Horticulture: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 19th September 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Fookes Baroness Fookes Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total spend on horticultural education and training for students over 16 years old by the Education and Skills Funding Agency for the last three financial years.

Photo of Baroness Fookes Baroness Fookes Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government why ornamental horticulture and floristry has been removed from Annex C of the funding regulations for post-16 education.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) does not hold the total spend on horticultural education and training for students over 16 years old. This is because the agency cannot disaggregate this information from the data that they hold.

Ornamental horticulture has never been an identified occupational area in the criteria used to assign specialist status; consequently it has not been removed from Annex C. However, the specialist provision group (a group with whom the ESFA consults which includes representatives from land-based colleges) agrees that ornamental/amenity horticulture requires very similar resources to production horticulture (which is an identified occupational area in the criteria), and therefore that the list of land-based occupational areas will be updated so that production horticulture changes to horticulture (thereby including ornamental, amenity and production horticulture).

Floristry was removed from the criteria on the advice of the specialist provision group when the criteria were reviewed in November 2015. It was removed because it does not require exceptionally significant resources that must operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year - a fundamental principle in awarding land-based institutions specialist resources.

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