Information about how 16 to 19 funding is allocated to colleges, providers, schools and academies.

16 to 19 funding allocations

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funds schools, academies, colleges and independent learning providers. We calculate funding using the 16 to 19 national funding formula. The formula is driven by student recruitment and includes factors which reflect student retention, higher cost subjects, disadvantaged students and area costs. The 16 to 19: how it works page includes further information about each element within the 16 to 19 national funding formula.

Funding calculated using the national funding formula is also supplemented by additional funding for high needs students, bursaries and other financial support awarded to individual students.

16 to 19 revenue funding information for academic year 2020 to 2021

We have published information on the changes to the 16 to 19 funding methodology for 2020 to 2021. We will publish information and updates to the timeline as we deliver funding allocations for 2020 to 2021.

We have produced a video to help you understand the changes to your revenue funding allocation statement for 2020 to 2021. Please watch this video and visit our supporting documents page for further guidance about your allocation statement.

Business cases for major data errors

Update to business case deadlines and communicating outcomes

When to submit a business case

The deadline for business cases is 30 April 2020, however we know that providers are working through exceptional circumstances due to COVID-19 and this might make it difficult to meet the deadline.

Cases received with full information before 30 April 2020

  • we still aim to communicate outcomes for simple cases within 20 working days

  • complex cases can take longer to investigate, and we still aim to communicate outcomes for these before the end of June

Cases received after 1 May 2020 or with missing information

  • we will consider cases with missing information or those received after 30 April 2020

  • we aim to let you know the outcomes as soon as we are able, but for some of the more complex or late cases you might receive decisions from July onwards

When to submit a business case

You should only submit business cases where you have made a major error in your 16 to 19 schools census or individualised learner record (ILR) data. This should be by exception and only after you have received your funding allocation statement.

When not to submit a case

This process does not cover business cases for high needs place funding for institutions that are within scope of the high needs place change notification process. This process is now complete and we will not review any requests for changes.

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How to submit a case

You should contact us through our online enquiry form, clearly stating the nature of your business case. We will send you a pre-populated template when you contact us to make sure we have all the evidence we need.

Thresholds for business case

We apply standard minimum thresholds to decide whether we will consider a case. The thresholds for academic year 2020 to 2021 are:

  • an overall impact of 5% on total funding or £100,000, whichever is lower, for cases affecting lagged student numbers, full time/part time split, funding factors and for the condition of funding

  • we will review all other cases individually

Allocations timeline

Please check out the latest news column on the timeline for regular updates.

MonthActivityLatest news
November 2019We will issue R14 statements for 2018 to 2019 delivery to colleges and independent learning providersWe have issued R14 statements for 2018 to 2019 delivery and these are available on Document Exchange
December 20195 December 2019 is the ILR R04 deadline – this is the first 16 to 19 data return for 2019 to 2020The R04 data return is now closed
December 2019Publication of dedicated schools grant schools block and high needs block allocations for 2020 to 2021 (prior to academy recoupment)We have published the dedicated schools grant schools block and high needs block allocations for 2020 to 2021
January 2020We will start to publish guidance to support funding allocations. We will issue the allocation calculation toolkits containing funding factors to FE colleges. Outcomes of the high needs place change process published for 2020 to 2021We have published the guidance to support funding allocations
February 20206 February 2020 is the ILR R06 deadline. We will issue the allocation calculation toolkits containing funding factors and student numbers to schools and academies. We expect to start issuing allocations, including high needs place numbers, to most school sixth forms, academies and FE collegesWe have issued the allocation calculation toolkits as planned
March 2020We will issue allocations to all special post-16 institutions, non-maintained special schools, independent learning providers and higher education institutions that supply HESA data. We will also issue any remaining allocations to school sixth forms, academies and further education collegesWe have issued all allocation statements to providers
April 2020The business case deadline is 30 April 2020 for all institutions to return any business cases in relation to significant data error or exceptional circumstances affecting their allocation. This excludes high needs place numbers because we will open a 2-week window for enquiries in January 2020 following publication of the outcomes of the high needs place change process. We will prioritise processing any business cases that we receive with full information, by the deadline. For institutions that submit a late or incomplete business case, we will not process these during the main business case process. This means we will not reflect any changes in your initial payments at the start of the year. If your case is successful, the change to your allocation will be treated as an in-year adjustment and will take place from September 2020 
May/June 2020In May, we will review and process business cases received by the deadline with full and complete information and communicate these outcomes by the end of June 
July/August 2020Funding agreements/contracts issued to institutions either directly or through the lead contact. Agreements/contracts signed and returned by funded organisation 
August/September 2020First payment made to local authorities (in respect of schools with sixth forms) and directly to academies, colleges and other institutions 

Data sources

Data sources for 16 to 19 and post-16 high needs funding for academic year 2020 to 2021

This section sets out the methods we will use to determine the number of students attracting funding in 2020 to 2021. We have set this out by institution type.

School, academies, free schools, studio schools, university technical colleges

  • lagged numbers based on 2019 to 2020 students in autumn 2019 census. We fund some academies on estimated numbers where their funding agreement states this.

FE colleges, some other FE or higher education institutions

  • we take the number of eligible students with a census date of 1 November 2019 based on R04 (2019 to 2020). We multiply this by the ratio of 1 November to all-year student numbers based on R04 (2018 to 2019) and the final R14 return for that year. We compare this figure with the student numbers calculated from R06 (2019 to 2020), both the year-to-date (as at 1 February) figure and the number recruited by 1 November.

Independent learning providers

  • depending on the profile recruitment for the individual provider, we will either use1) a twelve month rolling figure for February 2019 to January 2020 based on R14 (2018 to 2019) and R06 (2019 to 2020) data, 2) the same approach as set out above for FE colleges, or 3) the average of approaches 1) and 2).

There may be a delay in issuing allocations for institutions where we use R06 data.

Higher education institutions returning HESA data; local authorities, some other FE institutions

  • where the use of in-year data is not appropriate, we will use a full year figure based on R14 (2018 to 2019) or HESA data (2018 to 2019).

Maintained special schools

  • we allocate post-16 high needs place funding directly to local authorities. Local authorities then determine the post-16 place funding to allocate to individual maintained special schools.

Special academies

  • we use published 2019 to 2020 academic year high needs place numbers, revised by place changes notified to the ESFA by local authorities in November 2019.

Special post-16 institutions (SPI)

  • we will allocate programme funding (element 1) and high needs funding (element 2) using counts of valid students from 2019 to 2020 ILR R06 data returns. We will use a census date of the 1 February 2020.

Note that for those institutions normally subject to lagged funding, the lagged approach does not apply where there is a material change in the volume of provision offered by the institution. In those cases we remove the institution from the lagged approach, and funded student numbers are calculated as set out in the funding rates and formula guidance.

Formula elements

This attachment shows the data sources for formula elements Data source formula elements (PDF, 103KB, 1 page)

16 to 19 revenue funding allocations process academic year 2019 to 2020

We have published a video explaining the allocations process for academic year 2019 to 2020.

16 to 19 funding allocations process

Allocations timeline

The 2019 to 2020 revenue funding allocations timeline is now complete.

If you have any queries please contact us using our online enquiry form.

Resources

Published allocations

Published 10 March 2014
Last updated 2 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. We have updated the Business cases for major data errors section for 16 to 19 funding.

  2. We have produced a video to help you understand your revenue funding allocation statement for 2020 to 2021

  3. We have updated our advice on when to submit a business case for major data errors

  4. We have updated the ‘When not to submit a case’ section because the high needs place change notification process is now complete.

  5. We have updated our timeline

  6. We have added a how to submit business cases section

  7. We have updated the page with data sources for 16 to 19 and post-16 high needs funding for 2020 to 2021

  8. We have updated our timeline for activities completed in November

  9. We have updated our timeline and information for academic year 2020 to 2021

  10. We have added a link to the allocations data for 2019 to 2020

  11. The allocations timeline has been updated

  12. We have updated the page with the latest information for academic year 2020 to 2021

  13. We have updated the allocations timetable.

  14. We have updated this guidance with information for special post-16 institutions.

  15. 16 to 19 revenue funding allocations process for academic year 2019 to 2020 has been added.

  16. 16 to 19 allocation timeline updated.

  17. A video on the 16 to 19 funding allocations process for 2018 to 2019 has been added.

  18. 16 to 19 allocation timeline updated.

  19. 16 to 19 allocation process for 2018 to 2019 has been updated.

  20. 16 to 19 funding allocation timeline updated.

  21. Added a new section to the allocation timeline.

  22. A video explaining the funding allocations for 2017 to 2018 has been added.

  23. This page has been updated to reflect 2017 to 2018 allocation cycle

  24. Allocations process for academic year 2017 to 2018 has been updated.

  25. Added link to the 16 to 19 funding allocations for the 2016 to 2017 academic year

  26. General update to page.

  27. Section under Allocations process 2016 to 2017 academic year has been added.

  28. Changes to EFA funding for 16 to 19 year olds - 2016 to 2017 video has been added

  29. updated information and tables added to 16 to 19 funding allocations

  30. Explanatory note further education student number statement - academic year 2015 to 2016 has been added

  31. Calendar updated - funding video added

  32. 2014 to 2015 allocation explanatory notes uploaded to page

  33. First published.

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