full-time, part-time, and postgraduate students studying in England.

As the Department has not yet received its comprehensive spending review (CSR) settlement, we are not in a position to announce the funding levels for specific programmes during the next CSR period. However, I can confirm that the costs of supporting learners with learning difficulties and disabilities have been fully integrated into our considerations for this.