ESFA weekly round-up - Issue 356

Education & Skills Funding Agency's weekly round-up of business-critical information to ESFA-funded colleges, other training organisations and direct grant employers. (5 July 2017)

1. Closure of the contracts and finances area of the Hub

Decommissioning of the contracts and finances area of the Hub began this week, with the archiving of documents held in the service.

You have until 2pm on Friday, 14 July to download and save any documents you want to keep, at which time the service will close.

The contracts and finances area was set up to give providers online access to their contract, payment and performance information, including:

  • contracts
  • funding statements
  • funding claim forms
  • reconciliation statements
  • subcontractor declaration forms
  • apprenticeship grant for employers (AGE) reports

Many of these services are now available in the Skills Funding Service (SFS) and others that need to be retained will be available in SFS by the end of the year.

If you have any questions, please use this This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2. Apprenticeship grant for employers (AGE) 16 to 24

2016 to 2017 year

Please ensure that all data for starts relating to 2016 to 2017 is submitted by the R12 data cut off (Friday, 4 August), following this all contracts will be reduced (where applicable) to earned values. Data submitted following this will be capped and only funded where affordable.

2017 to 2018 year

The AGE Programme ends for starts on 31 July 2017. The last date to flag learners as requiring an AGE grant will be the R14 ILR return due by 19 October. Please ensure that any learners starting prior to 1 August are recorded with the correct LDM code by this date.

Please note, no AGE payments will be made on the 2017 to 2018 ILR data and final growth for 2017 to 2018 must be submitted by Monday, 31 July.

If you have any queries, please use this This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3. Post-16 further education funding agreements

Following the formation of the ESFA, they will publish all post-16 further education funding agreements and contracts for 2017 to 2018 through the Skills Funding Service (SFS) so that they can be signed online.

The 16 to 19 funding agreements and contracts will be published on SFS for the first time and if you haven’t used SFS before, they will contact you to explain what you need to do to set yourself up on the service.

If you have any questions, please use this This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

4. Withdrawal of frameworks by issuing authority

The issuing authority, Skills for Care, announced in April that they are withdrawing these apprenticeships frameworks to new starts from 29 December 2017:

  • health and social care (framework code 444)
  • care leadership and management (framework code 584)

These frameworks are being replaced with these standards:

Any apprentices starting on the health and social care or care leadership and management frameworks before the withdrawal date will be able to continue on the framework until completion. Successful apprentices will then be able to claim their certificate using the current system.

5. Customer engagement user research

As a new agency, ESFA are looking at how we engage with their customers. They want to understand your experience of engaging with them, identify what works well for you and where they may need to make improvements.

To achieve this aim they would like to speak with you directly. They have a series of focus groups planned and are now looking for volunteers who would be able to take part in these. Volunteers should ideally be people who have the most contact with ESFA within your organisation.

If you are able to take part, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ESFA by 5pm on Tuesday, 11 July.

User group(s)Host and areaDate and time
Local authorities, maintained schools and academies Kent County Council, South East – Swanley Tuesday, 18 July at 11am to 1.30pm
Local authorities, maintained schools and academies North West (to be confirmed) Between 12 July to 21 July (to be confirmed)
FE colleges and sixth forms College of North West London Wednesday, 19 July at 10am to 12.30pm
FE colleges and sixth forms North East (to be confirmed) Between 12 July to 21 July (to be confirmed)
Training providers (independent and charitable) Appris Management Limited, North East – Bradford Tuesday, 25 July at 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Training providers (independent and charitable) Qube learning, Midlands – Abingdon Monday, 31 July at 10am to 12.30pm

They are also looking for volunteers to take part in one to one telephone interviews with a researcher during July. These will last no more than one hour.

6. Adult education budget funding rules 2017 to 2018

A reminder that ESFA have now published version 1 of the adult education budget funding rules 2017 to 2018.

These rules apply to all providers of education and training who receive adult education budget funding from the ESFA. Please note the performance management rules for 2017 to 2018 will be included in version 2.

They will be holding three webinars during July to support the publication.

Tuesday, 11 July 10am to 11.30am
Friday, 14 July 10am to 11.30am
Wednesday, 19 July 2pm to 3.30pm

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your place.

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