HC Deb 08 March 2004 vol 418 c1355W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the proportion was of families with an income under(a) £15,970 and (b) £33,500 with students going to higher education, broken down by local education authority, in the last academic year for which figures are available. [153132]

Alan Johnson

Data on the distribution of family incomes are not available at a Local Education Authority level.

The income levels £15,970 and £33,500—referred to in the paper: Moving towards a single combined grant for higher education—are estimates for 2006–07.

The figure of £15,970 is an estimate of the income threshold below which students will receive the full combined grant of £2,700 and above which the grant starts to be tapered away. Since the combined grant will be new in 2006–07, and its threshold is lower than that for the existing tuition fee relief scheme, there are no out-turn data for past years. However, it is estimated that around 30 per cent. of students will get the full grant. The figure of £33,500 is the estimated income level at which—in 2006–07—the combined grant will end and the means-tested element of the maintenance loan will begin to be tapered away. It is estimated that 50–55 per cent. of students will fall below this threshold and hence will receive some combined grant.

In 2001–02, 59 per cent. of students had a family income which resulted in them receiving part or full contribution to their fees i.e. an income below the threshold of £29,785 for dependent students and £25,440 for independent students. This is the latest year for which data are available.

Although the Department does not collect data on family income below various thresholds by LEA, we are aware that there are other organisations that do prepare figures of this nature. In particular, I understand that the House of Commons Library hay access to some figures on family income by Parliamentary constituency, which hon. Members may be interested in. In addition, the Office of National Statistics has recently published some data on their website (www.statistics.gov.uk/ neighbourhood) showing mean income at ward level, which hon. Members may also be interested in.

The distribution of all students entering full-time undergraduate courses by local authority, is shown in the table, copies of which have bears place in the House Libraries.