§ Mr. Freud
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will indicate the criteria employed when assessing a request from a school participating in the assisted places scheme for relaxation of the 60 per cent. requirement;
(2) if he will list any requests for relaxation of the requirement that 60 per cent. of pupils winning an assisted place must come from the maintained sector which have been refused by him for each year since the introduction of the scheme.
§ Mr. Dunn
The 60 per cent. rule applies not to each intake but to the body of assisted pupils as a whole. To be granted a relaxation, a school must be able to demonstrate that it has made reasonable efforts to meet the rule or, in an individual case, that the relaxation is to meet particular hardship. No request has so far been refused. Where the difficulty is other than short-term, however, the school's quota of places is renegotiated.
§ Mr. Freud
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will list in the Official Report the number of children winning an assisted place in each year of the scheme's operation in the following age groups and indicate the percentage of the total number of assisted places pupils each figure represents and the percentage change involved in each case (a) 11 to 13 years, (b) 13 to 16 years and (c) 16 to 18 years.
§ Mr. Dunn
The information requested is as follows:
Age 11–13 Age 14–15 Sixth form Total School year 1981–82 3,660 — 525 4,185 Percentage 87 13 100 School year 1982–83 3,799 25 616 4,440 Percentage 85 1 14 100 School year 1983–84 4,093 54 745 4,892 Percentage 84 1 15 100 School year 1984–85 4,273 93 817 5,193 Percentage 82 2 16 100
§ Mr. Freud
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what information is available to his Department as to the pupil-teacher ratio in secondary schools participating in the assisted places scheme;
(2) what studies are being undertaken by his Department to assess the proportion of (a) potential O-level candidates and (b) potential A-level candidates leaving the maintained sector for the assisted places scheme and the effects on the maintained schools so affected;
(3) how many places on the assisted places scheme remained unfilled in each year since the scheme's introduction for the following age-groups; and how many of the filled places represent cases where the 60 per cent. requirement has been relaxed in each case, for each of the following age groups: (a) 11 to 13 years, (b) 13 to 16 years and (c) 16 to 18 years;
(4) to what conclusions he has come concerning educational standards as a result of the assisted places scheme;
(5) how he estimates the marginal benefit accruing to a child educated under the assisted places scheme of the extra cost to his Department of so educating a child;
(6) what information he has as to the average income represented by fees paid by his Department under the assisted places scheme for those schools participating in the scheme for which the 60 per cent. requirement has been relaxed;
(7) pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire, North-East of 11 March, Official Report, column 32, if he will now give for each year of the operation of the assisted places scheme the names of schools which have been granted dispensation from the 60 per cent. rule and the percentage of assisted places pupils formerly attending maintained schools in each case;
(8) if he will list in the Official Report the fee income to each school participating in the assisted places scheme as a result of the scheme; and what percentage of each school's fee income this represents for 1984–85;
(9) what criteria he uses to gauge how the quality of education available to pupils educated under the assisted places scheme exceeds that which is available to those pupils in the maintained sector.