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Students: Disabled

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 24 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department and its predecessors have provided to further education colleges to help students with learning disabilities in each of the last three years. (319469)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills allocates funding to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for the provision of further education (FE) and training for adult learners aged 19 and over. For 2008-09 financial year the total LSC adult participation budget was £3.17 billion.

Investing in FE and skills training for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LLDD) remains a priority and we remain committed to maintaining the opportunities for these learners. This means making sure the right level of support is available so that FE colleges and training organisations are able to meet the needs of these learners to access mainstream provision or employment.

There is no separate budget for the delivery of provision for adult learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD). They are supported through a range of provision depending on the level of skills and support they need.

Additional Learning Support (ALS) funding is provided to FE colleges and training organisations to support the additional costs associated with learners with LDD to undertake mainstream provision. It is not possible to disaggregate this information between those who have a learning difficulty or a disability. Investment in ALS for post-19 learners in each of the last three academic years for which information is available (2006/07 to 2008/09) is approximately £160 million. This includes ALS claims recorded on the Individual Learner Record. However, the recording of claims below £5,500 is not a mandatory requirement and some smaller ALS funding will therefore not be included within the figure referred to above.