2013/14 16-19 Funding formula

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Martin West 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • Anonymous

    Hi everyone,

    I am just analysing the 16-19 funding formula for 2013/14 and have come across something I feel may be an issue. As you may know it is moving to funding for programme size and not per qualification. This is made up of qualification based and non qualification based hours. You need a minimum 540GLH to qualify for the full time banding.
    However if you cross academic years (which many do if you’re roll on roll off) you are funded for the hours completed in each year seperately. Therefore you are funded as part time in each academic year on some occasions and must treat the learner as part time.

    On page 10 of the 16-19 Funding formula (December 2012) update it states on paragraph 40:
    “Only qualification hours will count towards the RPA minimum for part time students”

    So does this mean that when it is coming up to the second half of year and most students are crossing academic years(therefore classed as part time), I can’t claim any non qualification hours?

    I may of misread this, but any help would be great.


    Tommy Nolan


    Martin West

    Hi Thomas,

    This is similar to the current year where Eligibility for 16-18 funding entitlement equates to a full time learner, see below
    Learner funding and monitoring type (EFE)

    Code 12 should be used if the learner started their programme aged 16-18, is studying full-time (420 glh or more) across any 12 month period, and has access to tutorials and enrichment studies. If these conditions are not met in any given year then the learner is not eligible for 16-18 entitlement funding.

    It may be the definition for full time that needs to be clarified if it remains the same as for EFE (is studying full-time (420 glh or more) across any 12 month period) then no problem, if not then this may be an issue but the 2013/14 ILR specifications do state that ‘The total of both hours fields are used to determine the full or part time funding rate for the learner’.

    Hope we get some clarification when guidance documentation is available.




    I am also finding this line particularly disturbing, for the reasons that you state, but would also like to add something else.

    “Only qualification hours will count towards the RPA minimum for part time students”

    Therefore no non-qualification hours count unless you are full time, but once you are full time, then you are already receiving the maximum amount of funding. Even if you can now count non-qualification hours, it is of little relevance as you will not get paid for them.

    This is very worrying, and needs to be clarified sooner rather than later.




    Ah, not quite Martin. I’m pretty sure that “RPA minimum for part time students” means 280 hours a year (however we define year!!!), so the non-qual hours count between 280 and 540.

    Also remember RPA rules only apply to 17 year olds for a few years yet…


    Martin West

    Hi All,

    For clarification this is my understanding of RPA and EFA funding for 2013/14

    RPA does not necessarily mean staying in school. Young people will be able to choose how they participate, which could be through:
    • Full-time education, such as school or college;
    • An Apprenticeship;
    • Part-time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week.

    Full time education, such as school or college
    • Students whose planned hours in the year are recorded as 540 or more will be treated as full time for funding purposes.
    o Planned hours are those that are timetabled, organised and/or supervised by the institution, and take place in line with the institution’s normal working pattern to deliver the Study Programme, and can include the following:
    o Planned tutor led activity on qualification bearing courses for the student in the academic year;
    o Planned hours of tutorials, work experience or supported internship for the student in the academic year, and planned hours on other activities that are organised and provided by the institution, such as sport or volunteering for the student in the academic year.
    • The number of hours of study within individual students’ Study Programmes will vary depending on the programme pursued and the funding available but must be at least 540 hours per year to qualify for the full time per student payment and meet RPA requirements for 16 year olds from 2013.
    • Funding Single full time band of 600 hours

    • The minimum on and off the job training requirements are specified with a minimum employment of 30 hours per week.

    Part-time education or training
    • Any student whose programme does not meet the full time criteria within the academic year must be recorded as part time. This includes students whose programme crosses two academic years but is not full time within either year.
    • Only qualification hours will count towards the RPA (280) minimum for part-time students
    • To meet the part time RPA requirements for 16 year olds the learner needs to undertake 20 hours per week or more on:
    o time spent in employment and or work experience organised by anyone other than by or on behalf of the organisation or time spent on volunteering and/or community activities that are not organised by or on behalf of the institution
    • Three funding bands

    Role on role off provision does not seem to fit with the requirements for students who need to meet the RPA requirements.

    Comments welcome as they may aid my understanding of this simplification.





    I have been trying to get to the bottom of a similar query with the EFA but am not getting a coherant response. Depending how I phrase the question they either say “we cannot do it”, or “we can and it is covered by the guidance”, which I can’t find anywhere unless others can. My particular query was how we record and are funded for a learner who is either on a planned continuation of a part time course or starts a part time course in September. Then, although not originally planned wishes to progress to another part time course later in the year. This is my string of queries and their responses below. How do others interpret this?

    Original query:
    Having looked at the Update on the 16-19 Funding Formula 2013/14 issued in December I have the following query. Where a 16-18 year old learner enrolls on a part time course (or continues on one from 12/13 which is due to finish in 13 14) and completes and at some time later in the year the learner then goes on to do another part time or full time course how is this recorded on the ilr in 13 14? In particular could you consider the following scenario’s and advise:

    Learner enrols and completes on short course which gives them confidence to do a further course, both courses are the same programme weighting. – Do we add the hours for the 2nd programme in to the first? Would both Programmes have a core aim identified? How would this affect funding for both programmes should they not complete the second programme?

    As above but the second course has a different programme weighting – In addition to the original queries which programme weighting factor would be used for the learner.
    Learner enrols and leaves a programme after the programme counts for funding and subsequently returns to do a different programme in the same year, The total hours for both programmes being different to that originally planned for the first – Do we adjust the hours?, Do we change the core aim? If the programmes have different weighting factors how is this dealt with?

    Learner transfers from one programme to another after the count date – the programmes having different programme weighting factors. Do we change the hours (if the total hours are diffferent), are both programmes coded with a core aim, which one is used to calculate funding?

    EFA 1st response:

    As you have raised lots of “what if” scenarios, I thought it would be helpful to address these from the position of what is expected. So to start with, as a matter of principle, the college should be working with the student at the start of the process to establish what their learning aims are. All institutions need to ensure that students are enrolled on a coherent programme of study which offers a substantial qualification, and a clear route to progression to achieve the outcomes- paid work or HE. The programme of study attracts the programme weighting as you say, but in your first example, the situation wont arise as a programme will have been built with a core aim to encompass these elements.

    It is expected that most students will study full-time (540 hours minimum) but it is understood that for some, engagement with education and training can often initially take the form of part-time study. Maths and English should be part of every programme of study if a student does not have a GCSE A*-C in either subject. A part-time programme would attract a lower level of funding hence the banded funding rates but it would still need a core aim which would attract the funding and retention would be measured against the core aim. If part time, the remainder could take the form of work experience. The institution would need to ensure sufficient stretch and progression for each student and in the examples you give at points 3 and 4, this should not arise if sufficient attention has been given to the learning needs of the student at the outset.

    For clarity, if a student leaves before the planned end and is not recorded as completed=50% funding; retained to their planned end date and recorded as completed=100%; leaves before planned end date and recorded as completed=100% funding. Completed is defined as not recorded as withdrawn, transferred or continuing.

    Just to add that we have updated the guidance on IRL as part of this work and it will be clear when you come to complete the ILR how hours are to be recorded

    My 2nd Query:
    Further to your response below, unfortunately I don’t feel you have answered my original question. I was not asking for situations where the programme was not fully thought out in relation to the learners needs, but rather where a learner completes one programme (not full time) within 13/14 and wishes to progress to another one which may or may not be a full time programme i.e it could be across funding years.

    As an example the following gives an example of a learner that would fit in with my second query:

    A learner who has been funded under a programme in 12 13 with an expected end date in
    December 13 completes the programme as expected and achieves. Learner then wants to enrol on another course at a higher level with a different programme weighting factor to continue his studies.

    This student will, when enrolled in September have had one of their aims identified as their core aim and will have hours entered against the learner based on the programme they will be completing in December – which in year will be classed as part time.

    At the point when this student enrols on the progression in January 14 he would have a new core aim for the new programme which would be a different programme weighting factor to the original core aim.

    This raises the following queries:

    Do we add the hours for the two programmes together and alter the hours on the learner to reflect this in January 14?
    If so how will the ILR will be able to tell which hours relate to which programme and therefore pay the appropriate band rate, or would all learning be paid at the same band rate – if so which one (first or second)?
    How will retention be effected i.e if the learner drops out of the second programme would we also lose funding on the first programme that is achieved, or because the first core aim is achieved would we get full time funding without reduction even if the learner drops out of the second programme due to confusion in the calculation software.

    EFA Further response:
    We will fund students per academic year for 600 hours full time, fewer if part time. The academic year is a fixed period and so the students have to have a study programme within that year and so be funded for that year. They won’t be able to start another programme in the way you describe. There is only one funding amount per year. They could of course have the progression to a second layer of study as their core aim in programme in September and so making all the study within the academic year.

    This is the link to the web page where the Updated 16-19 Funding Formula 2013/14 document can be found.


    There is some further information on page 14 and a table of examples on page 12 which you might find useful.

    My Further response:
    Just to clarify can you confirm you are saying that any student on a part time course with us at the beginning of the year cannot be funded for a further course in the same year, should they later decide they would like to progress. Any such learners would either need to wait till the following year to enrol, enrol with a different provider, or enrol with us but us not be funded. I give a few examples of the kind of learners this might affect below:

    Example 1: 18 year old learner (not affected by RPA) enrolled on a part time course starting September and finishing December. At the time of enrolment the learner has no plans for learning for the rest of the year. Having achieved the course the learner decides they would like to continue their studies at a higher level.

    Example 2: 17/18 year old learner in employment and in classroom learning (not an apprentice) enrols on a part time course relevant to their job in September. In December they lose their job and wish to change to full time learning on a different course as suggested by JCPlus to help them get another job.

    In both the above examples your reply appears to suggest that no funding would be available to us for the additional learning.

    EFA further response:
    What would the core aim be? It could be a part time course with work experience then another part time course. That would be fine. The guidance document is quite clear-please refer to that.

    My final attempt to clarify the question- response not yet received:
    as far as I can see the guidance does not address this point. The guidance covers every event in Annex A except where a learner returns to do either a new or continuing part time programme and then later in the year wants to do a further programme.

    I cannot see how the ilr could record the two programmes separately regarding the hours, assuming both programmes have a core aim and may be differently weighted.

    cannot see any reference to additional programmes or aims added later in the year which would change the planned hours for the year and potentially move the learners funding band upwards, or which aims should be identified as core aims in this situation i.e. two consecutive core aims or only one (in which case which one first or second- given that this could affect both uplift and calculation of completion information).

    The examples given in the guidance talk about full time programmes plus additional aims (additional aims not funded), and full time programmes plus resits (not funded) and would also probably cover planned continuation on a part time course where at the point of enrolling the learner already knows what they wish to progress to in the year so it can be planned from the outset.

    The guidance does cover learners who move between institutions and may be part time at both but not unplanned progression of a part time learner to a new study programme during the year with the same provider.


    Martin West

    Hi Dawn,

    Yes for 2013/14 the EFA fund on a per student basis and no longer fund each learning aim within a student’s programme separately.

    I think that until the draft funding guidance is released it is too early to speculate and raise issues to which the answers are currently unknown, yes we all have question related to specific delivery issues but it as a case of wait and see if they have allowed for all circumstances and combinations of provision.

    To raise too many issues now may delay the release of the guidance for all.




    Martin, I disagree strongly. Bringing up “what ifs” is vital now as once the guidance is issued it is considered the equivalent of “tablets of stone” by those in charge and subsequent change is tortuous at best. If we don’t point out gaping holes in the logic beforehand, as Dawn has done, we end up with a poorer system…

    I hardly see “learners who don’t start in september and finish in June” as a specific delivery issue, surely it’s germane to almost all of us?


    Martin West

    Hi Dawn,

    As the EFA are to fund on a per student basis and the planned learning hours are recorded against the learner then there can only be one study programme per academic year.

    From the2013/14 ILR specifications for planned learning hours:
    When recorded the value in this field must be finalised and confirmed as correct within the funding qualifying start period (6 weeks for long) as defined in the funding documentation. No changes are permitted to the data in this field after this time apart from to correct data entered in error.

    This does not prevent a learner starting later in the year but it does require that a programme of learning is agreed within the qualifying start period.

    In your example for:
    A learner who has been funded under a programme in 12 13 with an expected end date in December 13 completes the programme as expected and achieves. Learner then wants to enrol on another course at a higher level with a different programme weighting factor to continue his studies.

    The carry over qualifications would be included in the learners 2013/14 study programme together with higher level qualifications that the learner aims to progress to, the most substantive qualification would determine the weighting factor.

    I see no problem with this but we may need to consider how we plan and record the learners study programme for the year differently to what we did in the past.



    Hi Martin

    I agree that is fine where the learner knows what they want to do within the first six weeks, however a lot of 18 year olds don’t or their circumstances change – lose jobs, gain jobs etc which mean their needs change.

    The whole new system seems very inflexible, adding the new hours on to the existing and changing the core aim is one solution, but there is still the problem of the funding claimed being inaccurate if one programme has a higher weighting than the other. There appears to be no way of adjusting funding on the ilr for 16-18 students. I would suggest the older learners in this age group often decide to take on additional learning later and may wish to enrol on a night class as an extra for example, it seems to be not in the spirit of the new system i.e. delivering the learning that is best for the students needs, to turn them away, or alternatively charge them a full cost fee to do this (or deliver for free), even where they were initially only on a part time programme, nor is it simplification for the providers.

    I’m sure other colleges/training providers would happily take these learners for their second programme as that is allowed within the guidance, but it seems madness that the learner would have to go elsewhere to progress within year.

    There are a lot of questions that the quidance so far issued leaves unanswered and the new ilr structure would make difficult to easily address which makes curriculum planning and student modelling very difficult.

    Forgive me if I seem to be overcomplicating this issue but it is a major cause of concern to me.


    Martin West

    Hi Dawn,

    The actual final 2013/14 EFA/SFA Guidance documentation has yet to be issued and I can understand some of your concerns.

    One of the EFA aims of the funding reform is to encourage institutions to start changing their offer by developing new and coherent Study Programmes for Raising the Participation Age (RPA) cohort learners.

    The EFA ‘Study Programmes for 16 to 19 year olds’ covers Guidance on the Design of 16-19 Study Programmes, this covers programmes for all types of learners and includes details of internships for which a discussion paper ‘Traineeships’ for supporting young people to develop the skills for Apprenticeships and other sustained jobs has only recently been published.

    As there is only one study programme per academic year per learner, curriculum planning should be based around this for both full time and part time provision. Yes initial assessment together with IAG is required to enable an individual learner’s study programme to be finalised within the specified time period and while I except that for some learners this is difficult it is what we must strive to achieve.

    A progression to an Apprenticeship from an EFA study programme does not require a change to planned learning hours as this data is not collected for this funding stream. This seems to be the designed route for those who aim to progress to work with training which may be suitable for some of your learners.

    In my experience Change is never simple and although simplification is the current buzzword these changes will take time for both students and providers to understand and only time will tell if it results in a better system.



    Further to this I have now had a further response from the EFA which gives some comfort.

    Apologies for taking a while to answer but following discussions with colleagues, I am now able to answer your points.

    There are a small number of instances where it would be legitimate that planned hours are amended in year to enable them to reflect changes in programmes. For example

    • A student comes to an institution and studies a small programme for 100 hours. They complete the programme and leave, then two months later they return to do a much more substantial programme of 350 hours. This would move the student from the lowest part time band to the highest part time band (against which they will be funded as full time in 2013/14);

    • Similarly, a student starts at an institution on a small programme of 120 hours over 8 weeks. At the end of this programme they have been so successful that they wish to pursue a much bigger full time programme. The change in hours would take them from the lowest part time band to the full time band.

    In both instances we would want to encourage the move to fuller activity and allow the institution to reflect this in the ILR.

    Working within the wording of the ILR guidance each instance would require the closing off of one programme and the beginning of another. As a result of this the new programme will generate a new qualifying period and so the planned hours should be amended within this qualifying period to reflect the additional activity. Changing of hours should only occur under these circumstances and where there is not an additional programme identified by an additional core aim we would only expect hours amendments where there is an error to be corrected.

    We will be issuing full guidance with the allocations statements in March making these points clear.


    Martin West

    Hi All,

    So there are now a small number of instances where it would be legitimate that planned hours are amended in year to enable them to reflect changes in programmes.

    In the examples given they complete and then commence a new programme and the planned hours are amended within this qualifying period to reflect the additional activity.

    In both instances the EFA would want to encourage the move to fuller activity and allow the institution to reflect this in the ILR.

    You could also say that adding qualifications or other activity would also meet the requirement of moving to fuller activity but this would be revising a study programme and not starting a new one, others may require a change in their study programme for various reasons which may also be reasonable but if all these changes are allowed then the result will be that the EFA will be funding qualifications as against the planned study programme which was the original intention.

    The 2013/14 ILR specifications do not currently support any of this but in light of changes when the EFA do provide the funding guidance we can all assume ILR changes will be made.

    I still think it is a case of wait and see as like us’ theia’ can only base the ILR on the information they receive from the EFA.



    The information authority has received a request to amend the ILR specification from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) which looks very similar to the advice given to Dawn about amending planned hours. We are discussing this with colleagues in the EFA. At this stage there is no agreement that the planned hours can be changed in this way. We will let you know the outcome of the discussions as soon as they are complete.


    Martin West

    Hi Peter,

    Providers need to plan for future delivery but now if it is unclear what will or will not be allowed, it is getting a bit late in the day for the EFA to start moving the goal posts from what was previously proposed even though we might not like or understand it. If we can amend planned hours when programmes are changed or when additional qualifications are added in the interest of the learner does not this defeat the object that all 16-19-year-olds should have a ‘planned study programme’ that offers them breadth, depth and progression for which we are funded and replace this with funding based on actual qualifications delivered hours?

    Transitional protection is to be used so that Providers can adapt to delivering study programmes for those where RPA is applicable and no change is needed to planned hours when changes to the study programme or additional qualifications are added as the principle is that we are funded on planned hours or has this now changed?

    Not certain I now understand what is required or intended any more from the EFA.


    Tony Braithwaite

    I think we should also remember that the 13/14 ILR will be providing the retention and the programme size information for the 15/16 allocation and that may well be out of the transitional protection, the EFA have not I believe committed themselves to TP that far on. Therefore it is in our interests to ensure that the data we provide in the 13/14 ILR truly reflects the programme size of all learners and I don’t see why this cannot be verified at the end of the year in the final ILR – still sticking to the audit requirements of proving that the learning was delivered.

    It is good that the EFA have given some recognition to the real world circumstances that Dawn has highlighted and I personally hope that this can be readily accomodated, hopefully without adding new fields but just by changing some rules.



    Hi All.

    My understanding of the response I got from the EFA is that it is not possible to change a learners planned hours if they are still on a planned study programme. Only where they finish their part time planned study programme and go on to do a further study programme could this be altered. i.e there would be two core aims recorded one of which must be completed before the additional one is started. There may or may not be a gap between the two programmes.

    This is to cover cases where learners have unplanned progression not just additionality added.

    I appreciate Martin’s confusion but it would, in my opinion, have been unworkable not to be able to allow such learners to enrol onto a further programme and definately not in their interests which is why I raised the issue.

    I don’t know whether or not this change has been brought about as a result of my query or was under consideration anyway, but feel it is better that it is dealt with now than finding out once we get into the year that we are having to turn students away (or deliver free learning), in these circumstances and then the EFA give a last minute U turn and change the ILR in year. I believe we get the full guidance in March and look forward to finding out the detail of exactly how this is to work.

    As this will not apply until later in the year when these learners start to progress, not before October anyway I suppose it would be possible to amend the ILR after initial roll out by software providers, as all carry in and new enrolments could be dealt with under the current ilr specification?



    Martin West

    Hi Dawn,

    The aim of the Study Programmes is to support full participation of all young people in education and training for progression into employment or higher education.

    When devising a study programme for a learner this would need to be full participation even if it is for part time study and the only progression outcome are into employment or higher education.

    For those on a full time study programme who progress into employment the only options are for an apprenticeship or a further part time study programme this is the only instance where a further study programme would be required and as the hours already recorded would be drawing down full funding no change is needed.

    For those on a part time study programme the assumption is that they are already employed but this could change so that a new or revised study programme may be required either full or part time and it is what we do in these circumstances to which I am now confused.

    I was however more confused by your original various scenario’s such as where ‘Learner enrols and completes on short course which gives them confidence to do a further course’ or ‘Learner then wants to enrol on another course’ as I did not think these were relevant to full time participation on a study programme.

    Provider will need to change their offer by developing new and coherent full participation Study Programmes (including more substantial vocational qualifications, English and maths where appropriate) for full and part time provision but I do not see a place for short courses or provision that does not meet the requirements for full participation Study Programmes.



    Hi all, I have been reading your posts with great interest as our organisation holds a substantial EFA contract for Foundation Learning (soon to be Study Programmes).

    As I think Dawn mentioned, a great proportion of our students join us having no clear direction or preferred vocational route and our plans for a new delivery model for the Study Programme have I hope taken this uncertainty into account by extending our Initial Assessment period and providing Vocational Tasters etc in the early days/weeks on programme.

    My concern (and apologies if the answer to this is already ‘out there’ and I have missed it!) is at some point quite early on in the programme, (even possibly when we define the start as Full Time or Part Time), in order to define a core aim, we might be pressed to select a vocational route which may change as the learner progresses (as can often happen in FL). Although I would hope that our interventions would make this a relatively small number of learners, it is a reality which can’t be ignored for some of the cohort we deal with.

    My question is can we change the core aim (as long as overall hours remain full time) and if so, up to which point in the learner programme? Would this be at 6 weeks when the learner qualifying period for full time is up?

    Some learners who are not able to undertake substantial vocational qualifications could possibly be selecting Work Placement only as a core aim, in which case the above point is moot, however where possible we would like those learners who have the ability to actually undertake a substantial qualification, supported by a high quality work placement within the identified sector where underpinning knowledge can be put into practice.


    Martin West

    Hi Jules,

    We all, including the EFA and Professor Alison Wolf recognises the difficulties in planning and obtaining outcomes for foundation learners.

    Yes we are to have a new system of funding based on funding for the individual study programme but it is also recognised that it is not necessary for learners in this cohort to follow a qualification only route to enable them to achieve an outcome.

    Yes the ILR specifications indicate that the core aim may change and the only requirement is that it must be finalised by the end of the teaching year, I assume that the reason for this is to enable the calculation of funding for the study year.

    Your final paragraph is in line with Professor Wolf recommendations where it is recognised that achieving an outcome for a learner is more important that pursuing qualification achievement alone.

    From the information already released by the EFA you could assume that the guidance will not only include the flexibilities required for foundation delivery but will also encourage it. Yes the devil may be in the detail of the guidance but as foundation learning has been considered in detail by professor Wolf and the EFA I have some confidence that the introduction of a simplified funding has already accounted for any changes that may be required for a learners study programme for foundation learners.

    Have faith while we wait for the guidance as the indications are so far positive.

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