SME Access to App Service from Jan 2020

1. Action: response to ESFA letter about subcontracting the delivery of education and training using post-16 funds

Thank you to the large number of schools, academies, colleges, and other providers that have responded to the letter from Eileen Milner about subcontracting the delivery of education and training using post-16 funds.

We would like to remind those organisations who haven’t responded yet, to do so no later than Friday 01 November 2019 via the webform.

If you have any questions about this letter or need support to complete the return please get in touch with us via ESFA.SUBCONTRACTING@education.gov.uk.

2. Action: moratorium on approving qualifications for funding post-16

We have published a guidance document on the moratorium on approving qualifications for funding for students aged 16 and over (including 19 plus).

On 22 July 2019, we confirmed that we would introduce a moratorium on approving new regulated qualifications for funding at level 3 and below from 1 September 2020. The moratorium will operate across the following ESFA funded offers:

  • 16 to 19 study programmes
  • advanced learner loans (level 3 qualifications only)
  • ESFA funded and non ESFA funded adult education budget at level 3 and below, including components of regulated qualifications
  • European Social Fund (ESF) at level 3 and below only

We are publishing this guidance document for awarding organisations to confirm how the moratorium will work. If you have any further queries about this, please use our contact form.

3. Reminder: subcontractor declaration for adult delivery, including apprenticeships and traineeships, and for the first time, for 16 to 19 provision

The deadline for making subcontractor declarations to us is close of business on Friday 15 November. We set out the detail of this in Update on 23 October 2019. This is the:

  • first ever collection for 16 to 19 provision and covers the period from August 2019 to July 2020
  • second collection for levy and non-levy funded apprenticeship delivery for the year from April 2019 to March 2020
  • first collection for all other adult delivery for the year from August 2019 to July 2020

Schools and academies are not required to complete this declaration for their 16 to 19 provision. If you have any questions, please contact us via the ESFA online contact form.

4. Information: funding methodology for the 16 to 19 discretionary bursary fund is changing from academic year 2020 to 2021

The government published its response and next steps to the 16 to 19 discretionary bursary fund allocations methodology consultation in September 2019. This means, we are making changes to the funding methodology from academic year 2020 to 2021.

We want you to understand how the new methodology will affect your allocation for 2020 to 2021. Your discretionary bursary fund allocation will not change for 2019 to 2020.

We have uploaded your indicative allocation to Document Exchange showing what your allocation for 2019 to 2020 would have been if we had used the new funding methodology.

You will find your statement in the Revenue Funding folder, under ‘AY 2019-20’. We have noticed that the GOV.UK links in the indicative allocation files are incorrect. We are working to fix this and will re-upload files with the correct link shortly. In the meantime, use these links to the guidance and 2 videos to help you understand your indicative allocation.

If you have any questions after reading the supporting information, please contact us using our online enquiry form.

5. Information: ESFA confirms SMEs can access the apprenticeship service from January 2020

Earlier this year, ESFA confirmed that SMEs (small and medium enterprises, those that do not pay the apprenticeship levy), would soon be able to access the benefits of using the award-winning apprenticeship service. The service, already in use by large employers, will give SMEs greater control over choosing their apprenticeships and training provider, and on access to apprenticeship funding.

We have been testing the service with a small number of employers and providers over the summer and are now ready, as announced in Keith Smith’s AELP speech yesterday (Wednesday 29 October), to embark on a managed transition from early 2020.

To support this transition additional funding will be made available for up to 5,000 new starts through the service per month between January and March 2020. Access to the additional funding will be open to all main providers that remain listed on the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP), not just those with an existing procured non-levy contract.

At the same time employers will still be able to access training via existing procured non-levy contracts, and we will extend these contracts beyond March 2020 to help facilitate a managed transition during the year as we bring all small employers onto the apprenticeship service.

In this first phase of transition we will continue to test all aspects of the new arrangements and consider whether any changes are needed. We will be issuing more detail on the transition arrangements from November and throughout 2020.

In early November we plan to write to existing providers, employers and intermediaries with details of initial transition arrangements and inviting them to participate in webinars that will provide a more detailed explanation of the plans in place.

6. Information: apprenticeships non-levy allocations from April 2020

We will shortly be calculating the carry over costs for procured non-levy contracts for the 2020 to 2021 financial year. This allocation will include funding for learners that started with non-levy employers between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2020.

We will also allocate funding for new starts from 1st April 2020. More information will be communicated shortly on how these contracts will support the managed transition of small and medium sized employers onto the apprenticeship service during 2020.

We will calculate allocations using November (R04) data submissions. Please ensure you submit full, accurate and timely data at R04 as this will improve the accuracy of the allocation we calculate for you.

If you have any queries, please contact your territorial team lead.

7. Information: new entrants applying to the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP) are invited to test new application service

New applicants wanting to be an apprenticeship training provider, can now apply their interest in using the new service.

The new service has been designed, taking into consideration user feedback, to be a better overall experience.

Applicants who do not want to help test the new service can continue applying using ESFA’s existing application.

We will communicate when the new service will launch after our user testing is complete.

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