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Scottish Budget Draft Budget 2014-15

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Chapter 5 Education and Lifelong Learning

Portfolio Responsibilities

The Education and Lifelong Learning portfolio is responsible for government policy related to improving outcomes for children, young people and in collaboration with colleagues in Health and Social Care Directorates, users of social care. It covers all aspects of early years, school education and national qualifications; university research and science; further and higher education; as well as community and adult learning and development, skills and training; and Gaelic language broadcasting. The majority of the budget is contained within the local government settlement which provides for local authority delivery of school education and social work.

Supporting Recovery And Increasing Sustainable Economic Growth

Providing opportunities to enable individuals and their families to improve their life chances, and supporting them to make the most of those opportunities, is key to ensuring that all of Scotland's citizens are able to participate fully in creating a more prosperous nation. In spite of budget decisions taken at a UK level, we are clear that investment in education, training and research must be a priority and through this budget we will continue to build on the strong foundations we have already put in place.

In the early years, the portfolio continues to provide a strong base for all of Scotland's children, irrespective of background, to develop, learn and achieve their potential. The economic climate, and the tough choices it has forced upon individuals and families, makes early intervention all the more important. Our decision to shift spend towards prevention and early intervention, with Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) supported to deliver improved outcomes for children in the early years through the Early Years Collaborative, has resulted in a robust set of mechanisms aimed at ensuring that Scotland's children and families get the best start in life.

The portfolio ensures that this support continues when young people enter full time education. Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is providing our young people with an education which will enhance their prospects and provide them with the skills and behaviours needed to ensure they are able to succeed, in learning, life and work.

Scotland's Schools for the Future Programme represents a strong commitment to improving the quality of Scotland's school estate. We are investing £800 million towards a total package of £1.25 billion of investment resulting in the construction of 67 new schools by 2018. This includes a further 30 new schools to be built through the third and final phase of the Programme, announced in September 2012, and has given certainty to the construction industries, providing a welcome boost to our economic recovery. The proportion of schools reported as being in good or satisfactory condition has increased from 61 per cent in April 2007 to 82 per cent in April 2012.

Government support for Gaelic has made a significant contribution to supporting recovery and increasing sustainable growth. In addition to providing support in many urban areas of Scotland, much Gaelic funding helps operations in areas of low population and has the added advantage of working to preserve a distinct language and cultural community in Scotland. For example, investment in Gaelic Medium Education infrastructure not only expands the resources and support for Gaelic Medium pupils and teachers but also creates construction jobs and jobs in the schools themselves.

The challenging economic climate has increased the importance of training opportunities as well as further and higher education places. The educational, economic and social benefits these opportunities bring are key to ensuring that Scotland has a well‑educated and skilled workforce, capable of attracting - and retaining - interest from employers. This, in turn, will support individuals of all backgrounds into employment.

Scotland is the only country in the UK with a dedicated Minister for Youth Employment. When the Minister was appointed in December 2011 the youth unemployment rate in Scotland was 25.4 per cent (113,000 people), it is now 19.1 per cent (77,000 people). Only eight out of the 28 EU countries have a lower youth unemployment rate.

As part of the post-16 reform work the portfolio has delivered a significant restructuring of post‑16 education aimed at creating better life chances for young people and ensuring that they are better prepared for work. The delivery of the Post‑16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013 provides a basis for improving college and university governance, ensuring they are fit for the 21st century, and improving access to university for students from under‑represented backgrounds. It will also provide the structures which will underpin our significant programme of college regionalisation, supporting the four merged colleges vesting on 1 August 2013 with a further four college mergers planned with vesting in November 2013. As the full extent of savings from mergers come through we have also established a clear 'floor' for the level of funding from the Scottish Government to the college sector. We will also continue to invest heavily in a more efficient estate which can help to reduce outgoings. Spending on further education will be stable during the period of the Spending Review.

We will ensure that key spending on university provision which has sustained the international excellence of our higher education system and its vital contribution to the national economy is continued. In 2013‑14 we allocated over £1 billion in the budget to universities - a cash terms increase of 3.9 per cent on the previous year's budget - and this investment will be maintained. The portfolio has delivered record high numbers of full time students in higher education at Scotland's colleges and universities - 199,430 full time students for 2011‑12 up from 178,680 in 2006‑07.

Our Higher Education Institutions are also developing ever closer links with industry. For example, in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Funding Council is developing a network of Innovation Centres across Scotland's key sectors. These centres of excellence will be collaborations between universities, businesses and others to enhance innovation across Scotland's key sectors, providing direct industry‑academia links.

National Outcomes

The policies, activities and expenditure of the Education and Lifelong Learning portfolio contribute to a number of national outcomes, especially the following:

  • our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed;
  • we have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk;
  • we are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation;
  • our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens;
  • we realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people;
  • we take pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity; and
  • we have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.

Activity across the portfolio contributes to delivery of each of these outcomes.

For example, the portfolio has introduced the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill which will reflect a significant step forward in ensuring that our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed. This Bill, which is intended will become law in early 2014, will create an obligation on councils, the health service and Government to deliver early years services and to see early years education as an essential part of the learning journey. Changes in legislation brought about by the introduction of this Bill will enable a step change in the way in which young people and their families are supported.

We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk and taken steps to tackle the significant inequalities in Scottish society by delivering on our manifesto commitment to establish a £50 million Sure Start Fund as the Scottish Government's contribution to the Early Years Change fund - a partnership between Scottish Government, local government and NHSScotland - aimed at supporting and nurturing children in the first years of their life. We have also established the Early Years Collaborative - the world's first national, multi‑agency quality improvement collaborative - with CPPs working across Scotland using quality improvement methodology to give our children the best start in life. In addition, we have provided £15 million (with a further £15 million committed for 2014‑15) to over 140 third sector organisations to support their work on early intervention and prevention. The reduction of educational inequity through CfE and targeted interventions to close the attainment gap which has existed in Scotland for far too long is a priority for the coming years.

The portfolio continues to deliver a number of key policies which collectively contribute to ensuring that we are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation and that our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. The first group of learners entered their Senior Phase of Curriculum for Excellence in 2013 and the portfolio is developing a new generation of National Qualifications from the 2013‑14 academic year to meet the needs of these learners. These young people are being supported by highly skilled teachers, with Scotland now having the lowest level of teacher unemployment in the UK. Recognising the crucial role of teachers in helping the achievement of these outcomes, the portfolio supports the development of the profession as well as national support and challenge through Education Scotland.

The portfolio's increased focus on providing Gaelic Medium Education reflects real steps towards the Scottish Government's goal to take pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity. The portfolio has delivered on the manifesto commitment to promote the acquisition, use and status of Gaelic through the implementation of the Gaelic Action Plan, which was put in place in 2009 and revised in 2012 by the National Gaelic Language Plan. In addition, the portfolio has a £4.5 million Gaelic Grant for Gaelic Medium Education. In addition to providing support in many urban areas of Scotland, much Gaelic funding helps operations in areas of low population and has the added advantage of working to preserve a distinct language and cultural community in Scotland. Our support for Gaelic through the arts, education, media and other sectors will seek to create a secure future for Gaelic in Scotland and the opportunity to learn Gaelic, alongside other languages, will be enhanced as the 'Barcelona System' is rolled out in Scottish education.

The varied interventions that the portfolio has introduced since 2011 have also contributed to ensuring that we realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people. Since April 2012, Opportunities for All has offered an appropriate place in learning or training for all 16‑19 year olds not in education, employment or training.

We will invest £30 million between 2012 and 2015 to support youth employment initiatives, including £11 million invested in Community Jobs Scotland, £1.5 million over three years to support provision of an employer recruitment incentive for targeted groups and £9 million allocated to six local authorities with significant youth unemployment challenges supporting around 3,500 young people. In addition to this, 2013‑14 saw the creation of the Employability Fund, a £52 million fund which draws together investment from the Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland in pre‑employment training, ensuring provision is better tailored towards the needs of participants and local labour markets. This will continue during the period of the Spending Review.

Budget Changes

The following changes have been made to our spending plans since publication of the Scottish Draft Budget 2013-14:

We have allocated an additional £19 million of resource funding to the university sector in 2014‑15 compared to 2013‑14 and will maintain that in 2015-16.

The Office for National Statistics has reclassified Scotland's incorporated colleges as public sector (central government) bodies. Whilst this decision has no impact on the level of funding provided for Scotland's colleges, the central government classification requires that the full income and expenditure budget for the sector is recorded against Departmental Expenditure Limits. The budget disclosed in this document has therefore been adjusted to show the full income and expenditure for the sector at an aggregate level. Funding for the sector will continue to be routed through the Scottish Funding Council as cash grant in aid.

Scottish Ministers remain committed to the £522 million net cash resource funding floor for Scotland's colleges established for 2013‑14 and which is now increased to £526 million for 2015‑16.

We have reallocated resources anticipated from efficiencies and underspends in a number of areas across the portfolio to invest £5 million in continued support for third sector Strategic Funding Partnerships and £2 million to support additional pressures on the Scottish Social Services Council.

There have been a number of other smaller changes to realign responsibilities across the portfolio and within wider Scottish Government as a whole, but with minor net effect on the overall funding available to the portfolio.

Our Priorities

In 2014‑15 and 2015‑16 we will:

  • continue to prioritise investment in the first years of life - where we believe we will have the biggest impact - and preventative spend at the earliest point where problems emerge. Our Early Years funding and funding of the third sector will work to improve life chances, building capacity within both CPPs and the third sector to deliver vital services to those who need them most;
  • by August 2014, use the new powers available through the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill to increase free and more flexible provision of early learning and childcare from 475 to 600 hours per year for 3 and 4 year olds, and 2 year olds who are looked after or are under a kinship care order - an increase of 45 per cent from 2007, and benefiting around 120,000 children in Scotland;
  • continue our investment in school infrastructure across the whole of Scotland. By March 2018 the Government's £1.25 billion Schools for the Future Programme will see the construction of 67 new schools built for over 46,000 pupils. These schools will be built in every part of Scotland in partnership with local authorities. As a result of efficiencies delivered through the Scottish Futures Trust an extra 12 schools will be built, over and above the 55 initially envisaged at the outset of the programme in June 2009, for the same level of investment;
  • continue to ensure that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future;
  • ensure an increase in the numbers learning, speaking and using Gaelic;
  • maintain our commitment and focus on supporting more of Scotland's young people into education, training or employment, with appropriate support and opportunities for targeted groups through Opportunities for All;
  • secure the benefits of college regionalisation by maintaining the funding floor whilst continuing to invest in a more efficient college estate;
  • support universities with over £1 billion each year ensuring that the sector remains internationally competitive and contributes ever more strongly to the national economy; and
  • continue to deliver on our commitment to ensure that education is based on the ability to learn and not the ability to pay by keeping higher education free for Scottish students and continuing to deliver on our commitment to support the poorest students with a minimum income of £7,250 per year in maintenance support.

Table 5.01: Spending Plans (Level 2)

Level 2 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
Learning 183.7 173.0 177.2
Children and Families 96.7 99.5 94.9
Employability Skills and Lifelong Learning 267.2 244.5 244.0
SFC 1,617.9 1,651.9 1,632.1
HESS 744.4 854.2 974.2
Total Level 2 2,909.9 3,023.1 3,122.4
of which:
DEL Resource 2,496.5 2,559.6 2,680.1
DEL Capital 123.6 114.7 92.5
Financial Transactions - 1.0 2.0
AME 289.8 347.8 347.8
Central Government Grants to Local Authorities 4.5 4.5 4.5

Table 5.02: Spending Plans (Level 2 real terms) at 201314 prices

Level 2 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
Learning 183.7 169.8 170.8
Children and Families 96.7 97.6 91.5
Employability Skills and Lifelong Learning 267.2 239.9 235.2
SFC 1,617.9 1,621.1 1,573.3
HESS 744.4 838.3 939.1
Total Level 2 2,909.9 2,966.7 3,010.0
of which:
DEL Resource 2,496.5 2,511.8 2,583.6
DEL Capital 123.6 112.6 89.2
Financial Transactions - 1.0 1.9
AME 289.8 341.3 335.3
Central Government Grants to Local Authorities 4.5 4.4 4.3

Learning

Table 5.03: More Detailed Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
People and Infrastructure 73.4 66.7 71.7
Strategy and Performance 28.1 27.0 26.8
Learning and Support 33.8 34.3 33.7
Gaelic 25.1 23.2 23.2
Education Scotland 23.3 21.8 21.8
Total 183.7 173.0 177.2
of which:
DEL Resource 118.2 120.2 119.7
DEL Capital 65.5 51.8 55.5
Financial Transactions - 1.0 2.0
AME - - -

What the budget does

The majority of expenditure on school education in Scotland is funded by local authorities from the budgets outlined in chapter 12.

The Learning Directorate budget delivers national challenge and improvement support for education. It funds Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Budget changes

In 2014‑15 and 2015‑16 we will:

  • work with national partners, local government and others to ensure that Curriculum for Excellence continues to deliver improvements for learners which help our young people to become successful, confident, responsible and contributing citizens of tomorrow. We will continue the effective introduction of new National Qualifications (including new Highers in 2014/15 and Advanced Highers in 2015-16) and the implementation of the assessment framework;
  • continue to develop and support projects designed to maintain improvement in the quality of teaching in Scotland at various levels, with a view to achieving Ministers' aspirations that teaching becomes a Masters level profession. Such quality improvements, while important in their own right, are also a key factor in improving attainment and delivering educational policy commitments through CfE. They will also help to tackle the link between deprivation and attainment;
  • continue to secure appropriate progress in reduction of class sizes and support the joint commitment with COSLA to maintain teacher numbers. Achieving these objectives in the context of increasing school rolls will most likely require the funding of additional places for initial teacher education and associated workforce planning activity;
  • continue to work to maintain entitlement to Free School Meals in Scotland in the context of welfare reform;
  • continue to support both the work of the National Implementation Board, established to take forward proposals to improve the full spectrum of teacher education following the Donaldson Review, and the work to establish a college of educational leadership in Scotland;
  • drive forward our ambitious plans to create the conditions in which all children and young people can learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue by 2020;
  • continue to support the development and delivery of Glow and associated infrastructure in Scotland, enabling our children and young people to benefit from leading technologies to support their learning;
  • continue to support the implementation of equalities and inclusion, including support for services to support children and young people with additional support needs, and supporting all children and young people to have equal opportunity to access, and benefit from, learning; and
  • support a range of projects and initiatives that increase the numbers learning, speaking and using Gaelic and in so doing support a number of National Outcomes and contribute to the Scottish Government public service reform agenda:
    • continue to promote, support and expand Gaelic education at all levels;
    • support Bord na Gaidhlig promoting the use of Gaelic in Scottish public life;
    • support the operation of MG ALBA in partnership with the BBC;
    • promote the use of Gaelic in Scottish cultural and community life; and
    • promote the use of the Scots language in Scottish cultural life and work with Education Scotland to deliver the network of Scots co-ordinators.

Level 2 Children & Families

Table 5.04: More Detailed Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
Care & Justice 37.9 35.5 34.6
Children's Rights and Wellbeing 7.0 6.6 6.6
Disclosure Scotland 7.8 6.5 6.8
Early Years & Social Services Workforce 40.3 48.0 44.0
Education Analytical Services 3.7 2.9 2.9
Total 96.7 99.5 94.9
of which:
DEL Resource 95.7 99.0 94.9
DEL Capital 1.0 0.5 -
AME - - -

What the budget does

Most of the expenditure on children's services is channelled through local authorities and NHS Boards. The Children and Families budget primarily supports the functions of the Scottish Children's Reporters Administration, Scottish Social Services Council and Children's Hearings Scotland, building on the reform of the children's hearings system. It provides support for specific workforce development activities for the social services sector and also for Centres for Excellence providing training and support for the workforce on specialist areas such as residential child care and youth justice. It also supports a broad range of activity to improve children's services, including commitments shared with local government, such as the development of strategic commissioning strategies and improvements to care and permanence planning for looked after children.

Budget changes

In 2014‑15 and 2015‑16 we will:

  • through our Early Years Collaborative, deliver tangible improvement in outcomes for vulnerable children - putting Scotland squarely on course to shifting the balance of public services towards early intervention and prevention by 2016;
  • continue to invest to improve life chances. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill will strengthen children's rights and set in legislation key elements of our Getting it Right for Every Child approach to ensure that every child and family gets the support and help they need when they need it. It will also include elements to ensure better permanence planning for looked after children;
  • continue, primarily through our funding for the Scottish Social Services Council, to protect and support vulnerable individuals, families and the wider public by driving and supporting the development of a regulated, competent, confident and valued social services workforce;
  • continue to improve support for frontline child protection professionals, particularly in the areas of child sexual exploitation and neglect;
  • support the transformation of children's services from being reactive to being focused on prevention and early intervention through strategic commissioning. We will also seek to improve standards in the provision of foster care in relation to the recommendations of the National Foster Care Review 2013; and
  • continue to support implementation of the Whole Systems Approach to youth justice to maximise early intervention and minimise the impacts on young people coming to the notice of the police.

Employability & Skills

Table 5.05: More Detailed Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
College & Adult Learning 7.0 6.3 6.3
Employability and Welfare 0.8 0.8 0.8
Higher Education 2.0 2.0 2.0
Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser 3.4 3.4 3.4
Youth Employability & Skills 51.6 48.0 48.0
Youth Employment Scotland 15.0 - -
Skills Development Scotland 187.4 184.0 183.5
Total 267.2 244.5 244.0
of which:
DEL Resource 267.2 244.5 244.0
DEL Capital - - -
AME - - -

What the budget does

These budgets support policy and development relating to all aspects of lifelong learning. This includes our investment in skills and national training programmes and our continued support for young people to develop their skills as they move into training and work.

Budget changes

In 2014‑15 and 2015‑16 we will:

  • deliver our ongoing commitment to 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships, through a continued focus of the Employability Fund on young people, and by maintaining financial support for employers to enable them recruit and train young people while strengthening and growing their businesses;
  • continue to better align skills provision with labour markets and ensure the delivery of Skills Investment Plans for key sectors;
  • continue to support public science engagement initiatives across Scotland that promote a culture of science and raise awareness of its relevance and importance, and promote the study of science and the pursuit of science careers. This includes: Scotland's four science centres and 19 science festivals; our Talking Science outreach programme; key educational partners including the Institute of Physics, Generation Science, the British Science Association and the Engineering Development Trust; and a number of school science clubs, competitions and prizes;
  • drive better job outcomes for those of all ages who are disadvantaged in the labour market. This will be achieved through improved partnership working and greater links between employability and economic development by the Scottish Employability Forum at a national level and supporting the work of CPP employability partnerships at a local authority level; and
  • fully respond to the recommendations of the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce report on vocational training and skills.

Scottish Funding Council

Table 5.06: More Detailed Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
College Operational Expenditure - 687.1 691.1
College Operational Income - (165.4) (165.4)
Net College Resource 511.7 521.7 525.7
Higher Education Resource 1,041.6 1,060.9 1,062.5
College Capital Expenditure - 46.1 39.5
College Capital Receipts - (19.5) (19.5)
Net College Capital 28.0 26.6 20.0
Higher Education Capital 28.7 34.8 16.0
SFC Admin 7.9 7.9 7.9
Total 1,617.9 1,651.9 1,632.1
of which:
DEL Resource 1,561.2 1,590.5 1,596.1
DEL Capital 56.7 61.4 36.0
AME - - -

What the budget does

The Scottish Funding Council budget funds strategic investment in Scotland's colleges and higher education institutions (including the Open University in Scotland). This funding will support the development and delivery of study programmes that offer coherent high‑quality provision for learners across Scotland. It will also enable universities to undertake world-class research to maintain Scotland's international competitiveness.

Budget changes

An additional £51 million has been provided to the Scottish Funding Council to ensure that the commitment of £522 million to the college sector is delivered across 2014‑15. The funding floor has been increased to £526 million in 2015‑16.

The Office for National Statistics has reclassified Scotland's incorporated colleges as public sector (central government) bodies. Whilst this decision has no impact on the level of funding provided for Scotland's colleges, the central government classification requires that the full income and expenditure budget for the sector is recorded against Departmental Expenditure Limits. The budget disclosed in this document has therefore been adjusted to show that full income and expenditure for the sector at an aggregate level. Funding for the sector will continue to be routed through the Scottish Funding Council as cash grant in aid. Aggregate information is prepared for 2014‑15 on the basis of returns provided by the sector. That sectoral breakdown is not available for 2015‑16 and the figures quoted here establish an estimated baseline that will be refined as information becomes available in due course.

In 2014‑15 an additional £5 million capital will be allocated to higher education to support increased research and development capacity in the university sector.

In 2014‑15 and 2015‑16 we will:

  • implement the Post‑16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013 which introduces:
    • legal backing for widening access agreements;
    • principles of good governance for the university sector;
    • significant changes to the way colleges are governed to improve public accountability;
    • twelve regional chairs for the college sector, appointed through the public appointment process; and
    • a requirement that college and university governing bodies consider equality duties when appointing governors.
  • continue to ensure that colleges use this investment to deliver the best outcomes for learner and businesses through ambitious regional outcome agreements;
  • maintain our investment of over £1 billion each year in the university sector;
  • continue to provide public value for money by encouraging ambitious outcome agreements with universities and support access to higher education for students from poorer areas through additional widening access places;
  • continue to provide support for university places in key subjects likely to address skills gaps and have the greatest economic impact; and
  • continue to fund initiatives to support and enhance knowledge exchange including the ground‑breaking Innovation Centres.

Higher Education Student Support

Table 5.07: More Detailed Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
Student Support and Tuition Fee Payments 302.4 306.0 305.5
Student Loan Company Administration Costs 5.0 4.5 4.5
Student Loan Interest Subsidy to Bank 4.5 3.0 3.0
Cost of Providing Student Loans (RAB Charge) 134.0 181.6 302.1
SAAS Operating Costs Resource 8.3 10.3 10.3
SAAS operating Costs Capital 0.4 1.0 1.0
SAAS DEL Total 454.6 506.4 626.4
AME
Net Student Loans Advanced 408.3 468.3 468.3
Capitalised Interest (50.0) (52.0) (52.0)
Student Loans Fair Value Adjustment (72.0) (72.0) (72.0)
Student Loan Sale Subsidy Impairment Adjustments 3.5 3.5 3.5
HESS AME Total 289.8 347.8 347.8
Total 744.4 854.2 974.2
of which:
DEL Resource 454.2 505.4 625.4
DEL Capital 0.4 1.0 1.0
AME 289.8 347.8 347.8

What the budget does

Higher Education Student Support provides financial support to Scottish domiciled students undertaking higher education courses in the UK and to EU students studying in Scotland. The level of spend is demand led, depending on the student population in a given year, but an overall control is maintained on the number of Scottish domiciled and European students studying in Scotland for which the Scottish Funding Council funds institutions. Student loans are provided at a cost to the Scottish Government which is calculated using the gross value of loans advanced in the year. The Student Loans Company administers the borrower's loan accounts on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) budget meets the costs of running the Agency (running costs, IT systems and Capital Charges). SAAS administers schemes covering student support for higher education students (at college and university) as well as bursaries for nursing and midwifery students. The cost to the Government of providing student loans also flows to the Student Loans Company through SAAS. SAAS administers the Individual Learning Accounts Scotland scheme in partnership with Skills Development Scotland.

The Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) figures are forecasts and relate to the amount of AME funding for student loans which the HM Treasury made available to the Scottish Government through the UK Spending Review published in 2010. We have introduced proposals for a minimum student income of £7,250, starting with the poorest students and this took effect from the start of academic year 2013‑14.

The actual amounts of student loans required by the Scottish Government will depend on the student response to increased loan availability. The associated AME forecasts set out above will therefore be subject to revision during the Spending Review period.

Budget changes

In 2014‑15 and 2015‑16 we will:

  • drive forward progress on priorities such as widening access, delivering on our commitment to ensure that access to education is based on the ability to learn rather than on the ability to pay; and
  • divert savings from Loan Interest subsidies and Student Loan Company administration to invest a further £2 million in operating costs to ensure high quality and timely delivery of support to students.

Local Government Gaelic

Table 5.08: More Detailed Spending Plans (Level 3)

Level 3 2013-14 Budget
£m
2014-15 Draft Budget
£m
2015-16 Plans
£m
Local Government Gaelic Grant 4.5 4.5 4.5
Total 4.5 4.5 4.5
of which:
DEL Resource 4.5 4.5 4.5
DEL Capital - - -
AME - - -

What the budget does

This budget, together with other Gaelic funding lines, supports costs attached to the delivery of Gaelic education and Gaelic medium education in Scotland. This funding supports Gaelic education through a wide range of Gaelic education programmes and projects.