HC Deb 29 November 1993 vol 233 cc292-3W
Mr. Rooker

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what action he has taken since incorporation of further education colleges to ensure that student financial support matches the needs of students.

Mr. Boswell

Local education authorities have the power under the Education Act 1962 to make discretionary awards to students on courses of further education in the light of local needs and priorities. They also have duties and powers under the Education Act 1944, as amended by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, to provide free transport and assistance with travel costs to post-16 students.

My right hon. Friend has made it a condition of grant that colleges in the further education sector may not charge tuition fees to home and EC students aged 16 to 18 on full-time courses. Many colleges operate concessionary fees for other students. Access funds are disbursed by colleges to help eligible full-time students who are in particular financial difficulties.

Students may apply for career development loans from the Employment Department; and those in employment can look to their employers for assistance.