ESFA Update local authorities: January 26, 2022

1. Action: 16 to 19 scholarship fund evaluation process

This is a reminder to institutions to ensure that they follow the funding rules of the Scholarship Fund Guide 16 to 19 2021 to 2022.

Both types of scholarships are designed to help students overcome individual financial barriers to participation that they face.

Institutions must:

  • ensure that funds go to those who really need them and reflect the needs of each student, which will vary according to individual circumstances
  • not award a student a fixed or flat rate of funding without an assessment of the actual needs they have
  • ensure that their application forms and scholarship policies avoid terminology such as “guaranteed scholarship” or any wording that implies a student will receive a set amount of funding.

The guide includes a summary of key points for institutions to consider when administering the scholarship fund.

2. Action: Join these Approved Frameworks webinars and see how you could save money for your school

The Department of Education (DfE) is running webinars on how using our approved frameworks could help your school get value for money.

If you are responsible for purchasing goods and services for your schools, check out the range of informative webinars that could help you save time and money.

All sessions are free, use these Eventbrite links to join the schools business team and take the opportunity to ask vendors any questions you may have about worker sourcing, ICT purchasing, energy and ongoing maintenance.

For the latest on our wide range of webinars, check out the events tab on our LinkedIn Buy for Schools page.

3. Reminder: Mid-year funding requests for 2021 to 2022

The mid-year funding application window will open at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.

Please submit your mid-year funding request by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 11, 2022.

The complaint form will be available on Submit Learner Data. For more information, please see the 2021-2022 Funding Application Guidelines.

You will need to submit a claim if you receive funds via:

  1. Grant Funded – ESFA funded Adult Education Budget (AEB) (Adult Skills, Community Learning, Internships for 19-24 year olds and National Skills Fund Level 3 Adult Offer)
  2. funded grant – Advanced Learner Loans Bursary (ALLB)

Once you have submitted your application, you will also be able to view it on the Manage your education and skills funding page.

If you have any questions about this, please contact your area manager.

4. Information: results of 2022 to 2023 high-needs location change requests

We have published the results of the High Needs Place Change Application: 2022-2023 which will inform the number of funded places for the 2022-2023 school year in academies, free schools, colleges of higher education and independent learning providers.

You should review the published results as soon as possible, to ensure that the numbers reflect those expected. If an institution is not listed, it means that no changes have been notified for that institution and the published place numbers from 2021 to 2022 will be used as the basis for allocation from 2022 to 2023.

Local authorities, academies or higher education institutions can contact the ESFA to query their place numbers 2022 to 2023 between January 19, 2022 and February 4, 2022.

More information about the request window can be found in the High Needs Location Change Process Guide.

5. Information: 16 to 19 subcontracting

We have published the 16 to 19 outsourcing data for the 2020 to 2021 academic year on GOV.UK. This publication includes outsourcing data for ESFA-funded FE institutions, schools and academies. It is based on the return of the Individual Learner Record (ILR) R14 produced by FE establishments, and the return of the autumn census for schools and academies.

6. Information: Financial Assurance: Post-16 Funding Tracker for 2021 to 2022

R05 data is now available in the post-16 monitoring dashboard. Please be sure to review your data and make any necessary corrections in your R06 data submission, as it is used for mid-year claims and future benefit calculations.

We contact some vendors before R06 about learner support requests when there are potential data issues. Please ensure you record the appropriate learner support reason FAM code for the learners you are applying for (this is required under the Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding rules 2021 to 2022) .

We’ve published additional guidance to support our report FRM37, which reviews reported hours of off-the-job training (OTJT) for apprentices. This report monitors both planned and actual OTJT hours and includes continuing apprentices whose planned OTJT hours do not meet the minimum required for their job intensity band. This document can be used alongside off-the-job apprenticeship training: policy context and examples.

seven. Information: coronavirus (COVID-19) mass testing of exceptional accommodation costs opening of the reimbursement request form soon

It will soon be possible to submit claims for exceptional accommodation costs incurred during the mass testing of pupils and students upon their return in January 2022.

Schools and academies serving secondary-age students, as well as colleges and other eligible institutions, will be able to submit claims from Monday, January 31, 2022.

The window will then close on Sunday, February 20, 2022, giving schools and colleges three weeks to submit a claim.

The complaints process is changing and the complaint submission guidelines have been updated on GOV.UK.

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