Apprenticeship Roadshows to support SME – Main providers

1. Action: higher education learning aim requests due Friday 27 September 2019

Providers requesting new learning aims for prescribed higher education provision for the 2018 to 2019 funding year must submit the completed form and validation approval letter by Friday 27 September to meet the Office for Students timelines.

This allows time to create and upload them to the Learning Aim Reference Service (LARS) database for the R14 ILR submission that opens on Monday 7 October 2019 and closes on Thursday 17 October 2019.

Any requests received after this date for 2018 to 2019 may not be processed in time for the final R14 ILR submission.

Please submit the completed form and validation approval letter using the ESFA online form.

2. Action: London roadshow sold out – book your place at Bristol, Birmingham or Manchester to avoid disappointment!

Main providers currently listed on the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP) have been invited to register for one of four roadshows that are taking place this month as follows:

Thursday 5 September 2019London, De Vere West OneSold out
Tuesday 10 September 2019Bristol, Mercure Grand Hotel
Thursday 19 September 2019Birmingham, Millenium PointLimited
Tuesday 24 September 2019Manchester, Victoria WarehouseLimited

The roadshows will help providers prepare for the transition of smaller employers to the apprenticeship service and will give them an opportunity to tell us about concerns, support needs, and how ESFA can help. Providers can attend any event, regardless of where they are based.

Invitations were emailed to the address associated with RoATP registration. If you think that you should have been invited, email with your UKPRN and we will send another invitation.

3. Information: £400 million investment for 16 to 19 providers

On Saturday, 31 August, the Chancellor announced £400 million in additional funding for providers of 16 to 19 education in England.

The funding, which is for the 2020 to 2021 financial year, is the single biggest annual investment in the sector since 2010 and includes £190 million to increase core funding, including an increase in the 16 to 19 base rate of 4.7% in the academic year 2020 to 2021.

Also included in the package is:

  • £120 million for more expensive, high value subjects such as engineering
  • £35 million to support students on level 3 courses who did not achieve a grade 4 in GCSE Maths and/or English
  • an extra £25 million to help deliver T Levels.
  • £10 million more to support the roll-out of the advanced maths premium – adding £600 to institutions’ budgets for every additional student who takes level 3 maths
  • a further £20 million to help recruit and retain teachers and leaders.

Further details will be announced in due course to make sure that providers have time to plan their provision for 2020 to 2021.

4. Information: European Social Funding bid opportunity in 4 priority areas

Earlier this year, ESFA ran a successful European Social Fund (ESF) procurement, where 47 providers secured a total of £309 million to deliver high quality education and training across 34 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP).

These contracts started on 1 April 2019 and will run until 31 July 2021. However, there were a small number of areas where none of the providers that bid for funding met the required criteria.

We are now running an additional targeted procurement worth £4.2 million, so that people living in these areas have the opportunity to benefit from the ESF by learning the skills they need to get on the path to a great career.

To access the invitations to tender, interested parties need to register and follow the on-screen instructions.

The deadline for bids is Wednesday 2 October 2019 at 17.00.

5. Information: claims for 16 to 19 Bursary Fund for students in defined vulnerable groups

The online form to claim from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund for students in defined vulnerable groups for the academic year 2019 to 2020 is now available on the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) portal.

6. Information: adult education budget (AEB) continuing learners funding for the 2019 to 2020 funding year

In September we will finalise continuing learner funding values. This funding is part of your overall ESFA funded AEB allocation and we will not manage it separately.

We will use R12 (July 2019) data returns to calculate funding for learners that were in learning in 2018 to 2019 but did not complete their programme by 31 July 2019, regardless of where they reside.

We will issue an updated statement through Manage your education and skills funding and add this value to your contract. Please note this value may differ from the illustrative value on your March allocation statement.

We will not consolidate funds for continuing learners in devolved areas in 2020 to 2021 ESFA funded AEB allocations. When we confirm your actual continuing learner funding we will clearly set out which funds are for 2019 to 2020 only.

For more information, please see the 19+ allocations technical guidance.

If you have any queries, please use the ESFA online form.

7. Information: requesting a 19 to 24 traineeship allocation for the 209 to 2020 funding year

As set out in the adult education budget (AEB) funding and performance-management rules, you can request a maximum allocation of £25,000 for 19 to 24 traineeships if you had an AEB contract for the 2018 to 2019 funding year and have not been issued with a 19 to 24 traineeships allocation because you have not delivered traineeships historically.

Requests must be submitted using the ESFA online form by Friday 6 December 2019. Please include your rationale and how much you are requesting on the form.

We will not consider any requests from providers who did not have an AEB contract for the 2018 to 2019 funding year.

If you have any queries, please use the ESFA online form.

8. Information: in-year qualification achievement (QAR) rates for 2018 to 2019

We released have the R12 in-year QAR data for 2018 to 2019 on both the Hub and dashboard the View Your Education Data portal. The in-year QAR guidance and QAR webpage provide details about this data release and accessing the dashboard.

You should review your in-year QAR data to check that your data is accurate. We have supplied some more information about the common data issues and funding monitoring reports that can help you review your data. We urge you to review your data now as we cannot correct your data after the final R14 submission.

To access the data, please ensure you have the correct IDAMS user access.

9. Information: updated application guidance for the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers

On Friday 23 August 2019, we updated our application guidance for the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).

The updated guidance takes into consideration queries we have received through our Department for Education portal (Bravo).

For any queries, please email or raise a message through our Department for Education portal (Bravo).

10. Information: our apprenticeships campaign ‘Fire It Up’ is back

Our apprenticeships campaign ‘Fire It Up’ launched in January and is now live in its second phase.

Early evaluation shows that our activity is having a positive impact with a 10% rise in young people’s consideration of apprenticeships.

The second phase of the campaign continues to target broad audiences such as young people, parents etc. but will also focus activity on those audiences that contribute to widening participation in apprenticeships such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds, women in under-represented sectors, low paid workers, people with learning difficulties or disabilities and people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Look out for the adverts on TV, cinema, out of home poster sites, digital and social media.

The campaign is a great opportunity for providers and employers to share case studies of your own apprentices with us (via email at and on your own channels, we can also consider these case studies for potential PR opportunities and will be in touch if we can feature them as part of the campaign.

To ensure that people are receiving the most up-to date information on apprenticeships, providers and employers can also signpost to from their website and should also post their apprenticeship vacancies on the Find an Apprenticeship service. This is a free service and receives over half a million visitors per month. Instructions for how training providers can upload vacancies are available.

Join the conversation on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and Instagram, using @FireItUp_Apps #FireItUp. For any campaign related questions please contact

11. Information: independent review of how the government monitors colleges’ finances and financial management

Dame Mary Ney has been appointed to carry out an independent review of how the government monitors colleges’ finances and financial management.

The review was first announced at the Association of Colleges’ spring conference in May, after Hadlow College was placed into education administration under the new FE Insolvency Regime introduced in January this year.

Dame Mary has been appointed to conduct the review given her extensive experience in local government, serving as Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and a government appointed commissioner to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

The findings from the review are expected to be published later this year.

Dame Mary would welcome written comments from anyone with views on the functioning of financial oversight of the college sector. If you would like to contact the review please email

12. Information: 2019 to 2020 Education and Skills Contracts amendments

In response to your feedback, in September the ESFA will issue variations to the 2019 to 2020 Education & Skills agreements issued in July. The variations will:

  • vary the required level of professional indemnity insurance from £10m to £5m
  • remove the requirement to work towards ISO27001 for the 2020 to 2021 funding year, although this will remain a future requirement
  • remove the requirement to carry out Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks every three years and replace with self-declarations in the first instance
  • replace the requirement for providers to secure ESFA permission for external media activity on their premises and replace it with keeping the ESFA informed

We advise providers who have not signed their 2020 to 2021 agreement because of these issues to now do so. If you have any questions about the variation, please use the ESFA online form.

13. Information: individualised learner record (ILR) 2020 to 2021 proposed changes

We are happy to announce a significantly smaller list of proposed changes to the ILR for the 2020 to 2021 year, following your feedback on previous years’ changes and in line with our change management governance.

The list below sets out the key proposals we are considering. Details of each will be posted to FEConnect forum and will be open for comments until Friday 20 September 2019. Your responses will contribute to our analysis and our decisions will be confirmed in early December.

T LevelsTo record, identify and validate the T Level programmes.
Off the Job Training (OFJT)– Actual Hours(Following implementation of the ‘OTJT Planned Hours’ field in the 2019 to 2020 dataset.) To enable visibility of actual training delivered.
HousekeepingTo review and remove from the ILR any fields which are no longer meeting the business objective.

Please note that housekeeping activities will not appear on the FEConnect forum.

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