16 to 19 funding: maths and English condition of funding
Information on maths and English condition of funding for academic years 2016 to 2017, 2015 to 2016 and 2014 to 2015.
Application of tolerance to 2017 to 2018 academic year allocations
For the 2015 to 2016 academic year, funding reductions for non-compliance with the 16 to 19 English and maths policy will only apply to institutions where more than 5% of students by value without A* to C GCSE in English and/or maths did not enrol on an approved qualification in these subjects.
Funding reductions for these institutions will be removed at half the national funding rate above the tolerance, as was the case last year. Reductions will apply to 2017 to 2018 allocations.
The tolerance will be applied as illustrated below. The 2017 to 2018 academic year version of this guidance will be published early in 2017.
Ministers have decided not to impose the full funding reductions in recognition of the continued efforts of post-16 providers to deliver the 16 to 19 English and maths policy. The sector has maintained compliance at around 97% while rising to the challenge of the new requirement to enrol full time students with prior attainment of a grade D on GCSE retakes. There is still progress that needs to be made in achieving full compliance. So we will be requiring any school, college or provider that isn’t fully compliant to submit a robust compliance plan. We will provide further details to institutions about the compliance plan before the end of the autumn term.
Extension to the timetable for final legacy GCSEs and IGCSE re-sits and re-takes
Ofqual announced on 23 March that students taking legacy GCSEs will have the chance to re-sit English language and mathematics in summer 2017. GCSE exam boards will now provide 2 re-sit opportunities for legacy English language and mathematics; one in November 2016 and one in summer 2017.
Approval for teaching of legacy GCSE specifications in maths and English under the 16 to 19 maths and English condition of funding has therefore been extended to summer 2017.
The same rules will apply to IGCSEs and equivalent level 1/ level 2 certificates counting towards the EBacc measure. Re-sits of these qualifications throughout the 2016 to 2017 academic year will also be approved for teaching under the 16 to 19 maths and English condition of funding.
IGCSEs and equivalent level 1/ level 2 certificates will cease to be approved for teaching under the 16 to 19 maths and English condition of funding after 1 August 2017.
When enrolling new students on legacy GCSEs or IGCSEs in the 2016 to 2017 academic year, institutions should be mindful that there will be no opportunity to re-sit legacy GCSEs after summer 2017 if they do not secure a grade C or above, and that IGCSE re-sits will not count towards the condition of funding after summer 2017.
All students aged 16 to 18 starting or who have already started a new study programme of 150 hours or more on or after 1 August 2014 and who do not hold a GCSE grade A* to C, new GCSE 9 to 4 or equivalent qualification in maths and/or in English, are required to be studying these subjects as part of their study programme in each academic year. This also applies to students of 150 hours or more aged 19 to 25 that have a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Funding for students not meeting the condition of funding will be removed from future allocations at the national funding rate per student, for the relevant year. This will be the full time national funding rate or the relevant part time funding rate for that student. All other elements of the funding formula will not be affected.
The approved qualifications for meeting the condition of funding are either GCSE or an approved stepping stone qualification. IGCSE or level 1/ level 2 certificates counting towards the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) measure are also approved until summer 2017.
Full time students starting their study programme on or after 1 August 2015 who have prior attainment of a grade D GCSE or equivalent in maths and/or English language must be enrolled on a GCSE qualification only. Enrolment on a stepping stone qualification will not meet the condition of funding for these students.
Part time students who have a grade D GCSE or equivalent in maths and/or English can be enrolled on either a GCSE or an approved stepping stone qualification in order to meet the condition of funding.
Full time students are those on a study programme of at least 540 planned hours if age 16 to 17, or at least 450 hours if aged 18 and not identified as having high needs (ie in receipt of element 3 top up funding from local authorities).
Part time students are those on a study programme of under 540 hours if aged 16, 17 or 18 and over with high needs, or those on a study programme of under 450 hours if aged 18 and over and not high needs.
The requirements for meeting the condition of funding for maths and English are incorporated into the funding regulations for 2016 to 2017 academic year on GOV.UK.
Achieving grade A* to C GCSE or a grade 9 to 4 in the new GCSEs in both maths and English helps students to progress to further study, training and skilled employment. The maths and English condition of funding ensures that all 16 to 19 year olds have the best chance of achieving this standard, and are given every opportunity and the necessary support to do so.
To recognise the progress that students make in maths and English, a new headline progress measure will be included in 2016 performance tables (covering academic years 2013 to 2014, 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016) that will hold schools and colleges to account for the progress of students in maths and English where they did not achieve at least a grade C GCSE or equivalent by the end of key stage 4. The methodology of this progress measure is aligned as closely as possible with the condition of funding rules.
Grade D requirement to the condition of funding
From 1 August 2015, full time students (those on a study programme of at least 540 planned hours if age 16 to 17 or at least 450 hours if age 18 and not identified as having high needs) starting their study programme who have a grade D GCSE or equivalent qualification in maths and/or English must be enrolled on a GCSE rather than an approved stepping stone qualification.
A student who has a grade D in both maths and English will need to be enrolled on a GCSE in both subjects in each academic year and is required to continue to study both these aims until they achieve at least a grade C in the legacy GCSE by Summer 2017, or a grade 4 in the new GCSE, or until they are no longer EFA funded.
Students with prior attainment of grade D, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities should be capable of improving their grade with the right teaching and support. To meet this requirement individual institutions should use the flexibilities available to tailor a study programme so that each student is enabled to improve in maths and/or English to the best of their ability. An institution in discussion with a student with prior attainment of a grade D GCSE or equivalent qualifications in maths and/or English will need to decide:
- the appropriate GCSE course duration, for example, a student could take an intensive course ahead of a November retake or a longer one or 2 year course
- when and how often to enter a student for a GCSE exam
- whether a student would benefit from studying a stepping stone qualification before enrolling on a GCSE course, for example a student could take an approved stepping stone qualification at the start of the academic year and enrol on a GCSE course later in the same academic year - however the student must be enrolled on the GCSE qualification and pass the qualifying period for funding (6 weeks for a qualification with a planned length of 24 weeks or more, and 2 weeks for a qualification with a planned length of less than 24 weeks) before the end of that academic year
All full time students starting their study programme from 1 August 2015, who attained a grade D in maths and/or English GCSE or equivalent qualifications, who are not enrolled on a GCSE in these subjects will result in funding reductions in future years. The institution will lose the basic national funding rate per student for the relevant year.
How the grade D requirement applies with respect to GCSE English qualifications held
Full time students who have a grade D GCSE or equivalent qualification in English literature and an E grade or lower in English language are not subject to the Grade D requirement and therefore may enrol on a stepping stone qualification to meet the condition of funding.
The table below sets out the requirements for full time students with respect to GCSE English qualifications held:
|English/English Language GCSE grade held||English literature GCSE grade held||What student can and must study in 2015 to 2016 academic year|
|A* to C||A* to C||Condition of funding met for English, no requirement to continue study of subject|
|A* to C||D||Condition of funding met for English, no requirement to continue study of subject|
|D||A* to C||Condition of funding met for English, no requirement to continue study of subject|
|D||E or below, or no grade||GCSE only|
|E or below, or no grade||D||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|E or below, or no grade||E or below, or no grade||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
Qualifications approved for teaching to 16 to 19 year olds that meet the condition of funding
To meet the condition of funding, a student must be enrolled on an approved qualification, that is a GCSE or an approved stepping stone qualification. Full time students who have a Grade D are required to enrol on a maths and/or English GCSE qualification only. Approved stepping stone qualifications include Functional Skills, ESOL and QCF qualifications nominated by institutions and approved by the department, that meet pre-defined criteria.
The student must be timetabled to attend lessons or appropriate blended learning and be progressing in the subject. The student must also pass a qualifying period for each maths and English qualification (6 weeks for a qualification with a planned length of 24 weeks or more, and 2 weeks for a qualification with a planned length of less than 24 weeks) before it counts. The condition of funding relates to enrolments rather than exam entries. This provides an institution flexibility to determine when best for a student to be entered for and sit an exam.
All qualifications on the approved list of qualifications that can be taught to 16 to 19 year olds to meet the condition of funding are approved on Section 96. The list is maintained on the Learning Aim Reference Service (LARS). Institutions must check the status of qualifications using LARS before enrolling students on them to ensure the qualification is valid at the point of enrolment.
Students aged 16 to 18, or aged 19 to 25 if they have a LDA or EHCP, who do not hold a GCSE grade A* to C, new GCSE 9 to 4 or equivalent qualification in maths and/or in English must be enrolled on one of the following approved qualifications in either English, maths or both, in each academic year:
- approved maths and English language GCSEs offered and funded in England for teaching until summer 2017 (legacy GCSEs)
- approved maths and English language GCSEs offered and funded in England for teaching from September 2015 (new GCSEs)
- maths and English language IGCSE or level 1/level 2 certificates, counting towards the EBacc measure to summer 2017 only
- functional skills at the appropriate level, (eg E1, E2, E3, L1, L2), for the student and free-standing maths qualifications accredited by Ofqual, as a stepping stone to GCSE study
- English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) qualifications accredited by Ofqual, as a stepping stone to GCSE study
- the full Prince’s Trust TEAM Programme
- a range of entry level and level 1 QCF qualifications nominated by providers that met pre-defined criteria
- level 3 qualifications including core maths qualifications at level 3; approved maths and English language A and AS levels; International Baccalaureate (IB) level 3 Diploma and certificates in maths/ further maths, OCR Cambridge Pre-U maths qualifications and the OCR Mathematics for Engineering level 3 certificate
Please note the following:
- Ofqual announced in March 2016 that the final opportunity to re-sit the legacy GCSEs in English, English language and mathematics will be summer 2017, and that this re-sit opportunity will be only made available to those aged 16 or over on the 31st August 2016
- English Literature and English Literature and Language qualifications are not approved for teaching to 16 to 19 year olds for the purpose of meeting the condition of funding
- level 1/level 2 certificates in English as a Second Language and Use of Mathematics are to be used as a stepping stone to GCSE study only
The school census tool
The interactive post 16 school census tool provides specific examples of how to check qualifications that do not meet the condition of funding and the impact this will have for including non complaint or out of date qualifications.
Level 3 qualifications
A range of level 3 maths and English qualifications such as A and AS levels, core maths, Pre-U and the International Baccalaureate can be taught as an alternative to GCSE where an institution thinks it appropriate. Only qualifications in the following subjects will meet the condition of funding:
- English language
Exemptions to the condition of funding
There are 2 exemptions to the condition of funding:
- students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, who are also assessed as not able to study either GCSE or stepping stone qualifications
- students with overseas qualifications that are established as equivalent to GCSE grade C
Students with special educational needs and/or disabilities exemption
Where a student with SEN or disabilities has not achieved grade C in maths and/or English GCSE and they are able to do so, every effort should be made to enable them to achieve these valuable qualifications. Where a student is not able to study GCSE they should be supported to achieve a stepping stone qualification. There are a small number of students who are not able to take a GCSE or a stepping stone qualification, particularly those with multiple and complex needs. These students can be exempt from studying qualifications but appropriate literacy and numeracy should still be included in their study programme at an appropriate level and institutions should recognise and record their progress and achievement. There are no blanket exemptions, all exemptions must be considered on a case by case basis. There is no blanket exemption for whole institutions.
An institution may decide that a student with learning difficulties cannot study maths or English at GCSE or stepping stone level. In this case, in addition to the student’s statement of Special Educational Need, a LDA or an EHCP, the institution must hold an evidenced assessment that the student is not able to study these subjects. This assessment needs to be authorised by an appropriate professional in the institution, such as the head of SEN or Student Support. The assessment should be structured and documented.
Please be aware of the transition to the new 0 to 25 special educational needs and disability system. All young people who receive support as a result of a LDA, who will continue in further education or training beyond 1 September 2016 must have an EHCP by that date, where one is needed. Until that point, local authorities should usually continue to maintain special educational provision in relation to young people who are receiving support as a result of an LDA.
We do not expect to give further detailed advice on the format or on who should conduct the assessment. This is for institutions to decide. Exemptions will be monitored from the data institutions submit rather than on an individual basis.
Institutions should keep evidence that justifies their decision that a student is exempt. This information must be available to auditors appointed to test the use of EFA funding and to Ofsted inspectors.
There are a range of approved qualifications available for students from entry level upwards; stepping stone qualifications including functional skills at the appropriate level (eg E1, E2, E3, L1, L2) depending on the students’ needs; free standing maths qualifications and ESOL qualifications. Institutions can enrol a student on a course for up to 3 years, or longer if the student is in learning to age 25. This range of qualifications gives institutions scope to offer the student opportunities to progress to the appropriate level in maths and English.
Students with overseas qualifications exemption
Students who have studied in a country that does not provide GCSEs are potentially exempt from the condition of funding where the overseas qualifications they hold are established as equivalent to GCSE grade C.
Institutions are required to establish that the qualification is in fact equivalent to GCSE A* to C. This is determined by using the UK’s national agency responsible for providing information and opinion on academic, vocational and professional qualifications from across the world, the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC).
As well as confirmation from UK NARIC that an overseas qualification is equivalent to GCSE grade C, institutions also need to ensure that the student possesses the necessary competence in maths or English to benefit from their study programme. Should any teaching be required to ensure the student can function on their study programme, then this should be planned into the study programme and is fundable as planned hours.
Recording and monitoring of exemptions
To avoid funding being withdrawn unnecessarily, institutions need to inform EFA of students who do not meet the condition of funding due to them being exempt. Institutions should maintain a record which states which exemption applies ie learning difficulty and/or disability or holder of an overseas qualification.
There is no need to inform EFA that a student is out of scope for the maths and English condition of funding because they are studying for less than 150 hours in the academic year.
Recording exemptions on the Individualised Learner Record
Institutions should notify EFA of students who are exempt from the condition of funding through the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) by entering the codes ECF 1, 2 or 3 and/or MCF 1, 2 or 3 in the Learner funding and monitoring fields. Please refer to the ILR guidance on GOV.UK.
Recording exemptions on the schools census
Schools and academies will use the school census to indicate students who are exempt from the condition of funding by entering the codes L, O, U or N.
Table showing what students can and must study
A summary of what qualifications students must be studying is given in the table below.
|The student||What a student must study to meet the condition of funding|
|Student without GCSE grade A* to C on short study programmes, defined as studying less than 150 hours||Condition of funding does not apply|
|Full time student (540 hours or more 16 to 17, or 450 hours or more 18+) with GCSE grade D||GCSE ONLY|
|Part time student (between 150 hours and 539 aged 16 to 17 and between 150 and 450 hours if aged 18+) with GCSE grade D||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|Full time student (540 hours or more aged 16 to 17, or 450 hours or more 18+) with GCSE grade E or below, or no GCSE||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|Part time student (150 hours and 539 hours if aged 16 to 17 and between 150 and 450 hours if 18+) with GCSE grade E or below, or no GCSE||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|Student aged 16 to 19 on a traineeship||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|Full time or part time student with overseas qualification GCSE grade A* to C equivalent||Exemption applies|
|Full time student (540 hours or more aged 16 to 17, or 450 hours or more 18+) with overseas qualification equivalent to GCSE D equivalent from 2015 to 2016||GCSE ONLY|
|Part time student (between 150 hours and 539 hours if aged 16 to 17 and between 150 and 450 hours if aged 18+) with overseas qualification equivalent to GCSE D from 2015 to 2016||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|Full time student (540 hours or more aged 16 to 17, or 450 hours or more 18+) with overseas qualification equivalent to grade E or below or no GCSE equivalent||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|Part time student (between 150 hours and 539hours if aged 16 to 17 and between 150 and 450 hours if aged 18+) with overseas qualification equivalent to grade E or below, or no GCSE equivalent||Either GCSE or stepping stone|
|Student with statement of SEN /LDA/EHCP AND institution assessment that confirms they are not able to study either GCSE or stepping stone qualifications||Exemption applies|
|Student with statement of SEN/LDA/EHCP with NO assessment||Either GCSE or stepping stone as exemption does not apply|
Qualifications equivalent to GCSE grade A* to C in maths and English for the purposes of prior attainment
The following qualifications in maths, English language and literature are treated as equivalent to GCSE A* to C. Students who have studied in England or other UK nations (Wales, Scotland or N Ireland) holding the following qualifications will not be required to study maths and/or English to meet the condition of funding:
- Ofqual approved GCSEs grade A* to C offered and funded in England
- Ofqual approved GCSEs grade 9 to 4 offered and funded in England
- IGCSEs grade A* to C/9 to 4 or equivalent level 1/level 2 certificates grade A* to C/9 to 4
- unregulated IGCSEs grade A* to C/9 to 4
- GCSEs grade A* to C obtained in Wales
- GCSEs grade A* to C obtained in Northern Ireland
- Scottish Intermediate 2 certificates grade A to C
- Scottish Standard Grades (credit level) grade 1 to 2
- Scottish National 5 certificates grade A to C
- international O levels grade A* to C
- A and AS levels at any pass grade
- full International Baccalaureate (IB) level 3 Diploma (LARS reference 50034157)
- International Baccalaureate Certificate in maths
- core maths qualifications at level 3
- ICCE General Certificates (with a score of 80% or above) and ICCE Advanced certificates (any score)
GCSE English qualifications that count as prior attainment
Students who already hold at least a C grade in any one of the English qualifications listed below meet the condition of funding and therefore do not need to continue to study English:
- GCSE English
- GCSE English Language
- GCSE English Language and Literature
- GCSE English Literature
English literature GCSE grade C or above meets the condition of funding for the purpose of recognising prior attainment only. However students with no prior attainment equivalent to GCSE A* to C cannot take English literature or joint English language and literature qualifications to meet the condition of funding.
English as a second language qualifications (ESOL) are not considered as equivalent to GCSEs for the purpose of recognising prior attainment. This is because they do not cover the content of an English language GCSE.
IGCSEs approved for teaching under the condition of funding
IGCSEs and level 1/ level 2 certificates that are included in the Ebacc measure may be taught to post-16 students to meet the condition of funding as an alternative to GCSE until summer 2017.
Following re-sits in summer 2017, IGCSEs and level 1/ level 2 certificates will be removed from the approved list of qualifications for teaching.
Unregulated IGCSEs are not funded by EFA and therefore are not included in the approved list of qualifications for teaching under the condition of funding, however they do count for the purpose of recognising prior attainment.
A list of IGCSEs and level 1/ level 2 certificates that count towards the Ebacc can be found on GOV.UK.
IGCSEs for the purpose of recognising prior attainment
IGCSEs, equivalent level 1/ level 2 certificates and unregulated IGCSEs in maths and English all count as equivalent to GCSEs for the purposes of recognising prior attainment in the 16 to 19 maths and English condition of funding.
Students who hold these qualifications in maths and English at grade A* to C/9 to 4 will not have to continue their study of these subjects both now and in the future following roll out of new GCSEs from September 2015.
However, only IGCSEs or- level 1/ level 2 certificates counting towards the EBacc measure are approved for teaching under the condition of funding until summer 2017.
Aligning the condition of funding with the new GCSEs
As part of the government’s plans to ensure pupils can compete with the top performers in the world and secure the best jobs, a new grading system is being introduced from 2017 at GCSE to replace the A* to U system with a new 9 to 1 scale.
Under the new system, a good pass, currently a C grade, will become a grade 5 under the new scale. The new good pass is comparable to a high C or low B under the current system, making it comparable to the standard aimed for by pupils in top performing countries such as Finland, Canada, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
The government intends to align the 16 to 19 maths and English funding condition with the new GCSE good pass in maths and English. A phased approach will be taken. For students studying in academic years 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 the funding condition will be based on the new GCSE grade 4. Beyond this, we intend to revise the funding condition to reflect the new GCSE good pass (grade 5). The specific date from which this will take effect will be confirmed closer to the time.
Home educated students
A student who has been home educated and wishes to attend an FE institution will need to comply with the condition of funding. This will apply to those who enrol on a study programme of 150 hours or more at an institution.
Students who speak limited English studying maths qualifications
A student who speaks limited English will still need to have maths in their study programme, at a suitable level. This could be phased into the study programme as their ability in English improves. For example, a student could study an ESOL qualification in the first term and enrol on a maths qualification in the second term.
Students part way through their study programme
The condition of funding applies to students who started a new study programme on or after 1 August 2014. Therefore the majority of students currently enrolled at an institution will have started their study programme after this date. There may be a small number of students that started a study programme before the 1 August 2014 and are still continuing their study eg students that enrolled on a 3 year programme. For these students we apply the following rules to determine whether a student is treated as new or continuing:
- a student studying a core aim that is different from the core aim studied in the previous academic years will be counted as having started a new study programme
- a student who changes institution part way through their study programme will be counted as having started a new study programme
- a student on a vocational programme including a core learning aim that remains unchanged for the duration of the programme will be counted as continuing their study programme
The above rules are also used to determine whether full time students with a grade D should be enrolled on a GCSE or approved IGCSE qualification or level 1 / level 2 certificate qualification counting towards the Ebacc measure, rather than an approved stepping stone qualification. Students with a grade D who are continuing a study programme that they started before 1 August 2015 can study either a GCSE or an approved stepping stone qualification to meet the condition of funding.
Students on short study programmes
To ensure those that want to study short courses are not discouraged from doing so, there is flexibility for those on small part time study programmes of less than 150 planned hours. Students on these study programmes are not required to study maths and English qualifications, but institutions should include some maths and English content in courses taken by such students to facilitate their learning.
For all study programmes of 150 planned hours or more, students without prior attainment of a GCSE grade A* to C or an equivalent qualification will need to continue to study approved maths and/or English qualifications, in each academic year, at an appropriate level until GCSE Grade C or above in both is achieved or until the student is no longer EFA funded.
Students achieving a GCSE A* to C, a new GCSE 9 to 4 or equivalent qualification outside of their study programme
If a student achieves a GCSE A* to C, a new GCSE 9 to 4 or a qualification deemed as equivalent by other means, eg entering for, and studying a qualification outside of their study programme, then they will have met the condition of funding for the remainder of their study programme.
Collaboration between institutions to ensure students are meeting the maths and English condition of funding
Where one or more institutions have agreed collaboration arrangements to ensure students are meeting the condition of funding, it is the responsibility of the home institution to ensure these students are meeting the condition. In a small number of instances there will be students for whom their continued study in maths and/or English is with another institution. In these circumstances we would expect the home institution to have taken steps to ensure that students are compliant with the condition of funding.
To ensure the home institution receives funding for students where institutions have worked collaboratively with another institution, to ensure those students are meeting the maths and English condition of funding, we would expect institutions to complete a business case template to include the following information:
- the numbers of students that have studied or retaken a maths and/or English qualification at another institutions, (we would not expect that individual named student data is included)
- the name of the institution(s) where they have studied
- the maths and/or English qualifications studied
- a statement that collaboration has taken place with brief details
- a signature on the business case template from the accounting officer confirming that the information is correct
This arrangement will also apply to students where in the 2015 to 2016 academic year they have studied maths and/or English at another institution as part of a collaboration arrangement between institutions. For future years we are exploring how collaboration between institutions can be recorded within the ILR and the school census.
Students retaking maths and English qualifications
A retake is defined as a qualification retaken by a student, including learning and attending lessons other than revision lessons. Students are funded to retake maths and/or English until they achieve a grade GCSE A* to C or a new GCSE 9 to 4.
Students withdrawing from their study programme - qualifying periods
Where a student has enrolled on a maths and/or English qualification that meets the condition of funding but does not complete it, provided they have studied the qualification for a minimum of 2 weeks (for a qualification with a planned length of less than 24 weeks) or 6 weeks (for a qualification of more than 24 weeks), they will still meet the condition of funding and will not incur a funding reduction. This will however affect the institution’s standing in performance tables. If a student’s core aim was maths and/or English and the student drops out entirely then funding is reduced through the retention factor in the usual way.
More information on core aims in study programmes is available on GOV.UK.
Students on a traineeship
Students on traineeships are subject to the condition of funding. This means that trainees who do not hold A* to C in maths and/or English are required to study approved qualifications in English and or maths including functional skills as stepping stone qualifications. The condition of funding grade D requirement does not apply to traineeships as they are treated as part time students.
Apprenticeships are not subject to the maths and English condition of funding. However, similar requirements are in place to ensure all apprentices have good literacy and numeracy skills. Advanced apprentices must have already achieved either GCSE grade C or above, or level 2 functional skills qualification or study these as part of their apprenticeship. Intermediate apprentices have to pass a level 1 English and/or maths qualification(s) or if they already have it, study towards level 2, though they do not have to achieve this to complete the apprenticeship. Students that leave the study programme before the end of the maths and or English qualifying period to start an apprenticeship will be recorded as meeting the condition of funding. Apprenticeship providers may decide that they want the student to continue their maths and/or English courses as part of the apprenticeship programme.
Students on supported internships will have a wide range of abilities and are not automatically exempt from the condition of funding. Where an exemption is necessary, students on supported internships should still be studying maths and English at an appropriate level, even if they are not able to work towards a stepping stone qualification or GCSE.
Demonstrating progression in maths and English
Institutions must be able to demonstrate progression for students enrolled on maths and/or English qualifications and where possible ensure students are aiming to achieve a higher qualification than they have already attained. If not then institutions should be able to record evidence of good reasons for any individual students enrolled on a maths and/or English qualifications which does not provide sufficient stretch or progression.
Institutions cannot charge tuition fees for retakes or sitting an exam in maths and English or any other subject. They can charge for repeat exam fees or seek voluntary contributions, but any such contributions cannot be used by institutions to excuse students from meeting the condition of funding. The details on fees and charging are in the funding regulations paragraph 16c and/or 16d.
Impact on reconciliation for Commercial and Charitable Providers (CCPs)
Full details on how the maths and English condition of funding will impact on reconciliation for CCPs will be given in the ILR Funding Returns Guide for 2016 to 2017 due for publication in summer 2016.
Performance measures and monitoring
From 2016, a new 16 to 19 maths and English progress measure will be introduced showing the progress of those who did not achieve a grade C at Key Stage 4.
Each student’s progress will be compared against students with the same prior attainment in maths or English. Stepping stone qualifications eligible for funding will be included in the measure.
Technical Guidance on new headline measures for the 2016 performance tables can be found on GOV.UK.
Audit and Inspection
Institutions will be subject to risk-based compliance audit to ensure the data submitted for maths and English participation and prior attainment and evidence for exemptions is sound. On inspection, Ofsted will establish that students are on the most suitable study programme and that any exemptions from studying maths and English are appropriate.
Auditors appointed to test the use of EFA funding will be checking when institutions claim a student is exempt; to ensure the exemption reason is valid. Institutions must ensure that when they consider that either of the 2 exemptions apply to an individual student, then adequate evidence is kept to justify that decision. The EFA will analyse data to monitor exemptions.
How funding deductions were calculated within 2016 to 2017 funding allocations for institutions with students not meeting the condition of funding in 2014 to 2015
From the 2016 to 2017 academic year funding has been removed for any students that did not study maths and/or English in the 2014 to 2015 academic year that should have done so. However in recognition of the progress the FE sector made in the first year that the condition of funding applied, ministers decided not to apply the maths and English funding condition in full. For the 2014 to 2015 academic year only, a 5% tolerance will be applied. Funding reductions (which will apply to the 2016 to 2017 allocations) have only been applied to institutions where more than 5% of students by value without A* to C GCSE in maths and/or English did not enrol on an approved qualification in these subjects. Funding reductions for these institutions has been removed at half the national funding rate above the tolerance, rather than 100% as originally planned. The 5% tolerance has been applied to the 2016 to 2017 academic year only.
The 5% tolerance has been calculated by determining the value of the non-compliant students in 2014 to 2015 based on the 2016 to 2017 national rate by individual student band, as a percentage of funding for all students in 2014 to 2015 based on the national rate by individual student band.
For students who are non-compliant above the tolerance, funding has been removed at a reduced rate of 50% of the 2016 to 2017 national funding rate for the band. Only funding above the 5% tolerance has been removed.
The example below describes how funding reductions relating to the 2014 to 2015 academic year have been applied to 2016 to 2017 academic year allocations.
To calculate the value of non-compliance (E) the number of non-compliant students from end year 2014 to 2015 data (C) has been multiplied by the appropriate national funding rate (A) according to their total planned hours, (values for students in the 0-279 band have been calculated as a proportion of the full time national rate based on their total planned hours divided by 600).
To calculate the total value of 2014 to 2015 students (D) the total number of students in each band (B) has been multiplied by the appropriate national funding rate (A). Data was from the final return of the ILR or the Autumn Census for the 2014 to 2015 academic year.
In the example below the value of non-compliant students (E) is £676,098; the value of all students (D) is £8,266,920. This is non compliance of 8.17%.
|A||B||C||D (B x A)||E (C x A)|
|Funding Band||National Rate for 2015 to 2016||2014/2015 Total Students per band||2014/2015 non-compliant students||National Rate per student: value of all students||National Rate per student value of non-compliant students|
|Full Time Students (at least 540 hours)||£4,000||1,207||94||£4,828,000.00||£376,000.00|
|Full Time Students 450+||£3,300||88||27||£290,400.00||£89,100.00|
|Part Time Students (450-539 hours)||£3,300||765||45||£2,524,500.00||£148,500.00|
|Part Time Students (360-449 hours)||£2,700||124||21||£334,800.00||£56,700.00|
|Part Time Students (280-359 hours)||£2,133||60||1||£127,980.00||£2,133.00|
|Part Time (up to 279 hours)||£4,000||132||3||-||-|
|Part Time (up to 279 hours) - FTE||£4,000||40.31||0.92||£161,240.00||£3,664.55|
We calculated 5% of the total value for all students at the national funding rate (D) to calculate the financial value of the tolerance (F). The tolerance is then discounted from (E) the condition of funding reduction to calculate the in scope reduction (G). The final reduction (H) is then calculated by taking 50% of (G) of the in scope reduction.
|5% of 1415 National Rate per student funding (D x 5%)||Non-Compliant Students Total less 5% (E - F)||Final Condition of funding removal at 50% (G x 50%)|
|(£8,266,920 x 5%) = £413,346||(£676,098 - £413,346) = £262,752||(£262,752 x 50%) = £131,376|
In this example the tolerance (F) is £413,346 the in scope reduction (G) is £262,752 and the final reduction is £131,376. If the value of non-compliant students in this example (E) had been less than £413,346 the institution would have no withdrawal of funding.
The reduction in funding is through a cash adjustment to 2016 to 2017 allocations. This mitigation is approved for 2016 to 2017 allocations only.
Queries on the condition of funding
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For all enquiries for the Education Funding Agency
Other useful information
We have published a flow chart on GOV.UK to help navigate through the various scenarios you may encounter.
Flowchart: 16 to 19 English and maths condition of funding academic year 2014 to 2015, 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017
PDF, 291KB, 1 page
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An interactive tool for school census users has been published to assist census users to understand how the condition of funding works within the census. It provides examples of notional students and their data. The data can be altered and the effects of changes on funding are shown. There is a tab for the condition of funding (COF tab) and a code table worksheet with all the field names and definitions.
The Education Training Foundation (ETF) continues to offer a range of opportunities and resources for teachers, trainers and leaders to supporting practitioners to confidently teach maths and English.
The Excellence Gateway provides a wide range of resources relating to the teaching of English and maths.
This document is Version 8.0 the content was published June 2016. Version 1 was first published in December 2014.
This document will be reviewed 6 months from publication.
Published: 4 December 2014
Updated: 18 November 2016
- Updated to include information about condition of funding tolerance.
- This has been updated to show the extension to the timetable for final legacy GCSEs and IGCSE re-sits and re-takes.
- General update and new information added on institutions that have worked collaboratively with another institution to ensure their students meet the condition of funding.
- Update information added on how the grade D requirement applies with respect to GCSE English qualifications held.
- Additional information on the impact 2016 to 2017 academic year allocations has been added and a general update.
- Additional information updated to reflect the recent announcement on a good pass for the new GCSEs.
- amendment to flowchart
- Updated version added
- First published.