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ESFA: Inform April 2019

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1. Hub corner

1.1 Action: Individualised Learner Record (ILR) R09 for 2018 to 2019

The ILR R09 data collection for the 2018 to 2019 funding year is now open and will close at 6pm on Tuesday 7 May. As always, we recommend that you submit your data as early as possible and that you review your validation and funding reports that are made available to you on the Hub.

1.2 Action: earnings adjustment statement (EAS)

EAS for the 2018 to 2019 funding year is now open. If you need to submit an EAS and you do not have access to this on the Data Returns tab in the Hub, please email our Service Desk via email [email protected] or call us on 0370 267 0001 to request this.

1.3 Information: ILR R08 for 2018 to 2019

In R08 we processed 6,454 files from 1,560 providers. Over 640 providers submitted their first R08 file within the final 3 days of the R08 collection window, 208 of these submitted their first R08 file on the final day.

1,581 ILR files were submitted on the last day of the collection window, which is over 24% of the total files submitted during the entire collection window.

2. Action: year-end forecast funding claim for 2018 to 2019

The year-end forecast funding claim window will open on Friday 7 June 2019.

You must submit a year-end forecast funding claim by 5pm on Wednesday 12 June 2019.

You will need to submit a claim if you receive funds through:

  • a grant for your adult education budget (AEB)
  • a grant for your 16-19 funding
  • a grant with an Advanced Learner Loans Bursary contract
  • a Learner Support contract
  • a Community Learning contract

The claim form will be available following the R10 data collection from Friday 7 June 2019 at 9am.

The form will be pre-populated with your earnings following the R10 data return. You will be able to enter additional forecasted expenditure on the form.

Once you have submitted your claim you will also be able to view it on the Manage your education and skills funding site.

You will not be able to complete the form after the deadline on Wednesday 12 June 2019.

The adult funding claims guidance and 16 to 19 education funding guidance for the 2018 to 2019 academic year can be found on GOV.UK.

A technical user guide to help you to access and complete the form will be available on GOV.UK prior to the start of the process.

It is important that you submit your year-end forecast funding claim by the deadline, 5pm Wednesday 12 June 2019. Non-compliance is a minor-breach of your contract.

If you have any queries about this please contact your territorial manager.

3. Action: funding rules monitoring update

We have published the R08 funding monitoring reports on the Hub The funding monitoring reports user guide 2018 to 2019 explains how to access the reports and any actions you must take to ensure data is correct.

We have also updated the known issues log, which tracks issues that are affecting the suite of reports, and the dates we expect to resolve these. This is in response to provider feedback on reports specifically about advanced learner loans (FRM20 – FRM24). You should refer to the user guide and the known issues log when reviewing your reports. We will continue to review provider responses and queries throughout the year to ensure the accuracy of the data we are presenting.

We wrote to some providers after the R06 ILR data return. These communications required providers to either correct data or provide us with evidence to support these funding claims. If we wrote to you, the deadline for correcting data or supplying evidence is Monday 6 May 2019 (the ILR submission close date for R09). You must respond to any communications within the timescales specified, as outlined in your funding agreement with the ESFA. Where appropriate, we will record any adult education budget (AEB) funded errors that continue to appear after this data in provisional reconciliation statements published after R10. We will continue to communicate with providers in-year.

We recently launched a survey to understand how providers are engaging with the reports and guidance we produce, and how we can continue to support providers effectively. This follows on from the survey we produced last year, which we used to enhance the current published reports and guidance. Please take the time to complete this as it helps us to ensure a quality service. The closing date is 5pm Wednesday 15 May 2019. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

If you have any further queries about this information or have a specific query regarding data contained in a report, please contact the service desk via email [email protected], marking your query for the attention of the funding rules monitoring team.

4. Information: ILR governance

Following feedback from ESFA funded training and educational institutions about the complexity of the ILR dataset and the visibility of our decision-making around changes to it, we are rolling out improved new processes.

The revised processes will deliver a more consultative approach, ensuring training and educational institutions are represented in our change planning and decisions; and drive a schedule of updates to the community on our change activities.

Additionally, we will use the new processes to review the data we are already collecting and over time refining and reducing the dataset size by streamlining or removing data where we can.

Our next step is to run a webinar to present changes to the 2019 to 2020 dataset. More details will be released via Update soon.

More information about the new processes will be released – along with the list of proposed changes for 2020 to 2021 – in the autumn.

5. Action: FE choices

The FE Choices Employer Satisfaction Survey is still open. Many thanks to all those who have responded so far. Participating providers have until Friday 3 May 2019 to upload their employer list – with contact details populated for their employers if they have not met their minimum sample size. Ipsos MORI will then begin contacting employers yet to respond to the survey.

The FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey is still open and many responses have already been received, thank you. The survey closes on Friday 3 May 2019, so there is still time to encourage your learners to have their say. All participating providers receive a report containing their results. Results are also published on GOV.UK, Find an Apprenticeship, and the National Careers Service website to help learners decide where to train.

These surveys aim to provide consistent and comparable information for learners and employers to help them make informed choices about publicly funded education and training.

6. Action: qualification achievement rates (QAR) 2017 to 2018 – provider survey reminder

We are currently gathering feedback to help us continue to improve our QAR processes and how we support you. Please let us know about your experience of the QAR 2017 to 2018 process by completing our provider feedback survey.

The survey will close on Friday 3 May 2019.

7. Information: new European Social Fund (ESF) documentation to support contracts starting from April 2019

We have published new documentation on GOV.UK to support the new ESF contracts that start from 1 April 2019. We have published a new ESF Funding Rates and Formula document alongside new guidance for your supplementary data returns.

The main funding calculation principles and qualification funding rates have not changed from the previous ESF programme. However, we have changed the format for supplementary data returns and created a new ESF supplementary data example file.

You must continue to follow the existing guidance for all your activity relating to contracts that end before April 2019.

8. Information: the apprenticeship technical funding guide has been updated

We have published the apprenticeships technical funding guide for April 2019 to March 2020.

This explains how funding will work for apprenticeship frameworks and standards starting on or after 1 April 2019, including how we will calculate provider payments.

The main changes from the previous guidance are:

  • the change to the co-investment percentage from 1 April 2019
  • the new transfer allowance from the 2018 to 2019 tax year
  • further information on how adjusted declarations to HM Revenue and Customs affect expiry of funds

For all starts before 1 April 2019 please refer to version 4 of the Apprenticeships technical funding guide for starts from May 2017.

For further information please contact the service desk.

9. Information: improved apprenticeship assessment service now live

Our new digital Apprenticeship assessment service, which improves the process for end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) submitting applications to assess standards, went live this month.

End-point assessment organisations now have a single service to access all digital activities. These include:

  • applying to assess an additional apprenticeship standard
  • viewing a pipeline of upcoming assessments
  • recording apprenticeship end-point assessment grades
  • viewing completed assessments
  • viewing the standards EPAOs are approved to assess
  • viewing organisation details
  • signing up to our API service

Read our blog to learn more about the new service.

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