§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the impact on the teaching budgets of higher education institutions of the creation of the access premium. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
Funding for widening access and improving retention forms part of the teaching grants paid by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to higher education institutions. For the 2003–04 academic year, HEFCE allocated £3.4 billion of teaching funding, of which £265 million, including £10 million for disabled students, related specifically to widening access and improving retention. For 2004–05, HEFCE have recently announced that they will allocate some £3.8 billion in teaching funds, including £273 million for widening access and improving retention. HEFCE funding is provided as a block grant and it is for institutions to decide how to spend that money.