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Quantock School History: Parliamentary Records

Commons Written Answers, 11 December 1995

[The introduction of Quantock School into the debate on the Ministry of Defence Boarding School Allowance, by the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Devonport, David Jamieson (Lab). The questions were answered by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mr. Nicholas Soames (Con, Crawley).]

Subject: Boarding School Allowance

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will publish a list of schools on the admissible schools list; (2) if he will list the schools receiving funds from the boarding school allowance indicating the numbers of pupils at each school benefiting from the scheme.

Mr. Soames [on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence]: A list of some 800 schools in respect of which boarding school allowance may be paid is kept by my Department. I am arranging for a copy of the most recent admissible schools list - June 1995 - to be placed in the Library of the House. The list details the number of service children attending each school at the end of the summer term 1995 and whose parents claimed boarding school allowance.

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many pupils have benefitted from the boarding school allowance in each of the past four years.

Mr. Soames: The total average number of children for whom boarding school allowance was claimed in the academic years in question was:

1991-1992: 16,208
1992-1993: 15,120
1993-1994: 12,567
1994-1995: 11,363.

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many pupils, and at what cost, are funded at the Quantock school, Taunton by the boarding school allowance.

Mr. Soames: The total number of service children attending Quantock school, Taunton, and whose parents have claimed boarding school allowance for the autumn term 1995, is 38. The total estimated cost to my Department for this provision is 81,969.

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the annual cost of the boarding school allowance in each of the last four years.

Mr. Soames: The total cost to my Department of boarding school allowance for the years in question was:

1991-1992: 115.35 million
1992-1993: 116.72 million
1993-1994: 113.61 million
1994-1995: 107.23 million.

Mr. Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment the Service Children's Education Authority has made of the suitability of the Quantock school, Taunton to remain on the list of admissible schools.

Mr. Soames: SCEA conducts an on-going assessment of the quality of pastoral care at schools on the Ministry of Defence admissible schools list. As part of that process, an informal visit to Quantock school, Taunton was carried out in June 1995. A number of reservations were expressed concerning the quality of pastoral care available and, as a result, the suitability of Quantock school to remain on the MOD admissible schools list is being reviewed.

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