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Schools: Finance

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what funding his Department has allocated for a nationwide summer residential programme for school students in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; and if he will make a statement. (153955)

The Department has provided no funding for a nationwide summer residential programme in 2007. However, the Department has worked with the Big Lottery Fund in delivering its ‘Do it 4 Real’ summer residential programme since 2003. The Big Lottery Fund allocated £5 million for ‘Do it 4 Real’ in 2007. From 2008-11, my Department will make a further £15 million available to expand residential activities, building on the success of ‘Do it 4 Real’.

Taking part in residential activity programmes, which take young people out of their immediate surroundings, can provide opportunities for young people to mix with peers from different backgrounds, helping them to understand and appreciate cultural differences, and develop new interests, ambitions and aspirations. In expanding the availability of residential opportunities, building on the success of ‘Do it 4 Real’, the Government will focus on creating subsidised opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to mix with a wide range of peers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to increase the share of national income spent on education from 2005 levels over the period 2007 to 2011; and if he will make a statement. (153956)

The Government will increase spending in education as a proportion of GDP from 5.4 per cent. in 2005-06 to 5.6 per cent. in 2010-11. This compares to 4.7 per cent. of GDP spent on education in 1996-97. The exact figures for 2005-06 to 2010-11 are shown in the following table.

The table also shows total spend on UK education spend by the Government.

UK Government education spend







Total Government education spend as a proportion of GDP







Total UK education spend by Government (£ billion)







Following machinery of government changes, education spend on post-19 further education and skills and higher education is the responsibility of DIUS. My Department will continue to work closely with DIUS in relation to post-19 and higher education spending.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what assessment he has made of whether all the incentives created by the 5 per cent. levy on school budget surpluses are in line with the objectives of that policy; and if he will make a statement; (156274)

(2) what provisional costing he has made in relation to the redistribution of funding through the 5 per cent. levy on school budget surpluses;

(3) how many schools he expects to be liable for the 5 per cent. levy on school budget surpluses.

The Government are taking action to reduce the total level of school balances which stood at £1.6 billion nationally at the end of the financial year 2005-06. We believe it right to ensure that some of this money is used to support the education of today’s pupils. We propose therefore to require local authorities to redistribute locally 5 per cent. of all positive revenue balances which, on the basis of 2005-06 figures, would apply to around 20,500 or 90.4 per cent. of all schools. That will encourage these schools to think carefully about the level of their balances and to plan ahead for their use.

It will be for each local authority in consultation with its Schools Forum to decide how the redistribution will work in their area. Because the redistribution takes place within a local authority it will reward those schools who budget prudently for a small surplus at the end of each financial year, at the expense of those schools who maintain consistently high balances. As the resources will be redistributed there is no overall cost to the school system from this measure and we estimate that a 5 percent. annual redistribution would release around £75 million a year for wider use within schools.