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Advice: funding regulations for post-16 provision

Funding regulations for post-16 provision 2020 to 2021 and 2021 to 2022

These guidance documents cover the periods 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021 and 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022. They are our current advice for this and the next funding year.

We know that providers are working through exceptional circumstances due to coronavirus (COVID-19). We may publish further updates to this guidance document about the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our funding regulations as these become clear. We will also tell you about any changes in our ESFA Update.

You might find our published information about what colleges and other providers need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak useful.

We have made the following updates to the Funding regulations guide for 2021 to 2022:

We have made the following updates to the Funding regulations guide for 2020 to 2021:

updated student eligibility advice for EU and EEA students
updated advice for T Levels including eligible provision, planned hours and recording planned hours
updated advice on ineligible provision
updated advice on using electronic recruitment systems
updated advice where wider Government restrictions impact on student enrolment and attendance which require using electronic recruitment and delivery systems

November 2020 advice that may apply to either funding year

We are issuing some additional advice to assist any funded institutions having difficulty in calculating planned hours as part of their early ILR returns for this year. Any institution who has already resolved these issues for themselves does not need to amend any planned hours for the advice below.

In normal years, to derive planned hours for the year ahead, institutions look back at delivery in the current year and then use this information to update their course master files, which then feed through the planned hours for every student for the following year. It was clear in April that the in-year delivery for 2019 to 2020 was ‘not normal’ and in responding to the pandemic issues, it was too early for some funded institutions to determine how they should alter planned delivery for 2020 to 2021.

Some institutions have simply used their planning assumptions from the start of the 2019 to 2020 funding year for either this or the next funding year and we are content with this approach, subject to advice below. As they go through this funding year, all funded institutions are now expected to consider how they need to adapt their planning of delivery so they could put in place more up to date planning assumptions for 2021 to 2023. This includes building on the knowledge of their education delivery to individual students during both the last and this funding year.

Any funded institution intending to ‘roll over planning assumptions from 2018 to 2019’ must, however, also take into account any funding audit advice received on their funding data for either 2018 to 2019, 2019 to 2020 or 2020 to 2021 so that any issues found in those years are not simply repeated as planning assumptions for 2020 to 2022.

If, during 2020 to 2021 or 2021 to 2022, planned funded activity becomes impossible to deliver due to local ‘social distancing requirements’ (or other obstacles), we expect institutions to arrange substitute activities. For example, where external work experience becomes impossible then students should be offered alternative arrangements that help them meet their original study programme objectives.

The advice above, together with the additional advice we have already given in Annex B on evidencing planned hours to funding auditors, may also help in planning hours for students in these current difficult circumstances and avoiding any funding audit issues later in the funding year.

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