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.
There is also guidance on the apprenticeship service about COVID-19.
Please check GOV.UK regularly for updates.
2. Information: 2019 to 2020 year-end forecast funding claim cancelled
The 2019 to 2020 funding claims guidance requires providers with the allocations listed below to complete a year-end forecast funding claim:
- ESFA AEB – adult skills and community learning – grant-funded
- ESFA AEB – 19 to 24 traineeships (procured)
- advanced learner loans bursary (ALLB) – grant-funded
- ESFA AEB – adult skills learner support – paid-on-profile (AEB procured)
- 16 to 19 education
As part of the ESFA’s COVID-19 response, ESFA will now not require your organisation to complete a year-end claim forecast due in June 2020.
The policy and approach for the final claim is currently under review and further updates will follow. If you have any questions, please contact the Service Desk.
3. Information: new end-point assessment (EPA) flexibility announced for calculated functional skills qualifications (FSQs)
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education on Friday announced a new temporary flexibility that enables apprentices to take EPA ahead of receiving their calculated FSQ later on in the summer.
The flexibility enables apprentices, who would otherwise be stuck at gateway pending their calculated FSQ, to pass through gateway and take their EPA.
This flexibility, which has immediate effect, applies to all apprentices due to take an FSQ test and receive a result between 20 March and 31 July, that are:
- deemed by their training provider to have the required level of functional skills and sufficient evidence to demonstrate this to receive a calculated FSQ pass; and
- have reached gateway and are deemed to be occupationally competent and ready to progress to sit their EPA.
This temporary measure supports qualifying apprentices to complete their EPA without undue delay. Apprentices will only achieve their apprenticeship once they have passed EPA and received their FSQ pass. Training providers will therefore be expected to provide prompt confirmation of the apprentice’s FSQ calculated results to EPAOs once these have been awarded.
We will shortly provide guidance to support employers, training providers and EPAOs to implement the flexibility and to ensure that apprentices get their certificate to confirm completion once they have passed both their EPA and their FSQ.
4. Action: migration of the application programme interfaces (API)
In the ESFA Update 29 April 2020 and 4 March 2020 we included an article covering the migration of two URLs from the former sfa.bis.gov.uk Universal Resource Locators (URL) address over to the new education.gov.uk address, outlined below.
To ensure there is no interruption to your systems you will need to update all applications you have created using the Application Programme Interface (API), with the new URL before Monday 1 June 2020.
- The ESFA Developer Hub, the portal where developers can register an account to access and test our Application Programme Interfaces (API), is available to access on https://developers.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk
- Application Programme Interface (API) is available on https://apis.apprenticeships.education.gov.uk/
If you have any queries, please contact the Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600.
5. Information: update on the subcontracting consultation
The publication of the government response to the subcontracting consultation that was held earlier this year will now be published in June, rather than at the end of May as originally planned.
Responses to the consultation were allowed up to the end of March, which was two weeks after the official closing date of 17 March 2020. This short extension was in recognition of the fact that at that time providers were urgently addressing issues relating to the COVID-19 outbreak.