From Stuart Linden, EFA:
As discussed earlier today I am unable to attend the meeting on the 16th, however by way of an update please feel free to update members on the following:
1. 2015/16 Allocations
a. All allocation statements have been issued on the EFA Information Exchange
b. For support and guidance about accessing the EFA Information Exchange please visit GOV.UK or contact email@example.com
2. Business Cases
a. Institutions who wished to make a case concerning their allocation had to submit these by 31 March 2015 to the territorial email address.
b. By exception, EFA will consider evidenced and credible business cases from institutions where there has been a major error in their data return. We will apply standard minimum thresholds to decide whether we will consider a case, which are:
* cases affecting lagged student numbers, 5% of students or 50 students, whichever is lower
* cases affecting the full-time/part-time split and other funding factors including programme cost weightings, retention and disadvantage funding, an overall impact of 5% on total funding or £250,000, whichever is lower
* For other case not covered above, we will review cases individually
* EFA will consider the impact of multiple data errors where there is a combined overall funding impact of 5% on total funding or £250,000, whichever is lower
c. Business cases will be reviewed throughout April and May and anyone who has submitted a case will receive a response by 31 May 2015.
3. Student Support
a. EFA, following a competitive process, has re-appointed Capita to manage a range of schemes designed to help young people and adults improve their education, skills and training. The new contract runs until 2018.
b. Capita will operate 3 main schemes on behalf of EFA and the Skills Funding Agency, which are:
i. Care to Learn, which provides financial support towards childcare and travel costs to young parents who want to continue or return to learning
ii. the Bursary Fund for vulnerable students, which helps the most financially disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds meet the costs of education or training
iii. professional and career development loans, which provide adults with commercial lending from Barclays Bank or the Co-operative Bank
c. From May 2015 the administration of the support schemes will transfer from the current Learner Support Service (LSS) to the new Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS).
d. More details can be found on GOV.UK.
As requested you also asked me to supply some more information on audits and the assurance process, as well as more information on the condition of funding for maths and English.
1. Assurance process
a. I can confirm that this is a risk based process and more information on 16 to 19 education: financial management and assurance process is available at: https://www.gov.uk/16-to-19-education-financial-management-and-assurance
b. As part of this guidance it outlines The Joint Audit Code of Practice (JACOP) which describes the framework through which EFA and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) ensure 16 to 19 education providers are accountable and have robust audit arrangements. It explains governance, audit and assurance responsibilities for further education colleges, sixth-form colleges, non-college providers, funding bodies, local authorities and auditors. It does not apply to academies.
c. SFA and EFA developed the JACOP jointly, with consultation taking place through the Association of Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges Association. It came into effect on 1 August 2013.
2. Condition of funding for maths and English
a. More information on the the condition of funding for maths and English is available at: https://www.gov.uk/16-to-19-funding-maths-and-english-condition-of-funding
b. For academic year 2015 to 2016 the same condition applies as applied in 2014 to 2015. In addition full time students (those on a study programme of at least 540 planned hours if age 16 to 17 or at least 450 hours if age 18) starting their study programme who have a grade D GCSE or equivalent qualification in maths and/or English must be enrolled on a GCSE or approved IGCSE qualification, rather than an approved stepping stone qualification.
c. A student who has grade D in both maths and in English will need to be enrolled on GCSE or approved IGCSE in both subjects in each academic year and is required to continue to study until they achieve at least a grade C or are no longer EFA funded.
d. Where a student has enrolled on a maths and/or English qualification that meets the condition of funding but does not complete it, provided they have studied the qualification for a minimum of 2 weeks (for a qualification with a planned length of less than 24 weeks) or 6 weeks (for a qualification of more than 24 weeks), they will not be removed from the lagged student numbers. This will however affect the institution’s success rates and performance tables. If maths and/or English was the core aim and the student drops out entirely then funding is reduced through the retention factor in the usual way.
e. In November 2014 Nick Boles, the Minister for Skills and Equalities, announced a flexibility relating to students on small part time programmes under 150 planned hours in an academic year. These students are not required to study maths and English qualifications, but institutions should include some maths and English content in courses taken by such students to facilitate their learning.
f. Students on traineeships are subject to the condition of funding and are treated as part time students (point e) for this purpose. This means they are not required to study a GCSE even if they have a GCSE grade D.
g. Apprenticeships are not subject to the maths and English condition of funding. However, similar requirements are in place to ensure all apprentices have good literacy and numeracy skills.
h. The EFA continue to make reports available to institutions on the Information Exchange where ILR data indicates they have students who are not currently meeting the condition of funding for maths and English. The last time we published these reports was based on R06 data returns and we will be publishing further reports at R10.
i. Where Institutions have students not meeting the condition of funding for maths and English then they need to take the appropriate action to ensure compliance otherwise these student numbers will be removed from the lagged student numbers in future years.
I hope that this gives you everything you need, and if members have further question then please ask them to email them to the territorial mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org