Education & Skills Funding Agency's weekly round-up of business-critical information to ESFA-funded colleges, other training organisations and direct grant employers. (28 Mar 2018).
Skills and adult education allocations for 2018 to 2019
ESFA will shortly issue allocation statements for 2018 to 2019. Statements include allocations for: adult education budget, advanced learner loans, advanced learner loan bursary, 16 to 18 traineeships and 16 to 18 traineeships bursary. They also include information on apprenticeship carry-in allocations. Statements include only the funding relevant to you.
Statements are being issued through the Skills Funding Service (SFS) by the end of the week. You will need one of the following SFS roles to view your allocation statement: contract authoriser; contract manager; contract user; data returns and claims authoriser. All users in your organisation who have the contract authoriser role will receive an email notifying them that the statement is available, with a copy sent to all users with the contract manager role.
ESFA will soon be publishing more information on GOV.UK.
If you have queries about your allocation statement, please contact your provider manager.
Advanced Learner Loans – Launch of 2018 to 2019 application service
The 2018 to 2019 application service will be available from 14 May for learners who wish to start eligible qualifications from 1 August 2018 funded with a loan.
ESFA have updated the learning and funding information letters. You must issue these to learners, including for offenders in custody, who are considering funding their qualification with a loan. ESFA have also published guidance on how to complete the letter.
Registration will open shortly for the Student Loans Company annual provider events in April/May 2018.
These events are an opportunity to share knowledge and gain an insight into the operational policy, systems and resources of the programme. More details can be found on their website
Final Qualification Achievement Rates (QAR) for 2016 to 2017
Last week ESFA published the final Qualification Achievement Rates (QAR) data for 2016 to 2017 on both the HUB and through the Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards. To benchmark the rates against other providers, use the National Achievement Rate Tables for 2016 to 2017.
ESFA would like your feedback on your experiences of the process for delivering the Qualification Achievement Rates (QAR) for 2016 to 2017. If you would like to participate, please complete their provider feedback survey. The survey will close on Friday 20 April.
Employer Satisfaction Survey
The 2018 Employer Satisfaction Survey is now live and runs until July 2018.
Your organisation has until Friday 4 May 2018 to survey your employers and achieve sufficient responses to be awarded a valid score which passes the quality tests (detailed in their provider guidance) during this first, provider-led, phase of the survey.
Apprenticeship funding rules 2017 to 2018
ESFA will shortly publish new versions of the apprenticeship funding rules to include new rules about delivering apprenticeships funded by transfers of levy funds.
ESFA have also taken the opportunity to clarify a few other areas, based on enquiries ESFA have had, at the same time. Updates include:
- amendments arising from the Apprenticeships (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2017
- alignment with the EPAO conditions of acceptance
- incorporation of the English and math’s addendum (published 29 September 2017) into the main body of the funding rules
- further clarifications to existing rules to address frequently asked questions
These versions of the funding rules apply to apprenticeship starts from 1 May 2017 to 31 July 2018, with the exception of the new rules on transfers, which will apply to new apprenticeship starts from 1 May 2018 to 31 July 2018.
For further information please visit the funding rules page on GOV.UK where a summary of changes will be published for ease of reference.
2018 to 2019 adult education budget – legal entitlements and local flexibility offers
ESFA have published details of qualifications that will be available in the 2018 to 2019 funding year, as part of:
- the English and maths legal entitlement offer
- the level 2 and level 3 legal entitlements offer, for 19 to 23 year olds undertaking their first full level 2 and full level 3
- the local flexibility offer
The offers are the same as they were in the funding year 2017 to 2018, with a minor change to the local flexibility offer.
In the Hub, ESFA will add the legal entitlements and qualifications for local flexibility on 10 April 2018. ESFA will add components for local flexibility in May 2018.
European Social Funded providers
As a co-financing organisation, the ESFA uses mainstream funding as match for the European Social Fund programme. Funding from the 2015 to 2016 academic year and onwards will continue to be used, and it is important that all ESFA funded providers are compliant with their funding rules and clear in what must be included in your plans (detailed in the rules paragraph 123 and its sub-sections).
A key aspect of ESF are cross cutting themes. Providers must have policies and plans in place for sustainable development and equality & diversity. The plans that underpin the policies must be relevant to the different funding streams. The Managing Authority for ESF has produced a guide to cross cutting themes.