HC Deb 13 June 2002 vol 386 cc1405-6W
Gillian Merron

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will define the common funding approach to be adopted by the Learning and Skills Council for(a)2003–04 and (b)subsequent years. [53089]

Margaret Hodge

The foremost principle is that funding must follow the learner. Other principles of the funding system are that it should: be easy to understand, determine funding rates fairly, and be simple in design and administration. It must have the flexibility to cope with provision ranging from full-time classroom learning to on-line learning at home. These principles are based on the extensive consultation carried out by this Department in 1999–2000 and confirmed by the Department and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in November 2000. We have built on the best elements of the former Further Education Funding Council's national system of formula based funding and the LSC are committed to introduce a single non-bureaucratic system. In 2003–04 further education, work based learning for young people, school sixth forms and adult and community learning will be funded through systems which follow the same principles. The LSC will develop the common funding approach further and plan a single funding system for all the main post-16 learning routes in 2004–05.

Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance has been given to the Learning and Skills Council on the action to be taken to deal with weaknesses identified following an area inspection and the circumstances under which reorganisation of provision ought properly to be considered; and if she will publish that guidance. [60043]

1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04
Further Education Unit Funding actual actual actual actual provisional planned planned planned
Funding for participation (£) 3,050 3,070 3,120 3,360 3,380 3,500 3,550 3,610
Real terms index 100 98 97 101 100 101 100 99
Total funding (£) 3,050 3,070 3,120 3,440 3,540 3,810 3,990 4,150
Real terms index 100 98 97 104 105 110 112 114

This table shows two real terms indices for each full time equivalent (FTE) student in FE, including sixth form colleges. The first shows unit of funding for participation and includes funding for Qualifying for

Mr. Ivan Lewis

[holding answer 11 June 2002]The Department's guidance following an area inspection sets out the key elements of an effective action plan, and the basis on which it will be assessed. This is issued to each local LSC and LEA on publication of their Ofsted area inspection report. I have placed a copy of the guidance in the libraries of the House.

The LSC is the body responsible for planning 16–19 provision. It is for them, in liaison with their local partners, to decide what action, including reorganisation, is necessary to address the weaknesses in their area.