Funding guidance for young people: sub-contracting controls

This document sets out the ESFA compliance and control requirements and advice for institutions using third parties for ESFA-funded provision.



2018 to 2019 Subcontracting control guidance changes

This guidance has been reviewed and substantially revised to make it easier to use and to strengthen requirements in a number of areas in response to issues identified in recent investigations. Concerns relate to the robustness of controls exercised by some funded institutions, the extent to which students on subcontracted provision receive the full entitlement and the attention paid to ensuring students are safeguarded. These concerns are exacerbated where the whole of a student’s programme is subcontracted and where the delivery is at a distance from the directly funded institution. This is often the case where subcontracted provision in sport is delivered alongside sports academy/sports club activities. It is essential that the delivery of the ESFA funded programme and the delivery of the academy/club’s activities are distinct from each other and that students understand the rules and requirements pertaining to each. In the document the individual improvements to the guidance are highlighted at the end of the summary.

2017 to 2018 Subcontracting control guidance

The sub-contracting controls guide for 2017 to 2018 includes the 2 significant new restrictions first introduced in 2016 to 2017. The first applies to maintained schools and academies that have whole programme sub-contracting arrangements (both local and at a distance) and the second applies to colleges sub-contracting provision wholly or substantially to a special school for provision for 19 to 25 HNS. Any institutions with sub-contracted provision are advised to ensure that they review the guidance and take the required actions.

Third party arrangements, often referred to as either sub-contracted or franchised provision, have created substantial financial and reputation issues for institutions in the past. Problems have been particularly significant where the sub-contracted service has taken place at a distance from the directly funded institution, in a different part of the country. Directly funded institutions include all institutions that are either directly funded by the ESFA or are directly funded by local authorities using ESFA funding that includes all maintained schools, academies, free schools, sixth-form and FE colleges and independent institutions.

Published 13 August 2013
Last updated 21 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. The sub-contracting document for 2018 to 2019 has been added.
  2. Funding guidance for young people: 2017 to 2018 sub-contracting controls has been added.
  3. A letter from Peter Lauener to schools and academies drawing attention to the new arrangements on post-16 sub-contracting has been added.
  4. Funding guidance for young people: 2016 to 2017 sub-contracting controls has been added.
  5. Updated 2015 to 2016 documents added
  6. Annex A added to funding guidance for young people: sub-contracting controls.
  7. First published.