ALS funding in Further Education: how does your area compare?

The graphic below reveals a postcode lottery of funding for special needs learners in Further Education (FE).

It presents the average cost of Additional Learning Support (ALS) per FE student in each Local Authority (LA) for the year 2009-10, using figures obtained through an FOI request to the National Audit Office.

ALS is used to provide direct support to students who need extra help while studying – this may because they have a physical disability or learning difficulties. It can pay for anything from counselling to educational psychologists.

Some variation in the amount spent by LAs on ALS is to be expected – particularly when the number of students receiving ALS within an area is very small, since spend is dictated by need. Yet the figures vary wildly, even when such variables are considered.

I’ve visualised a selection of Local Authorities below, but the full data is available here




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