HC Deb 30 November 1978 vol 959 cc317-8W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures she proposes to take to compensate the parents of students aged 19 years and over who do not qualify for a mandatory grant, following the abolition of child tax allowances in April 1979.

Mr. Oakes:

Section 26 of the Finance Act 1977 already provides for special transitional compensation up to and including the financial year 1980–81, for the parents of students who receive no grant from public funds and who were aged 19 or more and attending a full-time course on 31st December 1976. There are no proposals to change these arrangements.

Dr. Hampson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many qualifications in advanced further education there are which do not now qualify for mandatory grants; how many students are involved each year, approximately; what would be the cost of making all these courses eligible for mandatory awards; and what proportion of these courses will be redesignated by clause 15 of the Education Bill 1978.

Mr. Oakes:

It is estimated that some 15,000 home students in grant-aided establishments in England and Wales are attending full-time and sandwich advanced courses—other than postgraduate—which are not designated for mandatory awards. The additional cost of making awards mandatory for these courses would be of the order of £7 million a year. I regret, however, that the number of qualifications concerned is not known.

Clause 15 of the Education Bill would not itself designate these courses but would enable my right hon. Friend to do so by or under regulations. The intention is to designate particular courses or categories of course as the need arises and resources can be made available.

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