HC Deb 18 December 2001 vol 377 cc284-5W
Mr. Chaytor

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the total cost of administration of the former Further Education Funding Council in each of the last three financial years. [13337]

Margaret Hodge

[holding answer 19 November 2001]: Total FEFC cost of administration (taken from the FEFC published accounts) was £23.3 million in 1998–99 and £25.5 million in 1999–2000. Final FEFC accounts for 2000–01 are not yet available.

Also, we estimate that in total TECs spent in the order of £240–£250 million on administration of the activities that have now passed to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

As well as the activities previously carried out by the FEFC and TECs, the LSC has also taken on additional activities such as greater involvement and intervention at local level to raise Basic Skills, and managing a 9 per cent. real terms increase in the overall programme budget allocated to post-16 education and training compared to plans for 2000–01. It takes on further responsibilities in 2002–03 such as the funding of school VI forms and local decisions about the allocation of funds on key youth and adult learning programmes.

In the light of these responsibilities, and the different VAT regime to which the LSC is subject compared to TECs, the Secretary of State has agreed a revised LSC administration budget of £213 million in 2001–02 and £218 million in 2002–03.

This is significantly lower than the £270–£280 million estimated in total to have been spent by its predecessors, and delivers the commitment given to Parliament during the passage of the Learning and Skills Act that there would be administrative savings of at least £50 million compared to previous arrangements.