HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc212-3W
Chris Grayling

>To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how he will define non-traditional backgrounds for students when replacing the postcode premium. [152780]

Alan Johnson

The "postcode premium" formed part of the widening access and improving retention funds distributed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) via the teaching grants awarded to higher education institutions (HEIs). For 2004/05 HEFCE has advised HEIs that the distribution of widening access funding will be based on a method that weightsyoung (under 21 on entry) full-time undergraduate new entrants according to higher education (HE) participation by ward; and part-time and mature full-time undergraduates according to average educational achievement by ward.

In addition, weightings of 8 per cent. for inner London and 5 per cent. for outer London are incorporated in the funding formula. These refinements will result in a more transparent funding formula that better reflects levels of educational disadvantage, as well as allowing for additional costs of institutions operating in London.