HC Deb 19 May 1999 vol 331 c1057
Q3. Mr. David Chaytor (Bury, North)

What plans he has for reform of the funding mechanisms for post-16 education and training.

The Prime Minister

We have consulted widely with businesses, colleges, the voluntary sector and others. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education will announce his proposals for post-16 education and training in the summer. My hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Chaytor) will know that we want to increase the opportunities for young people and adults to undertake high-quality education and training that allows them and us to have a fully competitive work force for the 21st century.

Mr. Chaytor

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. The post-16 review is welcomed throughout the further education sector, as is the record investment of £700 million in further education due to commence next year. Is my right hon. Friend aware of the continuing problem of differential funding of further education institutions, whereby some institutions receive up to £1,500 per student more than others for an identical course? Will he assure the House that the post-16 review will resolve that problem once and for all and achieve a level playing field for further education?

The Prime Minister

My hon. Friend is right to say that we have backed our statement that we attach importance to further education with a record settlement of over £700 million over the next two years. The review aims to get value for money and make sure that we attach proper importance to education, including further education, and training. We shall do that in a way that does not disadvantage sixth-form colleges and people who are still at school. We are conducting the review, and the results will be announced soon, and my hon. Friend will then realise that his concerns have been taken into account.

Mr. Eric Forth (Bromley and Chislehurst)


Madam Speaker

Order. This is a closed question.

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