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Pupils: Per Capita Costs

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the per pupil cost of a young person (a) studying a new vocational diploma and (b) remaining in school to study GCSEs and A-levels. (131591)

We are currently reviewing funding arrangements from 2008-09 for schools and post-16 providers including school sixth forms. Our proposals are contained in two funding consultation documents: the ‘School, Early years and 14-16 funding consultation' which deals with funding up to the age of 16, and ‘Delivering World Class Skills in a Demand Led System' which covers all post-16 learning funded through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). The post-16 consultation ended at the end of March and the pre-16 consultation closes at the end of May.

Under the funding methodology proposed for sixth forms, which would also apply to provision delivered in colleges, the estimated per pupil cost of a young person studying a typical programme of five GCSEs or three A levels is £4,000.

Work is under way to develop comparable per pupil cost figures for diplomas but is not yet finalised. This will need to take account of the diploma specifications for the first five diploma lines which should be available this September.

The Department has carried out modelling work based on five local authorities to illustrate what additional per pupil funding schools might need for Diplomas at Key Stage 4. Based on that work the Average Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU) for a pupil taking up a diploma would be 1.3 times the AWPU of a child not taking up diploma provision.