Skills Funding Agency Guidance Note

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has published Guidance Note 6, a document which covers 2011/12 changes to funding policy arising from the publication of the Skills for Sustainable Growth: Strategy Document and Further Education - New Horizon, Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth.

Key points include:

  • Funding for Adult Safeguarded Learning, Additional Learner Support linked to the former Adult Learner Responsive budget, and Formal First Steps will be allocated in January.
  • The SFA and YPLA are working together to review arrangements for funding LDD learners. Further details regarding this will be provided in early 2011.
  • The SFA is allocating £2.4bn through the Adult Skills Budget for 2011/12. Colleges and training organisations will receive an Adult Skills Budget, based on their 2010/11 allocation (covering former Adult Learner Responsive, Train to Gain and Apprenticeships), adjusted to reflect the funding available in 2011/12, and actual delivery in 2009/10 and 2010/11. At a national level, the funding available equates to a 1% reduction overall in the Adult Skills Budget in the 2011/12 academic year, although at college and training organisation level this will vary.
  • Post-19 funding rates will reduce by 4.3% in 2011/12 compared with the 2010/11 funding year. In 2011/12, the national base rate of funding per Standard Learner Number (SLN) for post-19 adult skills provision will be £2,615. For 25+ Apprenticeships this will be £2,092.
  • 2.5% of providers' indicative allocation will be used for Job Outcome Incentive Payments. The SFA will consult with sector representatives on the details of how colleges and training organisations can earn this funding, by the end of January, with a view to setting out the process and measures by the end of March 2011;
  • There is an expectation that the sector will increase the level of income secured from individuals and employers during 2011/12. If it appears that levels of fee income are not increasing, then the SFA may intervene. This could entail reflecting non-collection of fees in future allocations. The SFA will consult with the sector in January 2011 to determine 'how best to apply this'
  • The Minimum Contract Level (MCL) threshold for 2011/12 has been set at £500,000. Any decision to increase the threshold in future years will be subject to an impact assessment of the introduction of MCL in 2011/12. General FE colleges, specialist colleges (e.g. of Art and Design), large employers contracted to the National Employer Service, sixth form colleges and higher education institutions are exempt from this
  • Minimum Levels of Performance will continue to be calculated and applied at an aggregate level across all ages, for each provider. Some of the thresholds have been increased reflecting 'Ministers' desire to continue to drive out poor provision and reflect the increases in success rates'
  • SFA allocations to sixth form colleges will include funding to cover the costs of 16-18 year olds
    turning 19, as well as all 19+ provision. The SFA is working with the YPLA to agree that this
    funding is transferred to them so that Sixth Form Colleges have a single relationship for all their
    funding.

Source: LSIS Policy Update 17/12/2010 to 13/01/2011


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