ESFA weekly round-up - Issue 388

Education & Skills Funding Agency's weekly round-up of business-critical information to ESFA-funded colleges, other training organisations and direct grant employers. (24 Jan 2018). 

1. QAR 2016 to 2017 – re-release of provisional data for all providers


From the feedback received during the Qualification Achievement Rates provisional window, we will be applying some minor changes to the calculations. We will re-publish provisional data for all providers in the coming days and will communicate through both the Hub and the QAR FE connect blog once complete.

Although the changes do not affect the majority of providers, we still advise that you check your data.

The BIRST dashboards will not be available while we update the data. We will communicate the outage through the HUB. Please ensure you check for these communications before raising an incident with the service desk.

You have until 5pm on Friday, 2 February to inform us of any further concerns about how we have implemented our published methodology; you cannot request fixes or adjustments to your 2016 to 2017 ILR data.

If you have any queries, please contact the service desk.

For specific data queries, please complete the data queries form and email the form to the service desk.

2. ‘Class of 2018’ – graduation ceremonies during National Apprenticeship Week


We are working with our Ambassador networks, across our 9 regions, to organise graduation ceremonies on Monday 5 March and Friday 9 March, during National Apprenticeship Week.

Venues will include: The Chamber, City Hall (London) and BT Tower (London), Imperial War Museum (Duxford/ East of England), The Amex Stadium, Brighton (South East), Durham Cathedral (North East), Royal Armouries Museum Leeds (Yorkshire & Humber), Birmingham University Great Hall (West Midlands), Derby Roundhouse (East Midlands) and Weston Pier (South West).

We will include a link in next week’s update to the registration site, in the meantime please encourage all employers and colleges to get their graduating apprentices to sign up for their region.

If you have an queries in the interim, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3. Apprenticeship framework withdrawals


Over the course of 2017, we sought feedback on a 4th and 5th batch of apprenticeship pathways and frameworks which our analysis suggested would be well covered by new apprenticeship standards. As a result of that feedback exercise, we are confident that there are a number of frameworks that are covered by standards that have been approved for delivery and are being taken up by employers. Those frameworks can be found on the removal of apprenticeship frameworks page.

However, recognising this is a time of significant change for the sector, we will not withdraw any further frameworks until 2020.

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

4. Funding claims guidance


The 2017 to 2018 funding claims guidance is now available. This is relevant to you if you have any of the following contract types:

  • a grant for your Adult Education Budget (non-procured only)
  • a grant with an Advanced Learner Loans Bursary contract
  • a Discretionary Learner Support contract
  • a Community Learning contract

If you have any queries about this please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or your Provider Manager.

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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

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.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

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

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

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.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


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.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

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.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


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.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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