OfS ILR Training

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Ruth CJ 17 hours, 22 minutes ago.

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  • Ruth CJ

    Anyone else been listening to the OfS ILR training webinars yet?

    First session was fine, though it still baffles me how OfS get away with demanding data for any student studying level 4 and above, but not prescribed HE, when they don’t fund them, or have anything to do with them as far as I can tell (except to charge us for them).

    Second session I have some issues with.

    How many providers include middle names without fail? OfS say it’s vital, and that we must see ID for every level 4+ student, and we can get the names off there. I’ve never seen any guidance that says we have to see identification, though of course it’s best practice. Apparently it causes matching issues with the student loans company. If it were such an issue, how have I never heard of this before?

    Next was HE Qualification on Entry. They insist that we must see evidence of every student’s highest qualification, and that we shouldn’t trust self-declarations, even for mature students. I just don’t see how we could ever realistically include that in our enrolment process without it being a colossal admin burden. Not to mention how discriminatory it is against anyone who has lost their certs. I get that asking them to self define the level is problematic (as student often have no idea), which is why we ask them to specify exactly what their highest qualification was, and we work out the actual code.

    On top of that, where a student’s highest qual is at a level, and they hold multiple types of qualifications at that level, we have to pick from one of the following;

    P92 Mixed Level 3 qualifications of which none are subject to Tariff
    P93 Level 3 qualifications of which all are subject to UCAS Tariff
    P94 Level 3 qualifications of which some are subject to UCAS Tariff

    Yes, definitely have time to look up whether a student’s quals are subject to the UCAS tariff in the middle of enrolment.

    Also, where a student progresses from HNC > HND, HND > Degree, FD > degree etc, we’re not supposed to update this field. That’s actually way harder that is sounds. Getting staff to check the last year’s record to see what they were on last year is actually really time consuming.

    It seems like, whilst OfS use our ILR data, and have fields in their specifically for their own purposes, there is very little communication between the data collection people at ESFA and OfS. OfS said that FUNDCOMP isn’t actually required for 20/21, but that’s not reflected in the ILR Spec.

    This was only session 2 of 6. We complain about the data burden imposed by ESFA, but I think OfS are winning hands down on creating the data burden.



    Hi Ruth,

    Not been on the webinars, but here are some views form the other side of the fence.

    If you mention “prescribed HE” to them they will immediately respond that that is an out of date term that no longer applies since (I think) HERA 2017. That fact that we all still use it isn’t something they worry about 😉 If you want to ask them about it, use the term “recognised higher education” instead to try and get an answer!

    The things you’ve mentioned sound like they are applying the same rules to ILR data as they do to HESA data. We (HESA-returning institutions) can’t use self-declaration for highest qual because it directly effects funding. The UCAS tariff one is easier for us as well because we return all the quals so get errors if we get the wrong types of quals for the wrong highest level. They probably don’t realise the difficulty this creates for colleges.
    The thing about levels relates to defining instances.

    FUNDCOMP still has to be returned this year, but it’s not going to be used for anything other than those flagged 9 will be excluded from comparisons with HESES. I can’t find the OfS notification of that, but the HESA one is here https://www.hesa.ac.uk/definitions/student-collection/c19051-student-record-exceptional-guidance
    I assume the same rationale will apply to FUNDCOMP in the ILR.

    I love that you say the OfS is worse for data burden! I constantly hear the reverse from my colleagues: they hate everything the ESFA make us do for apprenticehsips and think that burden is ridiculous!



    Ruth CJ

    Thanks Jo 🙂

    Yes, correct FUNDCOMP is still a thing but just for 9s. That relieves some of the burden.

    We’re an FE College that delivers HE, and the HE data collection and submission is easily the worst part, by a long way. Apprenticeships are a pain data wise, but at least I understand why I’m doing every little thing required. I think the problem is that many of the fields we have to collect for OfS don’t impact on funding for us, so seem completely pointless. The reason for collection is entirely opaque.

    Interesting about prescribed HE, I’ll make sure to use “recognised higher education” with them if needed.

    It’s not possible to evidence the absence of a qualification, so what good does a certificate do? They provide a certificate for a Foundation Degree, and tell you that’s their highest qual. In truth they have a degree but just failed to mention it. Evidence doesn’t resolve that problem. If it was a documented rule we had to see certificates, fair enough, but it never has been, this is literally the first I’ve heard of it. It will take a huge amount of time, money and effort to put that process in place. Fortunately, as we move to online enrolment, that becomes easier as they can upload it.

    Also, if we were only required to return all this for “recognised higher education” I could stomach it better. Why are we obliged to provide this vast amount of data for a one year, evening, level 4 qualification that we only deliver for 90 hours, and that OfS have nothing to do with?


    Ruth CJ

    Today they have said that an HE student repeating a year at the end, must have their original enrolment closed (they didn’t specify with what Status/Outcome), and that we should open up a new enrolment with a new start date and new planned end date on the same aim.

    I’ve always understood that you just leave the original enrolment open, and let them go past their planned end date for a year. What does everyone else do?

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