ESFA ESF provider relief scheme 2 (July to October 2020)

Information about support available to European Social Fund (ESF) contractors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This publication was withdrawn on

This page has been withdrawn as the scheme is now closed.

Applies to England



Applications can now be made to the ESFA ESF provider relief scheme 2 (July to October 2020).

Eligible ESF contractors should read our policy and application guidance before making an application via the email address: Documents will be issued to you via email.

The closing date for applications is midnight Thursday 9 July 2020. We will respond to your application by Thursday 6 August 2020.

To be eligible to receive support from the ESFA ESF provider relief scheme 2, you must hold an ESFA ESF contract that was procured as a service under the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and commenced on or after the 1 April 2019.

In addition to holding an eligible contract, you will be required to meet the following conditions:

  • you have delivered under the contract during the 6-month period ending 31st March 2020 and submitted ILR / supplementary data (where appropriate) in respect of this delivery

  • plan to deliver education, training, and support under the contract in July, August, September and October 2020

  • you have not furloughed the staff required to deliver the contract. (You are eligible to apply to the relief scheme if staff are fully or partially withdrawn from any claim for furlough if such a claim has been made when they return to work)

  • your eligible ‘contract for services’ with the ESFA is not under notice of termination

  • you will continue to submit claims for delivery through ILR and supplementary data returns (where appropriate) throughout the period of the relief payments being made

  • where you use subcontractors to deliver, you must agree to continue to pay them in line with your subcontractor agreement

ESF contractors should only apply where they have a demonstrated need for advance funding to maintain capacity within their contract to support learners and/or employers and respond to the economic recovery. This scheme will provide relief payments to ESF contractors in the form of repayable advances ahead of actual delivery to support the cash flow of providers with a demonstrated financial need.

We are also opening applications to the post-16 provider relief scheme.

Published 20 May 2020
Last updated 25 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. We have added updated policy documents for ESFA ESF post-16 provider relief scheme (July to October 2020) which is now open.

  2. First published.