Early years initial teacher training: funding guidance
Funding guidance for early years initial teacher training (ITT) providers.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) allocates and funds early years ITT places each academic year. Early years ITT leads to the award of early years teacher status (EYTS).
We provide training bursaries and training grants to attract high-quality graduates to become early years teachers.
This funding can only be used in delivering training programmes to support trainees in meeting the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). The training grant includes the costs of assessment against these standards.
Early years ITT leads to the award of EYTS. We offer funding for 2 of the 4 EYTS training routes. We’ll pay training grants to you for trainees eligible for our funding.
Please look at our list of early years ITT training providers for 2017 to 2018.
Graduate entry (full-time)
This is for graduates studying full-time. Training is typically over a 1 year period.
A training grant of £7,000 is available to cover course fees.
Trainees with high academic achievement may be eligible to receive a bursary.
You’ll receive the:
- grant funding on behalf of trainees to cover course fees
- bursaries to pass on to your trainees
Graduate employment based (part-time)
This route is for graduates in paid employment in an early years setting who require training and further experience to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).
Training is part-time and typically takes place over a 1 year period.
Funding of £14,000 is available for this route. This will consist of:
- £7,000 grant funding - you keep this to cover all training course fees
- up to £7,000 employer incentive - you pass this on to your trainee’s employer
There’s no set list of activities for the employer incentive. It’s intended to contribute towards costs incurred by the employer in supporting and employing the trainee during their training and could include:
- supply cover
- salary enhancements
- employment costs
- National Insurance and other overheads
Funding can’t be used for sickness and maternity/paternity pay arrangements; this is the employer’s responsibility.
We recommend that you reimburse employers on a term-by-term basis in arrears unless you’ve agreed alternative arrangements. You must keep clear, accurate and up-to-date records of the payments that have been made to employers.
Undergraduate entry (full-time)
This route is for those who wish to undertake a level 6 degree in an early childhood related subject along with EYTS. It is typically a full time 3 or 4 year route for those entering the profession.
Funding is not available from NCTL for this route. Eligible trainees can access funding through tuition fee loans from Student Finance England.
Assessment only (part-time)
This route is for graduates with at least 2 years’ experience of working with children from birth to 5 years old who can demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) without further training. An example of this is an early years teacher from overseas who has knowledge and understanding of the early years foundation stage.
This is a self-funded route.
Bursary rates 2017 to 2018 and 2016 to 2017
Bursary rates are only available for the graduate entry route.
|Highest qualification||1st (£5,000)||2:1 (£4,000)||2:2 (£2,000)||Other (Nil)|
|1st class degree||X|
|Medical Masters (distinction)||X|
|2:1 honours degree||X|
|2:2 honours degree||X|
|3rd class honours degree||X|
|No first degree||X|
Bursary eligibility criteria
For a trainee to be eligible to receive a bursary you must ensure that from the first day of training, the trainee meets, and continues to meet the criteria. The trainee must:
- meet all the entry requirements
- be taking a qualifying postgraduate early years ITT course
- hold a UK first degree with at least second-class honours, or equivalent
- be notified by you, the early years ITT provider, in writing that they’re eligible – you’ll determine whether a trainee is eligible to receive a bursary and whether they continue to receive it
- comply with the bursary conditions you set
- not already hold early years teacher status (EYTS) or early years professional status (EYPS)
- not have started and not completed EYTS or EYPS
- not be undertaking paid early years teaching work when receiving the bursary
- not be taking any other ITT course
All allocated funding is based on full-time places. A trainee is defined as full-time if their full-time equivalence (FTE) is more than 0.5. Trainees with an FTE of 0.5 or less will be classified as part-time.
Trainees are funded for the number of days between the start date and the planned end date of their training (unless the trainee withdraws). This includes weekends and bank holidays. It also applies to trainees who start their training during the current academic year but aren’t due to complete until a later academic year.
All training costs must be met from the funding provided by NCTL per trainee and additional fees cannot be charged.
Funding is ring-fenced for each individual route allocation. For example, graduate entry allocated places can’t be used to recruit graduate employment based trainees.
You may only use your allocated places for trainees who are eligible for our funding as defined in your grant offer agreement. All trainees on funded routes must have the right to study or work in the UK for at least the duration of training.
We’ll not fund applicants who’ve previously started and not completed EYPS or EYTS. We’ll validate new trainees in the month following closure of registration on our early years ITT data management system.
Trainees who withdraw from their programme attract funding between the start date of their training and the date of withdrawal. We’ll recover any unused funding.
You should suspend bursary payments to withdrawn trainees immediately. However, eligible trainees are entitled to be paid the training bursary for each month up to, and including, the full month in which they withdrew.
You should calculate the amount of unused training grant funding, bursary and employer incentive payments from the point of withdrawal. You must be able to demonstrate how you have calculated this.
We’ll not reimburse you for any payments made in error for trainees who have already withdrawn. We expect you to recover any overpayment from trainees and employers.
Withdrawal data should be updated in our early years ITT data management system. as soon as a trainee withdraws or at a minimum monthly. You should also email our early years team with notification of withdrawn candidates and unused funding immediately.
If a trainee defers during their programme, we’ll continue to fund you for the trainee throughout the period of deferment up to the maximum of training grant and bursary or employer incentive awarded. The deferral period is a maximum of 1 year. A trainee might seek deferment more than once during the course of their training, which should be agreed with you. Should a trainee wish to defer for more than one year this must be agreed with us.
During the deferral period you should hold on to the funding to be used when the trainee returns to their course. However, if the trainee subsequently doesn’t return to the training programme within the one year deferral period we’ll recover any surplus funding unless it has been agreed with us.
Deferral data should be updated in our early years ITT data management system as soon as the deferral is agreed or at a minimum monthly.
Sickness or special leave
We’ll continue to provide funding up to the maximum amount for trainees who are away from their programme because of sickness or other special leave. If this absence will affect the trainee’s ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years)
Funding for early years ITT will be distributed to you, the provider, not employers or individuals.
The Department for Education’s grant funding agreement underpins the funding arrangements for early years ITT. This includes arrangements to recover unused funding and assurance processes. Your grant offer letter will incorporate financial expectations.
Evidence that the monies are being spent appropriately will be sought through an annual grant report process. You’re not required to complete a separate certificate of expenditure. Assurance could also be gained through internal processes linked to the accreditation process such as internal visits and ITT provider health checks.
Funding will be paid to you in 11 monthly instalments from September to July of the academic year. We’ll make the monthly payments through BACS via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and you’ll receive payment within the first 7 working days of each month. Recipients of grant funding will receive remittance advice from DWP containing the amount of funding to be paid and the name of the ITT provider. You will be able to review your payment profile on the ITT Extranet.
The first 3 payments will be based on an estimate of allocated places and recruitment detail. The amount may change at certain payment points to reflect the actual number of trainees recruited and any trainee withdrawals.
All unused grant funding will be recovered that is as a result of:
- under-recruitment against allocated places
- training location changing
- trainee withdrawals
At the end of the academic year, funding is adjusted to take account of the actual number and type of trainees who were recruited and who completed programmes during the year.
- We’ll recover all funding relating to unfilled places and withdrawals. This will include training grants, bursaries and the employer incentive.
- We’ll not allow funding from withdrawals to fund additional trainees. All funding from withdrawals will be recovered.
- We’ll compare the agreed amount of funding that you’re entitled to claim based on actual recruitment against the allocated early years ITT places. A repayment to us is based on the calculation of trainee withdrawals and under-recruitment against allocated places. If the amount claimed is less than that allocated, we’ll recover all of the unused funding we’ve paid.
- We’ll invoice you to recover any unused funding.
You must hold full records of all payments made to:
- trainees in receipt of bursaries, including details of the trainees’ academic qualifications achieved prior to starting early years ITT
- employers of trainees in receipt of employer incentives – the trainee must be an employee of the early years business. Sole traders and business partners aren’t eligible for an employer incentive, they’re classed as self-employed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If the early years business is a limited company the owners and those working for the company are not classed as self-employed and can be eligible for an employer incentive
We’ll seek assurance about the payments via the annual audit grant reporting process, which will need to be verified by your accounting officer and in line with the grant terms and conditions.
We reserve the right to request these details at any point during the academic year for the purpose of monitoring quality and performance.
In the event of any variances, particularly with regard to unclassified degrees, we reserve the right to contact you to request explanations of the variances and to seek further information.
Data collection and management
You’re required to share data on trainee applications, recruitment and employment outcomes with us.
You’re required to inform us of your monthly recruitment data as outlined in Annex J of your grant offer letter. This is a live and on-going data collection to inform us of recruitment. Failure to supply this data within the required timeline may affect any future allocation decisions and could lead to the withholding of grant funding.
Early years ITT trainee data
You’re required to record details of all your early years ITT trainees, training programmes, and training outcomes on our early years ITT data management system. A DMS user guide will be issued in summer 2017.
You’ll be expected to keep your trainee data up to date at all times and it should accurately reflect any changes to the status of trainees, such as withdrawals and deferments.
All trainees must be registered with us and all records finalised and correct by 11 October of the current academic year. You’ll be asked to complete a validation declaration at this point to confirm that all entries have been checked as correct. This data is a condition of funding. We’ll use information to calculate the amount of funding that you are entitled to claim for the academic year.
Financial assurance and audit
- We’ve a responsibility to ensure that public funds and assets generated from the allocation of training places are properly managed in line with the accreditation agreement.
- You’ll be required to satisfy us that you are operating all early years ITT funding in accordance with the terms and conditions of funding. These are set out in this funding guidance and should be adhered to in conjunction with section 1, Introduction of the grant funding agreement terms and conditions
- You’re required to complete an audit grant report and send it to us by 31 December each year (this forms part of our assurance framework and asks for specific information regarding the annual spend for ring-fenced funding).
- You’re ultimately responsible to us for the proper stewardship of the funds paid to you. The requirements include keeping proper accounting records and preparation of accounts, consistent with our requirements.
- We expect you to produce monthly management accounts and have robust monitoring arrangements in place, including producing budget reports for the governing body.
- We may ask for financial information and conduct financial audits at any stage of the course by visiting your premises.
- We reserve the right to withdraw your funding if you don’t comply with financial reporting requirements.