1. Latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Department for Education has published guidance about COVID-19 in educational settings for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students on GOV.UK.
Please check GOV.UK regularly for updates.
2. Information: Subcontracting Declarations Final Deadline – including nil returns
In accordance with the funding rules, providers are required to make a revised declaration through Manage your education skills funding (MYESF) as and when any of their subcontracting relationships or values change. We previously informed providers that we would issue a final deadline. Although we know that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on some providers’ ability to do this, providers who have not made a return since 23 October should submit their outstanding declarations by Friday 3 July 2020.
The current declarations relate to the following periods:
- 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 for the delivery of any apprenticeship non-levy and levy funded provision and for;
- 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020 for all other adult education,
- 16 to 19 programme for the year from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020 (noting schools and academies are exempt) funded delivery
Please note that if you do not subcontract but receive direct funding from the ESFA, you are still required to make a nil return. This can be done on the MYESF service.
We will use ESFA Update to communicate the next declaration window in due course.
3. Information: Providing External Assurance on Subcontracting Controls – Return of Assurance Certificate for 2019 to 2020
In accordance with the funding rules, providers are required to obtain an annual report from an external auditor that provides assurance on their arrangements to manage and control their delivery subcontractors. Providers are in scope if they have entered into subcontracts to deliver provision with:
a) an aggregate value of more than £100,000 each financial year for new apprenticeship starts from 1 May 2017.
b) an aggregate value of more than £100,000 for the delivery of all other adult provision each funding year, including apprenticeship starts before 1 May 2017.
If a provider is in scope to obtain an external audit report for both a and b above, a single combined report is required. Providers must send a certificate to us each year to confirm this report has been received. Further information is available on the providing external assurance on subcontracting controls GOV.UK page.
The current returns relate to 2019 to 2020 and are due by 31 July 2020. We know that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on some providers’ ability to do this and as such will not be taking compliance action where this date is not met. We will still require the certificate and as such would like to encourage those that have not yet sent their completed certificates to send these to [email protected].
We will shortly be in a position to follow up with a new deadline. We will use ESFA Update to communicate the revised and final deadline in due course.
4. Information: support for independent learning providers as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)
As a result of COVID-19, all 16 to 19 education providers have been asked to continue to deliver their provision online where possible.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) recognises that the recruitment patterns and education delivery for Independent Learning Providers (ILPs), may be affected as a result of lockdown and in some cases may only be able to start some of the part-time students they would usually recruit between March 2020 to July 2020. This will impact on the level of funding that these students would usually attract and will result in clawback of funds for 2019 to 2020.
We have put together a support package to help those ILPs that may be facing unexpected recovery due to lockdown situation. This includes the opportunity to request clawback be adjusted for 2019 to 2020 by submitting a business case.
We have published full details of which ILPs are eligible for this support, along with a business case template, on the 16 to 19 education information for independent learning providers GOV.UK page.
5. Information: changes to apprenticeship service support videos
To help users find the information they need easily, we have created two new additional playlists on the channel entitled:
- “Apprenticeship service – webinar recordings” and
- “Apprenticeship Support Videos”.
All support videos covering the different functions of the apprenticeship service will remain in the “Using the apprenticeship service” playlist.
All existing recordings from our webinars and any future recordings will be available in the new playlist “Apprenticeship service – webinar recordings”
Videos created to support the delivery of apprenticeships will be available in the new playlist “Apprenticeship Support Videos”
For additional support, visit the apprenticeship service support website.