16 to 19 education: funding allocations

Information about how 16 to 19 funding is allocated for colleges, providers, schools and academies.

16 to 19 funding allocations

Colleges, providers, schools and academies receive annual funding allocations from the Education Funding Agency (EFA).

Funding is calculated using the EFA national funding formula that incorporates factors including student numbers, student retention, higher cost subjects, disadvantaged students and area costs.

This is supplemented by additional funding for high needs students, bursaries and other financial support awarded to individual students and, currently, formula protection funding (FPF). FPF was introduced in the academic year 2013 to 2014 to take into account changes from previous funding arrangements. FPF will be phased out over the next 6 years with the first reduction made in 2016 to 2017 and the last payments in 2020 to 2021.

Institutions are required to supply data returns to EFA in order that their allocation for the following year can be calculated.

Student number statements

Institutions receive a student number statement by the end of January each year. These are a provisional allocation of student numbers for the next academic year and the funding factors which will apply in calculating the allocation. Also provided is an Allocation Calculation Toolkit (ACT), the ACT is a spreadsheet that displays information from your data returns. It shows how the funding factors and student number statement was calculated. This is an opportunity for institutions to check and comment on the figures and raise any queries prior to the final funding allocation being produced.

Final funding allocations

Institutions receive final funding allocations, including bursary funding, for post-16 students, by the end of March each year. Information on the allocations process and how funding is calculated can be found on the 16 to 19 funding guidance page.

A full list of allocations to all individual further education (FE) institutions, schools and academies is published every October.

Annual requirements for institutions

Institutions are required to submit accurate data returns to the EFA. The data is used to calculated funding allocations for the following academic year. This information is mainly collected via the individualised learner record (ILR), for FE institutions, and the autumn school census, for schools and academies.

If you would like to learn more about how we use the data returned in the autumn census to calculate funding for school and academies, you may be interested in the interactive post-16 school census tool. The interactive tool has been created to help schools and academies submit an accurate autumn census return.

Allocations process 2017 to 2018 academic year

We are in preparation for the 2017 to 2018 academic year post-16 funding allocations and aim to publish further information on the timeline and data sources in October.

Allocations process 2016 to 2017 academic year

As in previous years, we have based your funding allocation for 2016 to 2017 on your 2015 to 2016 lagged student numbers. The final allocation statement includes a breakdown of the calculation and you will find a detailed explanatory note under the post-16 funding allocations supporting documents for 2016 to 2017 section.

All files are located in the EFA Information Exchange: ‘Revenue Funding’ folder, under ‘AY 2016-17’.

Allocations for 2016 to 2017 were sent out to most institutions by the end of March 2016. The deadline for business cases relating to those allocations for most institutions was 8 April 2016. For special post-16 institutions, non-maintained special schools and commercial and charitable providers the deadline for submitting a business case was 22 April 2016.

If you have any queries about the figures or calculations in your final allocation statement, please contact us via

EFA enquiries

For all enquiries for the Education Funding Agency

Changes to EFA funding for 16 to 19 year olds academic year 2016 to 2017

Changes to EFA funding for 16 to 19 year olds - 2016 to 2017

Allocations timeline

Month Activity
October ILR R14 deadline (23 October) – final return for 2014 to 2015
October Consultation closed (23 October) on views on proposals for non-maintained special schools and special post-16 institutions (SPIs) 2016 to 2017 high needs funding allocations
October School autumn census return date (28 October)
October Local authorities and institutions continue discussions and seek agreement on 2016 to 2017 high needs place numbers
October Student number estimates for some academies collected through the Revenue Funding Data Collection (RFDC)
November Local authorities submit their 2016 to 2017 high needs place change requests to the EFA (16 November)
November Final deadline for any changes to school autumn census return (25 November)
November Outcomes of Spending Review announced (25 November)
December ILR R04 deadline (4 December) – first EFA return for 2015 to 2016
December Publication of dedicated schools grant (DSG), schools block and high needs block allocations for 2016 to 2017 (prior to academy recoupment)
January Annual funding letter to the post-16 sector confirming 2016 to 2017 allocations timeline and processes
January Funding factors, lagged student numbers and allocation calculation toolkit for 2016 to 2017 sent to most FE institutions (where R04 is used for calculating lagged numbers)
January Final high needs place numbers confirmed for 2016 to 2017
February Funding factors, lagged student numbers and Allocation Calculation Toolkit for 2016 to 2017 sent to schools and academies
February ILR R06 deadline (4 February)
February Allocations, including for high needs place numbers, notified to most institutions
March Allocations notified to all charitable and commercial providers and other institutions where lagged numbers are based on R06
April Deadline for institutions to return any business cases in relation to exceptional circumstances affecting their allocation (excluding high needs)
May/June All business cases reviewed and institutions informed of outcomes
June to August Funding agreements/contracts issued to institutions either directly or through the lead contact. Agreements/contracts signed and returned by funded organisation
August/September First payment made to LAs (in respect of schools with sixth forms) and directly to academies, colleges and other institutions

Data sources

The data sources we have used to calculate 2016 to 2017 funding allocations are detailed in the tables below and this was confirmed in our annual funding letter.

Table 1: Data sources for student numbers

Institution type Method of determining number of students attracting funding
Schools, Academies, Free Schools, Studio Schools, University technical colleges Lagged numbers based on 2015 to 2016 student numbers in autumn 2015 census. Some academies are funded on estimated numbers where their funding agreement states this.
FE colleges, some other FE or Higher Education institutions The starting point is the number of valid students with a census date of 1 November 2015 based on R04 for 2015 to 2016. This is multiplied by the ratio of 1 November to all-year student numbers based on the R04 return for 2014 to 2015 and the final R14 return for that year. We will also compare this figure with the student numbers calculated from R06, both the year-to-date (as at 1 February) figure and the number recruited by 1 November. Where there is a significant increase or decrease in student numbers we may revise the allocation accordingly. This could result in a delay to issuing allocations for institutions involved.
Commercial and Charitable Providers The approach is similar to that for 2015 to 2016 allocations, that is, depending on the profile of recruitment for the individual provider we either use a 12 month rolling figure for February 2015 to January 2016 based on R14 (2014 to 2015) and R06 (2015 to 2016) data; or the same approach as set out above for FE colleges. The use of R06 data means that CCPs receive allocations slightly later than colleges, schools and academies.
Higher education institutions, Local Authorities, some other FE institutions Where use of in-year data was not appropriate, a full year figure will be used based on, R14 (2014 to 2015) or HESA data for 2014 to 2015
Maintained Special Schools, Special Academies, Special Free Schools Published 2015 to 2016 academic year high needs place numbers, updated to reflect final outcomes of the 2016 to 2017 local authority high needs place change request process.
Special Post-16 Institutions, Non Maintained Special Schools SPI allocations were based upon the individualised learner record (ILR) data and 16 to 19 average funding factors, with high needs place numbers (element 2) taken from the 2014 to 2015 R14 ILR return and lagged student numbers (element 1) from the 2015 to 2016 R04 ILR return. New institutions were allocated student and high needs place numbers on the higher of their 2015 to 2016 allocated numbers or their 2015 to 2016 R04 ILR data. NMSS allocations were based on the pupil number data from the January 2015 school census.
New institutions Year 1 – starting point 1/3 of capacity, any variation from this would require a business case by February 2016, Year 2 – double the actual recruitment in year 1 (2015 to 2016 Autumn Census/R04), Year 3 – institution is funded on lagged numbers.

Table 2: Data sources for formula elements

Institution type Size of programme/Retention/Programme cost weighting Disadvantage - Block 1 factor Disadvantage - Block 2 instances Large programmes Condition of Funding
Institutions making ILR return R14 2014 to 2015 R14 2014 to 2015 2013 to 2014 Young People’s matched admin data set (YPMAD) 2013 to 2014 Young People’s matched admin data set (YPMAD) R14 2014 to 2015
Institutions making census return Autumn census 2015 (end-year 2014 to 2015 data) Autumn census 2015 (end-year 2014 to 2015 data) 2013 to 2014 Young People’s matched admin data set (YPMAD) 2013 to 2014 Young People’s matched admin data set (YPMAD) Autumn census 2015 (end-year 2014 to 2015 data)
Institutions making HESA return HESA 2014 to 2015 HESA 2014 to 2015 Average for HEIs making ILR returns Based on exceptional business cases where appropriate HESA 2014 to 2015
Institutions with no historical data National average for institution type LA average for institution type National average for institution type No impact No impact

This information is not applicable for maintained special schools, non maintained special schools, special academies, special free schools, these institutions are funded at £10,000 per place for Element 1 and 2.

The arrangements for SPIs will be communicated in February 2016.


Published allocations