Funding education for 16- to 19-year-olds

Information for 16 to 19 education institutions funded by Education and Skills Funding Agency explaining the funding system.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funds education and training for 16 to 19 year olds through institutions such as schools and academies with sixth-forms, further education colleges, special post-16 institutions (SPI), Independent Learning Providers (ILPs) and special schools. We also fund some private institutions such as those specialising in the arts for example dance and drama. Young people aged up to 25 who have a education, health and care plan (EHCP) are funded as if they are aged 16 to 19.

This section provides information on:

  • how 16 to 19 funding works
  • updates to 16 to 19 funding policy
  • what institutions can expect when they deliver 16 to 19 education funded through the ESFA, and
  • audit and other contractual requirements

This section also explains how we:

  • how we calculate 16 to 19 funding
  • the rules you should follow in using your funding
  • how we apply the funding formula to different institutions and different types of study programmes
  • the types of student support funds available, and
  • the criteria for specialist programmes that are currently running

16 to 19 funding: news and updates

You can keep informed of the latest actions and information from ESFA by viewing Update, our weekly newsletter.

We also publish update articles when we release important information about 16 to 19 revenue funding allocations. Remember we also update our timeline.

16 to 19 funding: how it works

The ESFA funds study programmes for all 16 to 19 year olds. Study programmes are individually designed for each young person so they can achieve their aspirations for sustainable paid work, further or higher education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship. This section explains how 16 to 19 funding works along with some technical detail on the funding of study programmes.

16 to 19 funding: allocations to institutions

Information for colleges, providers, schools and academies about their 16 to 19 revenue funding allocations.

16 to 19 funding: market entry

Information about how to get ESFA funding for 16 to 19 education and training.

  1. 16 to 19 education: market entry

16 to 19: audit and other contractual requirements

Information about the intervention actions available to the ESFA.

16 to 19 funding: guidance

All 16 to 19 education institutions receiving ESFA formula funding should comply with the following guidance documents.

High needs students

Information on high needs funding for local authorities and institutions, including academies, for students aged 16 to 18, or 19 to 25 with an EHCP is available on GOV.UK. Guidance for young people with high needs aged 19 and above without an EHCP is also available .

Home educated students and 14- to 16-year-olds in FE and sixth-form colleges

Students aged 14- to 16-years-old are able to directly enrol at further education and sixth-form colleges to study high-quality vocational qualifications alongside general qualifications including English and mathematics within the Key Stage 4 curriculum. Students and parents can find details of participating colleges on the ‘enrolment of 14- to 16-year-olds in full-time further education’ page of GOV.UK.

We also fund home educated students of compulsory school age when they do a part time course at a FE institution. Home educated students are also known as elective home educated (EHE) students. Further information on funding of 14 to 16 year olds can be found in the guidance below.

16 to 19 education: independent learning providers

Information for Independent Learning Providers (ILPs) funded by ESFA.

Delivering traineeships through ESFA funding

We fund traineeships through institutions having a contract/grant funding agreement. The following information is designed to support institutions in understanding traineeships for the 2018 to 2019 academic year.

  1. ESFA funded 16 to 18 traineeships

Industry placements

Information for 16 to 19 institutions for industry placement capacity and delivery funding.

16 to 19 funding: financial support for students

We fund a number of schemes that provide financial support for young people to help them participate in education and training. These ‘student support’ schemes can help eligible young people with the costs of their education. The schemes are:

Published 10 March 2014