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Lip Reading: Finance

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of the costs for lip-reading classes are met by the Learning and Skills Council; and whether individual funding of learners differs by (a) age of learner and (b) degree of disability. (132055)

There is an assumed fee contribution for all further education provision funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), including courses in lip-reading. For 2007/08 the assumed fee element will be 37.5 per cent. meaning that LSC funding will continue to account for at least 62.5 per cent. of the cost of all LSC funded FE courses. A large number of learners also benefit from full fee remission including all 16 to 18-year-olds and those on means-tested benefits including those in receipt of the Pension (Guarantee) Credit.

Additional Learner Support (ALS) funding is available from the LSC in order for providers to meet the additional needs of their learners, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The LSC also funds placements in specialist colleges for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities based on the learning and specialist support they require.

With the exception of the rules on fee remission individual funding does not differ according to age, although providers have discretion over the level of the fees they charge and many providers will have their own local fee remission policies in place. For instance in 2004/05 more than 80 per cent. of lip-reading courses were free to learners either as a result of national policy or the discretion of the provider.

Learners who do not qualify for free tuition can still receive support from Learner Support Funds administered directly by colleges. Learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including those with hearing impairments, are given priority for these funds especially where they are at risk of not taking up or continuing in Further Education.