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1. Hub Corner
1.1 Information: R03 for 2018 to 2019
In R03 we processed 6,973 files from 1,498 providers. Over 480 providers submitted their first R03 file within the final 3 days of the R03 collection window, 205 of these submitted their first R01 file on the final day. 1,848 ILR files were submitted on the last day of the collection window, which is over 26% of the total files submitted during the entire collection window.
1.2 Information: individualised learner record (ILR): R04 for 2018 2019
The ILR R04 data collection for the 2018 to 2019 funding year is now open and will close at 6pm on Thursday 6 December. 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.
1.3 Information: earnings adjustment statement (EAS)
EAS for the 2018 to 2019 funding year is now open. If you need to submit an earnings adjustment statement (EAS) and you do not have access to this on the Data Returns tab in the Hub, please email our service desk at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 0370 267 0001 to request this.
2. Information: 2017 to 2018 Final Reconciliation Statements
Thank you for submitting your 2017 to 2018 final funding claim for the grant-funded allocations listed below:
- a grant for your Adult Education Budget (AEB) – non-procured
- a grant with an Advanced Learner Loans Bursary contract
- a Learner Support contract
- a Community Learning contract
The reconciliation statements will shortly be available for you to view on the Manage your education skills and funding portal. They set out what funding you must repay and, where applicable, any additional funding we will pay.
We will process the final reconciliation adjustments for 2017 to 2018 in December 2018. Any under-delivery will be recovered against your subsequent adult funding payments (excluding 16-19 funding) from December 2018.
3. Action: additional funding for 2017 to 2018 contracts
We have published details of the over-delivery that we are funding for 2017 to 2018. This is for both grant-funded providers and contract-funded providers and it covers apprenticeships, adult education budget (including learner support) and advanced learner loans bursary funding.
If you are funded through a contract, you must sign your contract variation in the Manage your Education Skills and Funding portal before we make payment. Contract variations will be issued during December.
4. Information: apprenticeship completion payments
We plan to update the apprenticeship funding calculation at R04 to withhold any completion payments that do not meet the criteria in the funding rules. The rules state that co-investment due to be paid by the employer must be collected and recorded in the ILR for the completion payment to be paid.
This change will also apply to any completion payments already made in the 2018 to 2019 funding year and where necessary payments will be recovered. We will also identify and recover any completion payments paid to providers in 2017 to 2018 funding year that were not compliant with funding rules. All adjusted payments will be made as part of the December payment run.
Providers must ensure all co-investment is collected and recorded on the ILR in a timely manner as stated in the funding rules. The co-investment you are required to collect is shown on your apprenticeship funding reports (Apps Co-Investment Contributions Report). The funding rules monitoring reports for 2018 to 2019 will be published in the Hub from R04 onwards - report 12 will identify if insufficient co-investment has been collected and reported in your latest ILR data submission.
If you have any questions about this, please contact us at SDE.email@example.com or telephone on 0370 267 0001.
5. Information: College Mergers – data matching
We have previously communicated about planned improvements to manage data changes following providers that merge. At R04 we will implementing a further change to the apprenticeship service for those colleges that merged in the 2017 to 2018 funding year. This will resolve data matching errors that occur due to changes in UKPRN and delivery locations following a college merger. This means that, subject to successful data matching, payments will be backdated to R01 in the December payment for any college impacted.
To receive payments, providers will need to ensure they have submitted the learner details in your 2018 to 2019 ILR file using the same data as previously submitted before the merger (except Learner Reference Number, if you need to change this). Providers must not use a ‘start date’ of 1 August 2018; the start date needs to be entered the same as the original start date that was used by the College before the merger. The course and price information also needs to be the same as the original record on the apprenticeship service to pass data matching rules.
Any employers working with a college impacted by the change will not need to take any action. You will see an update in your account to reflect the new college name and all other information will remain the same. If you have any questions about this, please contact us at email SDE.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 0370 267 0001.
6. Information: employer access to Recruit an apprentice
From November 2018, levy paying employers with an apprenticeship service account will notice a new “Recruitment” link on their account home page. Levy paying employers now have the option to either advertise apprenticeship vacancies through their chosen training provider, or directly access the Recruit an apprentice tool, to create and post apprenticeship vacancies on Find an apprenticeship and manage applications themselves.
Employers that do not pay the apprenticeship levy and do not have an account on the apprenticeship service can still post their vacancies on Recruit an apprentice either with the support of their training provider or by contacting the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600.
For more information read our blog on ESFA Digital.
7. Action: ILR data collections service (the Hub)
Time’s running out to have your say. We’re changing and improving the ILR Data Collections Service (the Hub).
Many of you have already responded to our requests for feedback on our intended changes, thank you. If you haven’t yet replied, but would still like to help us develop the new service by taking part in our research, please complete our survey.
8. Qualification achievement rates (QAR) 2017 to 2018
8.1 Action: provisional data window
We will publish your provisional QAR 2017 to 2018 data in the week commencing Monday 7 January 2019. The data will be available in the ‘QAR reports’ section of the Data Returns page on the Hub. You will have until 5pm on Friday 1 February to inform us of any concerns about how we have implemented our published methodology; you cannot request fixes or adjustments to your 2017 to 2018 individualised learner record (ILR) data.
If you have any queries with the provisional data, please complete a data query form, email this to the service desk at SDE.Servicedesk@education.gov.uk and ask us to assign your query to ‘ESFA Business Operations QAR’.
For further information, refer to the QAR webpage.
8.2 Information: accessing QAR data
To access your QAR data extracts and business intelligence (BI) reports on the hub you will need to ensure that your user role allows you to access the Data Returns page. Please see the hub guide to user roles and the in-year guidance for more information.
8.3 Information: business rules, dataset specifications and guide updates
We have published version 2 of the business rules, dataset specifications and data extract guides to the QAR 2017 to 2018 webpage. The main changes from version 1 of the specifications are:
- a change to the exclusion rule for aims recorded with a withdrawal reason of transfer to another aim with the same provider
- exclusion of former Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) provision
- inclusion of the High Needs Students (HNS) flag in the QAR data
9. Information: R04 data returns
We use your R04 ILR data as part of the QAR 2017 to 2018 calculations to identify:
- late notified achievements
- achievements within 90 days for the timely QAR calculations
- restarts for learners returning from a planned break
- overdue planned breaks and overdue continuing learning aims
Please review you ILR data before you make your final R04 submission. Any data issues in your R04 data may affect your QAR 2017 to 2018.
If you have completed the field ‘Learner reference number in previous year’, you must ensure you record this correctly as detailed in the ILR specification appendix B, annex 1. Incorrect data in this field may affect the QAR matching process and will affect your QAR calculation.
If you discover errors in your R14 2017 to 2018 ILR data, refer to the provider support manual section ‘correcting data errors after hard close’ for guidance.
If you have any questions, please contact the service desk at email@example.com.
10. Action: learner Satisfaction Survey 2018 to 2019
Ensure your learners have their say in the Learner Satisfaction Survey, which runs from 26 November 2018 to 4 May 2019.
11. Action: customer communications survey
We have launched a customer communications survey. The survey gives you the opportunity to tell us your views on our communications and to volunteer to help us test our plans for future improvements.
Customer opinions and feedback are important to us. They allow us to make improvements and ensure our communications are relevant and meaningful.
The survey will close at 5pm on Wednesday 12 December. It will take approximately 8 to 10 minutes to complete. We want as many views from our customers as possible. We welcome you sharing the survey with colleagues who would be interested in participating.
If you experience any technical issues, please contact us via email at Branding.ESFA@education.gov.uk.
We will analyse all findings from the survey and report on the main findings and the actions we plan to take.
Thank you for your time in completing the survey.