Guidance

16 to 19 funding: large programme uplift

Information on the large programme uplift

Introduction

This note sets out the conditions under which the ESFA will pay a large programme uplift. It provides further information to institutions to support them in understanding and planning for the large programme uplift.

Latest updates

We have updated the A level criteria for large programmes. Now, students taking further maths A level will qualify for large programme funding when they achieve a grade C in this subject and the remainder of their results are at grade B or better. More information is in the large A level programmes section.

Purpose

The large programme uplift contributes to the costs of large study programmes that are of high quality and that provide substantial stretch and challenge.

When study programmes were introduced in the academic year 2013 to 2014, funding was based on the average programme size being 600 hours. However, we recognise that some study programmes have to be larger in order to prepare students for further study or work.

Definition of the large programme uplift

The large programme uplift reflects that some study programmes have to be larger than 600 hours.

The large programme uplift is only available for high quality study programmes that provide students with substantial stretch and challenge. This includes:

  • programmes of 4 or more full A levels
  • the full level 3 International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • some large, level 3, Technical Baccalaureate (TechBacc) programmes

Students have to achieve a minimum grade to be eligible for the uplift.

Details about programmes that meet the TechBacc measure are available on GOV.UK.

We will apply an uplift of either 10% or 20% to the full time national funding rate per student to large programmes that meet the criteria set out in this note. The uplifts will be calculated based on the national funding rate for the relevant academic year.

The uplift is only paid for 2 years for each student aged 16 and 17 (academic years 12 and 13 only). Large programmes that take longer than 2 years do not get any additional uplift.

Students covered by the large programme uplift

The large programme uplift only applies to 16 and 17 year olds studying large programmes that meet the size and achievement criteria set out in this note.

Students aged 19 to 24 who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan can qualify for a large programme uplift.

Students on traineeships, apprenticeships, and supported internships do not qualify for a large programme uplift.

Large A level programmes

Large A level programmes (identified by 2 year linear A level qualifications) will attract an uplift.

AS levels do not count towards the large programme uplift. Linear A levels in General Studies and Critical Thinking are also excluded.

Pre-U Qualifications

A Pre-U Principal or Research subject certificate graded at M1 or higher (not including 1 year short programmes) is equivalent to 1 A level for the purpose of the uplift. The Pre-U certificate has to be part of a programme that is equivalent to 4 A levels or more to qualify. This can be all Pre-U certificates or a mixture of Pre-U certificates and A levels within a large programme. Pre-Us are listed on Learning Aims Reference Service (LARS) and can be found by searching for “Pre-U”.

Study programmes of 4 A levels

Students who achieve 4 full linear A level qualifications at grade B or better, in each A level, will qualify for an uplift of 10%.

Study programmes of 5 A levels

Students who achieve 5 full linear A level qualifications at grade B or better, in each A level, will qualify for an uplift of 20%.

A student who is enrolled on a study programme of 5 full A levels but only achieved grade B or better in 4 of them will attract the 10% uplift.

Further maths A level

We will be introducing a change to the large programme uplift.

Up to 2017 to 2018, students studying A level further maths as part of a large programme (for example 4 or 5 A levels) attract the appropriate large programme uplift only if they achieve a grade B or better in all of the subjects. We are changing this so that students taking further maths A level will qualify for large programme funding when they achieve a grade C in this subject and the remainder of their results are at grade B or better. This should remove the disincentive identified in Sir Adrian Smith’s review of post 16 maths not to enrol students on further maths.

For example:

Qualification title Qualification type Exam grade  
GCE A Level in Biology GCE A level B Qualifies for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Chemistry GCE A level B Qualifies for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Further Mathematics GCE A level B Qualifies for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Physics GCE A level B Qualifies for large programme uplift
Qualification title Qualification type Exam grade  
GCE A Level in Biology GCE A level B Qualifies for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Chemistry GCE A level B Qualifies for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Further Mathematics GCE A level C Qualifies for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Physics GCE A level B Qualifies for large programme uplift
Qualification title Qualification type Exam grade  
GCE A Level in Biology GCE A level B Doesn’t qualify for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Chemistry GCE A level B Doesn’t qualify for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Further Mathematics GCE A level B Doesn’t qualify for large programme uplift
GCE A Level in Physics GCE A level C Doesn’t qualify for large programme uplift

This will apply to students starting their study programme in academic year 2018 to 2019, feeding into funding allocations from academic year 2022 to 2023.

Large International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes

The full level 3 International Baccalaureate Diploma is a large programme as the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) stipulates that the teaching time for the IB must add up to 1,450 to 1,500 hours across the 2 years of the programme.

Students who complete the full level 3 Diploma and achieve 28 or more points will attract a 20% uplift to the full time national funding rate for the year in which the allocation is made. 28 points is broadly equivalent to grade B at A level.

If a student achieves a pass with 24 points, but does not achieve 28 points, then no uplift will be paid.

Large TechBacc programmes

The combination of qualifications recognised by the TechBacc performance tables measure attracts an uplift.

The uplift applies to large TechBacc programmes that include a qualification in the Tech level performance table category, a level 3 maths qualification and an Extended Project Qualification.

Details of programmes that meet the TechBacc measure are available on GOV.UK.

Large TechBacc programmes equivalent to 4 A levels

Full TechBacc programmes that are the equivalent of 4 A levels in size get a 10% uplift to the national funding rate per student.

We will pay the uplift for students who successfully complete TechBacc programmes that include the extended project qualification and either:

  • a Tech level that is a minimum of 900 GLH plus A level maths, or
  • a Tech level that is a minimum of 1,050 GLH plus AS/Core Maths

GLH (guided learning hours) are awarding body recommended hours and are only used for the purpose of identifying large programmes. Funding is based on planned hours.

Large TechBacc programmes equivalent to the full International Baccalaureate

Full TechBacc programmes that are the equivalent or larger of the full level 3 IB get a 20% uplift.

We pay the uplift for students who successfully complete TechBacc programmes that include the extended project qualification and either:

  • a Tech level that is a minimum of 1,020 GLH plus A level maths, or
  • a Tech level that is a minimum of 1,170 GLH plus AS/Core maths

GLH (guided learning hours) are awarding body recommended hours and are only used for the purpose of identifying large programmes. Funding is based on planned hours.

Qualifications that count towards the Tech level element of the TechBacc measure

The Tech level performance table category covers rigorous advanced technical qualifications at level 3 that are on a par with A levels and recognised by employers. They equip students with specialist knowledge and skills, enabling entry to an Apprenticeship, other skilled employment or a technical degree.

DfE publishes a list of the qualifications in this category every year.

TechBacc grading

We are not planning to take into account the grade achieved for any of the elements of the TechBacc until grading is a requirement for all 3 types of qualification within the TechBacc measure.

Attainment data from the examination of these qualifications in academic year 2017 to 2018 will be used to calculate allocations from academic year 2020 to 2021, as the attainment data from academic year 2016 to 2017 will not be available until early 2019. This is too late for the 2019 to 2020 allocations. Prior to 2020 to 2021 allocations payment will be calculated on the number of students passing all 3 qualifications.

TechBacc policy

General information about the TechBacc policy is available in the TechBacc policy statement.

16 to 19 performance table measures can be found within the accountability measures via this link to the Technical Guidance.

Summary of requirements

Uplift % Requirements
10% 4 full linear A levels (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or above, or 3 at grade B or above and further maths at grade C
20% 5 full linear A levels (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or above, or 4 at grade B or above and further maths at grade C
10% The full level 3 International Baccalaureate Diploma at 28 points or above
10% TechBacc programmes that are the equivalent of 4 A levels in size, when the student passes all of the qualifications, including a level 3 maths qualification and the extended project
20% TechBacc programmes that are the size of the full level 3 International Baccalaureate, when the student passes all of the qualifications, including a level 3 maths qualification and the extended project

How the uplift will be calculated

To identify students who have earned the large programme uplift, we will use attainment data from the latest full year. We will use the learning aims recorded for students in year 12 and double the uplift so that applies for both years of the programme.

We will calculate a total uplift funding value and add this to the end of the funding formula. The uplift is applied after retention, programme cost weighting and disadvantage has been applied to the national funding rate per student. The uplift will attract the area cost uplift where it applies.

Allocations will show the numbers separately for those who get the 10% uplift and those who get the 20% uplift.

Figure 1 – Example: How the uplift relates to the funding formula

Example: How the uplift relates to the funding formula

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publishing.team@education.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

As the criteria for implementing the uplift includes student attainment, which comes from data matched in from the National Pupil Database, there will be a 3 year lag. This means, for example, that for allocations for the academic year 2018 to 2019 we will use attainment data from 2015 to 2016.

Institutions will receive detailed advice applicable to each academic year in the general advice note supplied with their allocation.

Data collection

There are no additional data collection requirements for the large programme uplift. All large programmes must be accurately recorded to meet the criteria for the uplift in future funding allocations.

Institutions who believe this methodology does not reflect their delivery will be able to submit business cases in the allocations window (announced each year). Successful challenge to a large programme uplift must demonstrate that we have not correctly interpreted historical attainment data. Incorrect recording of data is not grounds for a successful challenge.

Queries on the large programmes uplift

ESFA enquiries

For all enquiries for the Education and Skills Funding Agency

Published 15 December 2014
Last updated 27 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated information on the inclusion of further maths A levels.
  2. Updated information added for 2016 to 2017
  3. First published.