2. Reminder: mid-year funding claims for 2020 to 2021
The mid-year funding claim window opened on Monday 8 February 2021. Please submit your mid-year funding claim by 5pm on Friday 19 February 2021. This is slightly later than we originally published. The claim form will be available on Submit Learner Data.
You will need to submit a claim if you receive funds through:
- grant funded – ESFA Adult Education Budget (AEB) (Adult Skills, Community Learning, 19 to 24 Traineeships and COVID-19 skills offer)
- learner support for ESFA AEB procured (Adult Skills and 19 to 24 Traineeships) – paid-on-profile
- grant funded – Advanced Learner Loans Bursary (ALLB)
Once you have submitted your claim you will also be able to view it on the Manage your education and skills funding.
We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, and time and resources are under strain. However, we will still require you to submit an accurate mid-year claim, so we have visibility of the challenges you are facing.
We will not be taking any action on mid-year forecasts this year because of the uncertainty in the sector. However, the mid-year claims process will enable us to see the expected level of delivery. In addition, we are reviewing the year end reconciliation process, which we hope to announce by the end of next week.
We want to encourage you to deliver to 19+ year olds as much as you can remotely. You may want to consider sub-contracting or partnering if you are unable to successfully deliver remotely. When you complete your claim, we want you to record your best estimate, accounting for your current remote delivery and what you think you can achieve going forward based upon the assumption that the national lockdown ends in March. You should also account for any particular local characteristics that may impact their length of lockdown, such as areas with the new South African variant.
We are investigating what more we can do to support providers to deliver more during these difficult times.
If you have any queries about this, please contact your Territorial Manager.
3. Reminder: National Apprenticeship Week 2021
3.1 How to get involved
National Apprenticeship Week takes place 8 to 14 February:
Please follow our social media accounts to keep updated and ask your contacts to tag us on their Twitter posts using @apprenticeships and use #NAW2021 and #BuildTheFuture so we can showcase the amazing work that is happening.
Don’t forget to please retweet and share our launch day posts which include a brand new NAW video.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Follow us on:
Remember to use the hashtag: #BuildTheFuture
3.2 The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s new podcast channel
The Institute has launched its very own podcast channel for National Apprenticeship Week. This new channel will have podcast ranging from inspiring interviews with apprentice panel members to explaining how the Institute ensures high-quality apprenticeships and technical education.
Their first podcast was with Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills answering 10 questions submitted by the apprentice panel. The questions ranged from social mobility to funding for degree apprenticeships.
You can find all the podcast on their blog site.
4. Information: support available to specialist settings when delivering asymptomatic testing
If you think that you need additional staff to carry out assisted swabbing, or you require general testing support, the Rapid Testing in Specialist Settings Guidance has been updated and includes information on the support available to specialist settings.
Where schools or colleges do not have enough staff to carry out assisted swabbing, on pupils that cannot self-swab, additional workforce capacity may be available from Medacs, accessed via the DfE Helpline. For general staffing support on your testing site, your local National Citizenship Service (NCS) Delivery Partner (DP) may be able to provide volunteers. You may approach your local NCS DP directly, or get in touch with the DfE Helpline for their contact information.
If you wish to enquire further about the help that is available, please contact the DfE Helpline (0800 046 8687) or DfE.email@example.com.
5. Information: changes to the register of apprenticeship training providers
As part of our continued commitment to improving the quality of apprenticeship training, we will be implementing the following changes to the register of apprenticeship training providers:
- widening the current set of targeted entry conditions to allow more training providers to apply to the Register
- providers currently on the Register that are not actively delivering may be considered for removal from the Register. No active delivery means within a period of six-months
- refreshing the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers whilst strengthening the application process for those active providers that remain
- giving notice that the Conditions of Acceptance have been updated and will be effective 10 May 2021
These changes are to ensure only high quality, financially stable, skilled, and experienced apprenticeship providers are included on the Register.
More information is available regarding these key changes.
6. Information: apprenticeship non-levy procured allocations from 1 April 2021
We will shortly be extending apprenticeship non-levy procured contracts to cover the 2021 to 2022 financial year.
These allocations will include funding to cover the carry in costs of learners who started on or before 31 March 2021. From 1 April 2021, all new apprenticeship starts will be funded via the Apprenticeship Service.
Allocation letters will be issued to training providers via Manage your education and skills funding in early February. Contract extensions will be issued at the end of February.
Training providers must ensure they have signed the contract extension before the current contract expires on 31 March 2021.
Please contact us using our online form if you have any queries.
7. Information: webinars on changes to inspection of apprenticeship training at levels 6 and 7
From April 2021, Ofsted will assume responsibility for the inspection of apprenticeship training at levels 6 and 7, thereby becoming the single body for the inspection of apprenticeship training at all levels. This follows the Education Secretary’s announcement of this change in September 2020.
Following initial webinars held in December 2020, ESFA will be hosting further information and engagement events in partnership with Ofsted and the Office for Students for apprenticeship training providers, regarding Ofsted’s inspection of level 6 and 7 apprenticeship training. Training providers can register for these events using the links below:
8. Information: tender launch for adult education budget (AEB) contracts for services
The procurement application window for ESFA funded AEB contracts for services is now open. The procurement will provide funding for the delivery of adult education and training to learners in England that are resident outside of the devolved areas, including delivery of the National Skills Fund level 3 adult offer. Contracts will start on 1 August 2021.
Full details including the specification and instructions to tender can be accessed via Jaggaer, the DfE e-Procurement Solution portal. The bidding window closes at 10:00 on 22 March 2021.
9. Information: updated guidance for the financial health assessment of independent training providers
We have published updated guidance for the financial health assessment of independent training providers wishing to deliver services on behalf of the ESFA. It guides organisations through the assessment process and we recommend you review this to familiarise yourself with the requirement. This guidance is effective immediately.
10. Information: 16 to 19 tuition fund payments
If you receive your 16 to 19 funding directly from your local authority, you will also receive your 16 to 19 tuition fund payments from them. The total amount awarded to you is shown in the table on the front of your funding allocation statement, ‘Summary of 2020 to 2021 Funding Allocation’. This can be viewed and downloaded from ESFA Information Exchange in the Document Exchange ‘revenue funding folder, under ‘AY 2020-21’.
Detailed guidance about the 16 to 19 tuition fund can be found on GOV.UK.
11. Information: National Skills Fund – level 3 adult offer 2020 to 2021 allocations
We will shortly be revising 2020 to 2021 ESFA funded adult education budget allocation statements to include the National Skills Fund level 3 adult offer. These allocations will include funding to cover 1 April 2021 to 31 July 2021 and are primarily based on historic delivery of the qualifications available through this offer.
The level 3 qualification funding within this offer will support the development of new skills for adult learners and improve the prospects of eligible adults in the labour market. More information can be found on the National Skills Fund page.
Additional funding for the National Skills Fund level 3 adult offer for 19 to 23 year-olds will be added to the adult skills line of your allocation statement. Additional funding for the National Skills Fund level 3 adult offer for 24 year-olds and over will be shown as an additional line within the COVID-19 skills offer of your allocation statement. Please review the funding and performance management rules for further information.
Allocations will be issued via Manage your education and skills funding. Your funding agreement will be updated, and we advise you to promptly sign your agreement to ensure payments are made on time.
For 2021 to 2022, allocations through a grant funding agreement will include the National Skills Fund level 3 adult offer. If you are a grant provider that did not receive funding for April 2021 to July 2021, arrangements on how to access this funding from August 2021 will be included in the 2021 to 2022 funding and performance management rules (when published in the spring).
If you are an Independent Learning Provider with a contract for service, or you wish to bid for a contract for service to supplement any grant funding, you will need to access this offer through the current adult education budget procurement for delivery from August 2021.
We will update our 19+ allocations technical guidance with the methodology used to calculate allocations shortly.
If you have any queries, please use the ESFA online form.
12. Information: guidance on buildings with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete
The Department for Education have published guidance on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).
This guide on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) follows previous DfE alerts (linked to advice from the Local Government Association) to responsible bodies in the education sector. RAAC panels were commonly used in school and other buildings from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s – mainly in roofs, although occasionally in floors and walls.
This guide is intended to help building owners identify the presence of RAAC, and whether further investigation might be needed. The main audience is schools, but it may be relevant for other buildings in the education sector.