We are planning provision for 2013/14 Academic Year and we are getting increasingly concerned at the lack of information we have to refer to.
We have been given our allocation so we know what funding target we have to reach. However, the Simplified Funding Rates Catalogue (that tells us what aims are funded and at what rate) has not been updated since 18th February and contains incorrect values for Awards and low-credit qualifications. Some qualification we would like to offer are not on the catalogue but we don’t know whether that is because they will not be funded or that they just haven’t been added yet.
What are we expected to do? Assume it will be funded and plan for a course that we may need to close if it isn’t? Or not plan only to find out we’ve missed an opportunity.
There is also the concern regarding ESOL qualifications. Pete Smith attended a webinar with Nick Linford on 16th April and told us that guidance relating to ESOL would be issued by the end of April.
Have I missed it? Or has it, as I suspect, not been issued yet?
Have any other providers got any tips? I’m fielding questions from Managers who don’t know whether they can run the courses they want to. And if we miss our funding target we’ll be penalised for not planning our provision properly!
All I could find is in the Funding Rules 2013/2014, annex 1 contains the ESOL qualifications the SFA will fund in general terms this should assist you with some of your planning.
They just do not seem to understand the lead in time that providers require for curriculum planning and that we do need to market our provision to prospective students well before the start of the year.
At the College Group meeting yesterday, the SFA advised that an updated rates catalogue should be out in the next fortnight. Hopefully that will contain clarification on any missing qualifications and update the incorrect rates.