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Royal National College for the Blind

Education written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department's funding to the Royal National College for the Blind; and what plans he has for future funding.

Photo of David Laws David Laws The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, The Minister for Schools

The Department for Education through the Education Funding Agency currently funds approximately 80 placements for young people aged 16 to 25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. The total placement funding for these 80 young people in relation to 2012/13 academic year is £3.3 million. These placements have been commissioned by local authorities to meet the education, training and support needs for the young people as outlined within their learning difficulty assessment.

The Education Funding Agency undertakes annual moderation of institution accounts to monitor their financial health. The Royal National College for the Blind is assessed as low risk and the Education Funding Agency has no concerns about the college's financial health. My assessment is that the college is adequately funded by the Department for the challenging work it does with those young people who require its specialist services.

From 2013/14 new funding arrangements are being implemented for the college and similar specialist institutions. These arrangements will support the Government's plans to introduce a more integrated approach to assessment and planning for young people with special educational needs from birth to age 25. Local authorities will continue to commission placements at the college for local young people following assessment, and will in future also provide the majority of the college's funding for each student.

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