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Educational Institutions: Finance

Volume 508: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects on the economy of the funding settlement for land-based education colleges for 2009-10; for what reasons the settlement for such colleges is lower than the equivalent settlement in 2008-09; and what plans he has for the level of funding for such colleges in the next five years. (323846)

The Department routes funding through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for the provision of further education (FE) and skills training for adult learners aged 19 and over, including those attending the 16 specialist land-based colleges in England.

In the 2008/09 academic year the LSC allocated £23,377,000 to specialist land-based colleges to deliver Adult Learner Responsive provision (ALR) and £22,684,000 for 2009/10. Although the allocations for five land-based colleges increased, there was an overall decrease in ALR allocation between 2008/09 and 2009/10. Across the FE and skills sector there was a decrease in ALR funding that reflected a commitment to increase funding for Train to Gain and Apprenticeships and away from Developmental Learning. Development Learning is defined as provision that is not aligned to one of the priority qualification categories: these are Full Level 2 (equivalent to 5 GCSEs at A*-C), Full Level 3 (2 A Levels or equivalent), Level 4, Foundation Learning and Skills for Life.

Funding allocations for 2010/11 academic year have not yet been finalised but final allocation letters are due to be sent to FE Colleges and Training Organisations from the end of March. The scale of future settlements is dependent on the outcome of the ongoing comprehensive spending review.