ESFA weekly round-up - Issue 374

Education & Skills Funding Agency's weekly round-up of business-critical information to ESFA-funded colleges, other training organisations and direct grant employers. (11 Oct 2017)

1. Individualised Learner Record (ILR) - R14 hard close


It’s critical that you make any amendments to your 2016 to 17 ILR data before the hard close at 6pm on Thursday, 19 October. After this date you will not be able to fix any data lock issues from your 2016 to 17 ILR return and will not receive payment for this activity.

For further information please refer to the apprenticeship technical funding guide and ILR guides and templates for 2016 to 2017.

If you or your employer has issues regarding data lock errors contact the helpdesk: By phone: 08000 150 600 By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Qualification Achievement Rates (QAR) dataset production specification documents for 2016 to 2017


We have published the QAR dataset production specification documents for 2016 to 2017.

These documents should be read alongside the business rules which explain the methodology for calculating qualification achievement rates for 2016 to 2017.

Please ensure any amendments to your 2016 to 2017 ILR data are made before the ILR hard close on Thursday, 19 October as we use this data to calculate provider Qualification Achievement Rates and Minimum Standards.

3. Exceptional Learning Support 2016 to 2017


You must complete the Exceptional Learning Support Cost form to submit final costs for the 2016 to 2017 funding year. This is for each learner whose learning support costs exceeded £19,000.

Please email the completed form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Tuesday, 24 October.

4. Funding claims 2016 to 2017 guidance – final claims


Your 2016 to 2017 final claim form will be available on the Hub from 1pm Friday, 20 October and will close at 5pm Wednesday, 25 October. Once you’ve submitted your final funding claim on the Hub, there will be an additional 3 working days to digitally sign your claim. The claim needs to be signed digitally on the Skills Funding Service by 5pm Monday, 30 October by your principal/CEO or a delegated authority.

We have published the guidance about the funding claims 2016 to 2017 and a user guide to help you complete the digital form.

For further information or related queries, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

5. Feedback on withdrawal of frameworks


There is one week left to give us your feedback on the 5th batch of frameworks, open until 6pm on Wednesday 18 October.

We asked for feedback on the 4th batch of frameworks to be withdrawn earlier in the year and recently delayed the announcement of this process. We will announce the outcomes of both batches next year. The date for those we intend to withdraw to new starts will be no earlier than 1 January 2019.

For further information, refer to the removal of apprenticeship frameworks pageon GOV.UK or contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

6. Financial assurance: monitoring the funding rules 2017 to 2018


We have published the funding rules monitoring plan for the funding year 2017 to 2018. This covers adult education budget (AEB) delivery, Advanced learner loans, and all apprenticeships (frameworks and standards).

The plan includes the funding rules we will monitor for each area and the new monitoring reports we will publish on the Hub following the R03 ILR submission in 2017 to 2018.

We have also published a letter from Dawn Ward, Chair of our Data and Management Information Advisory Group (DMIAG). The letter outlines the importance of providing correct data.

For further information, please contact your Business Operations provider manager.

7. Adult Education Budget webinars


Slides are available for the bite-sized webinars we held during September which focused on the following areas:

We have also produced a narrated presentation on the 2017 to 18 Adult Education Budget funding rules.

If you have any queries, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or telephone: 0370 2670001.

8. Advanced Learner Loans funding and performance management rules version 2


We have produced a narrated presentation to support the 2017 to 2018 Advanced Learner Loans funding and performance management rules version 2.

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

9. FE Choices employer satisfaction survey 2016 to 2017


The employer satisfaction survey for 2016 to 2017 ran from 27 March to 21 July 2017.

Providers can now access their final indicative report, before publication of the data in mid-October. Verbatim comments from providers’ employer customers are also available from the Provider Extranet.

We encourage you to download and save your reports for future reference.

For further information, please email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

10. Choices at 16 questionnaire


With the introduction of T-levels on the way, this is a good time to look at how students make their post-16 choices and consider how best DfE services can support their decision making.

Our short survey will help us understand your views on students entering 16+ education and making career choices. We will also use this questionnaire to recruit the user base for follow-up research e.g. phone interviews.


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Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

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We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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