General funding rules for 2015 to 2016
This section covers the SFA's funding rules 64 to 180 including principles of funding and principles of evidence.
Principles of funding
This section sets out the principles behind the funding rules that apply to all learning and skills provision which we have funded or which has been funded through a Loan.
We will continue to use the simplified funding system that we put in place in 2013 to 2014. You can find more details about the funding system in our funding rates and formula document.
We will monitor the use of the funding system which may lead to the recovery of funds.
[64.] We will review whether the education and training you provide represents good value for money. If we consider that the funding we have provided is significantly more than the cost of the education and training, we may, after consulting you, reduce the amount of funding we pay you.
[65.] These funding rules apply to all learners from 1 August 2015. This includes learning that started before 1 August 2015 or new learning aims or programmes started on or after 1 August 2015. The only exceptions to this are for:
[65.1.] the funding rules that state they only apply to those starting a new learning aim, or to continuing learners
[65.2.] funding eligibility rules, as this is determined on the first day a learner starts their learning
[66.] You must only claim funding for learners assessed as eligible for funding as shown in these rules. The detailed eligibility criteria for funding are set out in the Eligibility for funding section.
[67.] To be eligible to be funded by us, on the first day of learning a learner must be:
[67.1.] aged 19 or older on 31 August within the funding year in question (if the learning aim is not an apprenticeship or traineeship), or
[67.2.] aged 15 or older and have legally left school (if the learner is an apprentice or on a traineeship)
An apprentice cannot start an apprenticeship until after the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they have their 16th birthday.
A learner cannot start a traineeship until 1 August after they leave Year 11 (or its equivalent in other parts of the United Kingdom).
The age of the learner on 31 August in the funding year is only relevant when determining whether the learner is funded by us or the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
For all other purposes, including eligibility for 24+ Advanced Learning Loans, the age of the learner is that at the start of each learning aim.
[68.] Separate eligibility rules apply if the learner is being funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) or Community Learning programmes and paragraphs 66 to 67 do not apply.
[69.] You must check the eligibility of the learner at the start of each learning aim. For apprenticeships and traineeships you must check their eligibility at the start and this will not change during the programme.
[70.] You do not need to check the eligibility of learners funded through a Loan, as the Student Loans Company will be responsible for assessing whether the learner is eligible (see paragraph 156).
[71.] A learner’s eligibility for the learning aim or programme will not change during the learning aim or programme unless they are an apprentice and their employment status changes (see paragraphs 263 and 268). Individuals who are not eligible for funding at the start of a learning aim or programme will not be eligible for the whole of that learning aim or programme.
[72.] Learners studying learning aims or a programme lasting more than one funding year, and are eligible for funding at the start, will be eligible for funding for the whole of the learning aim or programme. You must reassess the learner for any further learning aims or programmes they start.
[73.] Any learner, of any age, must be able to achieve the learning aim or programme of study within the time that they have available. If you know a learner is unable to complete a learning aim in the time they have available, they cannot be funded.
Learners with learning difficulties and disabilities
[74.] We will fund learners with learning difficulties or disabilities as set out in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.
[75.] We will fund learning and provision for individuals who are:
[75.1.] aged 19 and over, and under 25, who are not subject to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) or Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) for their learning programme, or
[75.2.] aged 25 and over
[76.] We will fund apprenticeship training for individuals who:
[76.1.] have left compulsory school age but are under 19, or
[76.2.] are 19 or over, including those who are subject to an EHC Plan or LDA for their learning programme
[77.] The EFA is responsible for funding provision and support costs for any other learners aged 19 to 24 who are subject to an EHC Plan or LDA for their learning programme through your EFA delivery contract.
[78.] For more details on learners subject to EHC Plans or LDAs please see paragraphs 397 to 400.
[79.] You must make sure that we have approved the learning aim for funding and it appears on the Learning Aim Reference Service (LARS) before learners start.
[80.] For learners funded through a Loan, you must make sure that the learning aim can be funded at the time that the learner starts by checking LARS.
[81.] For apprenticeships, you must only claim for funding for an apprentice on a framework that has been issued in a published apprenticeship framework document and is available for public funding on LARS on the date that the apprentice starts.
[82.] Learners continuing learning aims from previous years will receive funding as was determined at the start. Learners moving between programmes, for example from an intermediate-level to an advanced-level apprenticeship would be starting a new programme and therefore new conditions would apply.
[83.] Learners previously funded by the EFA, who we become responsible for funding if they continue their learning aim or programme in the next funding year after their 19th birthday, will be eligible for funding from us for those continued learning aims. Where this applies we will use the EFA’s funding method, but the funding will be paid from the adult skills budget.
[84.] We will only fund a continuing learner at a provider with whom we have a funding agreement in place.
[85.] Learners funded through the Offenders’ Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) budget will be fully funded from the adult skills budget for learning aims they continue after leaving custody.
[86.] When a learner starts an AS-level qualification and intends to continue through to a full A-level in the same subject, the funding of both the AS and A-levels will be treated as if they were a single qualification. This must be set out in their learning agreement and the learning must be in consecutive funding years.
[87.] This means the following.
[87.1.] For 18-year-olds who become 19, we will fund the A-level using the EFA method, but the funding will be paid from the adult skills budget.
[87.2.] 23-year-olds who become 24 will continue to be funded by us and will not have to apply for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan for the A-level.
Delivery in England
[88.] You must not claim funding for provision that is delivered to a learner outside England unless we give you permission before learning starts. This applies to learning delivered on your or the employer’s premises, and to distance learning or learning where a variety of methods and locations are used.
[89.] All learners who are funded by us or funded through a Loan must have a learning agreement (see paragraphs 132 to 139).
[90.] You (or your subcontractors) must not claim funding for any part of any learner’s learning aim or programme that duplicates provision they have received from any other source. This includes a different Agency funding stream, another government department (for example, the Work Programme funded by the Department for Work and Pensions), the EFA or the learner’s employer.
[91.] We will not fund a learner to repeat the same qualification where they have previously achieved it unless it is:
[91.1.] a requirement of the apprenticeship framework
[91.2.] to obtain a higher grade in a GCSE where the learner has not achieved grade C or higher
[92.] You must make sure that you provide accurate unique learner number (ULN) information to awarding organisations and that all information used to register learners for qualifications is correct (you can find more information in our document collection for Learning Records Service).
Qualifying days for funding
[93.] Where the learner or apprentice has not achieved the learning aim, you only qualify for funding if the learner or apprentice is in learning for the minimum number of qualifying days. This is calculated from the number of days between the learning start date and learning planned end-date entered on the ILR, including both of those days.
|Planned length of the learning aim||Minimum qualifying days|
|168 days||42 days|
|14 to 167 days||14 days|
|Fewer than 14 days||1 day|
[94.] Where the learner achieves the learning aim then the minimum qualifying days funding rule will not apply.
Accreditation of prior learning
Sometimes, a learner already holds qualifications or other certificates that mean they do not have to undergo some or all of the learning and assessment needed for a learning aim. This existing accreditation is called Accreditation of prior learning (APL).
[95.] If you use APL for a learner, you must reduce the amount of funding claimed for the learning aim by the percentage of learning and assessment that the learner does not need. In the case of a learner funded through a Loan, the fee charged to the learner must be reduced by the same percentage.
[96.] Qualifications must enable the learner to improve their knowledge and skills, rather than just accredit prior knowledge. Where you use APL this must be in line with the awarding organisation’s requirements for the delivery and assessment of the qualification.
[97.] If you use APL for any part of the learning and assessment for a qualification within an apprenticeship framework, you must reduce the funding for the qualification by the proportion of the qualification which is assessed using APL. See paragraphs 285 to 288.
[98.] If a learner does an AS qualification followed by an A level then you must use APL to reduce the amount of funding claimed for the A level and record this in the Funding adjustment for prior learning field in the ILR. You can access further information, including illustrative examples in our guidance for recording A and AS levels on the ILR for 2015 to 2016.
[99.] You must not claim funding where a learner only resits a learning aim assessment or examination and no extra learning takes place.
Recognition of prior learning
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is an assessment method. It considers whether a learner meets the requirements for a unit or qualification through existing knowledge, understanding or skills and does not need to develop them through additional learning.
This is different to APL as the prior learning has not been accredited through a qualification. It recognises learning that has happened before starting a formal qualification, identifying appropriate achievement evidence and using an appropriate assessment methodology.
[100.] For any learning aim outside of an apprenticeship framework, you can claim the usual amount of funding for that learning aim providing no more than 50% of the qualification is assessed using RPL. For provision funded by a Loan, there is no need to reduce the fee to the learner.
[101.] If you use RPL you must calculate the proportion of the assessment that will be through RPL.
[101.1.] If this is less than 50% you do not need to alter the amount you claim.
[101.2.] If this is 50% or more you must reduce by 50% the amount of funding for the learning already assessed using RPL.
[102.] You must not claim funding for provision, or require a learner to take out a Loan, if you use RPL instead of learning to meet the awarding organisation’s full requirements for achieving the learning aim.
[103.] Where you use RPL this must be in line with the awarding organisation’s requirements for the delivery and assessment of the qualification.
[104.] You must not use RPL for English, maths and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualifications. See paragraphs 220 to 226.
[105.] If you use RPL for any part of the assessment for a qualification within an apprenticeship, you must reduce the funding for the qualification by the proportion of the qualification which you assess using RPL.
European Social Fund (ESF) match funding
The ESF is one of the available funds within the European Social and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2014 to 2020 Programme. We operate as an Opt-in Organisation delivering ESF activity on behalf of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). LEPs decide how to invest the ESIF for 2014 to 2020. We support them to deliver their ESIF strategies. We deliver a service to procure and manage contracts for (and match funding for) provision that meets the local needs identified by each LEP.
As an ESIF Opt-in Organisation, we must match ESF funds contracted with money from the UK government (that is, eligible mainstream programme funds). We must use some of the funding we get from the government to pay for an amount of training and support that is equivalent to the ESF contract. We identify activity that improves the skills of the workforce and helps people who have difficulties finding work. We must report this match funding and the associated learners within our funding claims to the ESF managing authority in England.
When we identify funds as match funding, the learning activity and its associated funding become part of the ESF programme, so they are also governed by the requirements of the ESF programme.
This means the provision used as match funding will be subject to ESF compliance checks. We will therefore review the evidence you have to support claims made to the Agency to support the programme funding as well as the additional ESF requirements detailed below.
The employment status of a learner is important for the ESF programme to confirm their eligibility for a funded activity. This is also important for ESF match provision (apprenticeships, workplace and classroom) and therefore it is always important that you use the correct initial employment status.
[106.] If you have a contract from us to deliver training and support with funding from our adult skills budget, we will use your activity in our match pool for the ESF programme 2014 to 2020. We will select eligible activity from the match pool.
[107.] You must record on the ILR either the learner’s employment status prior to enrolment or prior to the learning programme start date. You must keep evidence of this.
[107.1.] Where a learner was unemployed before they started the learning programme, you must record their employment as ‘not in paid employment’.
[107.2.] Where an apprentice was unemployed before they started their apprenticeship their employment status must be shown as ‘not in paid’ employment.
[108.] You must:
[108.1.] make sure you and your subcontractors tell learners that they are on a programme funded by us, which we could use as match funding for ESF
[108.2.] keep all learner data and documents until the end of the document retention period for the 2007 to 2013 ESF programme (at least until 31 December 2022), for the 2014 to 2020 Programme (at least until 31 December 2029 but will be confirmed once the Operational Programme is approved)
[108.3.] have policies for equal opportunities and sustainable development
[109.] Further requirements may be identified through the Operational Programme Approval process and we will notify you, when necessary.
[110.] If you do not keep to the rules of the ESF programme, you will break the conditions of your contract and this could result in the recovery of funds.
[111.] You, your subcontractors and other third-party organisations must not use our mainstream programme funds as match funding for your own projects through other European Union funds (for example, other European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund, European Integration Fund and so on).
[112.] You must keep all original evidence relating to invoices, management information, participant information and all other documents. We need this to prove you have delivered the services.
[113.] You can keep physical or electronic copies of this evidence. If you keep electronic copies, you must follow the rules set out by the ESF Managing Authority.
[113.1.] You must make a declaration showing where you will store this evidence and who will be responsible for looking after it.
[113.2.] All data on participants must be accurate and up to date, and you must correct any mistakes.
[114.] All providers must keep to the ESF publicity rules.
[115.] You must keep to our logo and design guidelines on all promotional materials or activities relating to delivering the contract, as set out on our website.
[116.] You must display the ESF logo and references to financial support from the ESF when you describe or publicise any opportunities, activities and achievements. This includes, but is not restricted to, displaying them on:
[116.1.] all information and publicity materials, including websites, communications sent over the internet, correspondence and literature used by participants
[116.2.] advertisements, press releases and other media-targeted materials
[116.3.] all documents that are used with participants and partners, for example, enrolment documents, training materials, individual learning plans (ILPs), attendance records and internal certificates
[117.] You must display any ESF plaques prominently at yours and subcontractors’ premises. You can get these plaques from us. If you need extra plaques, you should contact our Central Delivery Service.
[118.] You must co-operate with any programme-level evaluation projects led by the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) ESF division or their appointed consultants who contact you directly.
[119.] You should be aware that the provision may be audited by agencies of or acting on behalf of the ESF Managing Authority or the European Commission (EC) after the delivery has finished.
[120.] If you are chosen as part of an ESF audit sample – for either ESF or match provision – you must supply all the evidence to support ESF or match activity that external ESF auditors want to see.
[121.] If you are chosen for an audit visit, you must allow external auditors into your premises and co-operate with the audit.
[122.] We take account of the outcomes of audits and compliance checks when we compare your earnings and our payments to you. We will make sure that we correct any mistakes found from the audits and all necessary action has been taken.
Sustainable development and equal opportunities
[123.] All providers must have sustainable development governance, policies and implementation plans which explain:
[123.1.] commitment to promoting sustainable development and complying with relevant European Union (EU) and domestic environmental legislation
[123.2.] how the commitment will be turned into action at project level
[124.] We will monitor provider contracts; this will include basic checks such as making sure that sustainable development policies and implementation plans are in place and that appropriate action is being taken to implement them.
[125.] The programme will promote equal opportunities and non-discrimination and providers will keep to the principles and processes set out in EU and United Kingdom (UK) equality legislation.
[126.] We will monitor provider contracts and this will include basic checks such as ensuring that equality policies and implementation plans are in place for delivery. You must make sure that your activities are fully accessible to disabled people in line with your public duty under the 2010 Equality Act.
Learning Agreement (see paragraphs 132 to 139).
Paragraph 88 – The ‘Delivery location postcode’ field in the ILR must be recorded as in England. Where we agree that a learning aim may be delivered elsewhere, you must first get authorisation from our Central Delivery Service. You must keep this authorisation in the Learning Agreement for the learner. This will usually be an email from our Central Delivery Service.
Paragraph 108.3 - Evidence to show how you have documented, reviewed and improved your equal opportunities policy and the monitoring of delivery arrangements by our Central Delivery Service.
Paragraph 108.3 - Your sustainable development policy produced using the sustainable development policy evaluation toolkit from the ESF in England website.
Paragraph 113 – A signed declaration at the end of the contract term that states the arrangements in place to store and retrieve all documents needed to check the match provision delivered by you and your subcontractors until at least 31 December 2022.
Paragraph 116 - Copies of documents describing, recording or publicising ESF projects which display the ESF logo and a statement that the project activity is part-financed by the European Social Fund.
Paragraph 117 - ESF plaques must be visible to all staff and participants in a prominent place within your premises.
Paragraph 125 - Evidence that you have consulted both the ESF Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Plan (from the ESF in England website) and our Single Equality Scheme when actively promoting equal opportunities.
Paragraph 126 - Your equal opportunities policy produced using the equal opportunities policy evaluation toolkit from the ESF in England website.
Principles of evidence
You need to provide evidence to assure us that you have delivered education and training in line with our funding agreement and the funding rules.
Some evidence will come from specific business processes, and some as part of your day-to-day working. Evidence can be naturally occurring.
The main principles of providing evidence
[127.] You must hold evidence:
[127.1.] that the learner exists
[127.2.] that the learner is eligible for funding, and at the rate of funding being claimed
[127.3.] that the education and training being delivered is eligible for funding
[127.4.] that the learning activity is taking place or has taken place
[127.5.] that the achievement of learning aims is certified, if applicable (that is, a certificate has been issued by an awarding organisation), and
[127.6.] of why other funding has been claimed, such as job outcome payments, learning support and learner support
[128.] You must have evidence that the learner exists and is eligible before the minimum qualifying days for funding.
[129.] You must have evidence to show the learning is taking or has taken place. This will depend on the methods you use and could include registers, reviews, online software and so on. Attendance at a location, such as a classroom or training centre, is not sufficient on its own to evidence learning has taken place.
[130.] If a learner withdraws from learning without achieving, you must only claim funding up to the last date where you have evidence that the learner was still in learning.
[131.] If an apprentice leaves without achieving, the last date of learning for all learning aims, including the apprenticeship programme learning aim, is the last date where you have evidence that the apprentice was still in learning for any learning aim that is part of their apprenticeship framework.
A learning agreement can be a single document or a collection of information brought together to form a single point of reference relating to the learning that is taking place.
It may be in paper, electronic or a mixture of formats. It could include enrolment forms, data-capture forms, induction checklists, initial assessments, training plans, confirmation letters to learners, self-declarations, attendance records, copies of certificates, result forms and so on. This collection of documents could also include employment records held by the employer.
[132.] The learning agreement must show the evidence needed to support the funding claimed and must be available to us if required.
[133.] You and the learner must confirm that the information in the learning agreement is correct and, therefore, the information you have reported to us in the ILR is correct by the minimum qualifying days for funding.
[134.] If the time spent in learning is short, the level of evidence we would require will reflect this. If information other than eligibility or learning activity is not used or needed you do not need to collect it.
[135.] Where you hold information centrally, you only need to refer to the source.
[136.] The learning agreement must confirm at least the following.
[136.1.] All information reported to us in the ILR, and if it applies, the supporting evidence of the data being reported.
[136.2.] The assessment of eligibility for funding and a record that you have seen evidence provided by the learner.
[136.3.] All initial, basic skills and diagnostic assessments. This includes assessments confirming that learners will be ready to move on to an apprenticeship or employment within six months of starting their traineeship.
[136.4.] For unemployed learners who are receiving other state benefits and receive full funding at your discretion, this would include evidence of the discussion and agreement that the learning is directly relevant to employment prospects and labour market needs.
[136.5.] For recognition of prior learning and entry or exit requirements, information on prior learning that affects the learning or the funding of any of the learning aims or programme.
[136.6.] For ‘personalised learning programmes’, for example non-regulated learning, full details of all the aspects of the learning to be carried out.
[136.7.] A description of how you will deliver the learning and skills and how the learner will achieve.
[136.8.] The reason why the learner has been given the level of funding that they have, and details of any learner or employer contribution.
[136.9.] Learning support needs identified through assessment and how these will be met including evidence of delivery.
[136.10.] Records of learning (including evidence of attendance and participation in a work placement if the learner is taking part in a traineeship).
[136.11.] Learner support provided, including the learner’s application (if this applies) and details of how you will make payment (grant, loan, or payment to a third party).
[136.12.] A learner’s self-declarations on their status relating to benefits, unemployment and gaining a job.
[136.13.] All records and evidence of achievement of learning aims or apprenticeship frameworks. This must be available within three months of you reporting it in the ILR.
[137.] If a subcontractor delivers any provision to the learner, it must clearly give your name as well as theirs in the learning agreement, and the learner must know this. This must match the information reported to us in the ILR.
[138.] The learning agreement for an apprentice must also contain:
[138.1.] the apprentice’s job role
[138.2.] relevant experience and achievements both inside and outside their current working role
[138.3.] the learning and skills they have to carry out while on their apprenticeship outside of named qualifications
[138.4.] the name of the employer and the agreed contracted hours of employment, the total planned length of the apprenticeship, and
[138.5.] confirmation that an Apprenticeship Agreement is in place or confirmation that the employer has been told about their legal duty for an Apprenticeship Agreement
[139.] Other additional evidence requirements are set out at the end of each section of the funding rules.
Confirmation and signatures
[140.] You must record evidence of the learner’s and employer’s confirmation of information. This can include, but is not restricted to, electronic formats, such as electronic platforms, scanned data and digital signatures. When you collect a signature, we accept either handwritten or electronic format.
[141.] Digital signatures, electronic evidence and the wider systems of control must give your management team assurance that learners are eligible for funding and that they exist. You must make sure you have systems in place to monitor learner activity, including that they are continuing to learn and achieve.
[142.] You must make sure you keep effective and reliable evidence to support funding claims. You are responsible for making the evidence you hold easily available to us when we need it.
Starting, participating and achieving
[143.] The start date for a learning aim is when activity directly related to the learning aim has begun. We do not consider enrolment, induction, prior assessment, diagnostic testing or similar activity as the start of learning. You can only claim funding where learning has started.
[144.] You must provide evidence of learning reported in the ILR. If you do not have any evidence of learning taking place and you have claimed funding, we have the right to make you repay that funding.
[145.] If the learner achieves their learning aim, you will not need to keep evidence of all the activity that has taken place unless this relates to non-regulated provision. You must provide evidence that the learning took place and that the learner was not just certificated for prior knowledge.
[146.] You do not need to keep copies of certificates issued by awarding organisations as evidence of achievement as we will use the data that awarding organisations give us as part of the Personal Learning Record (PLR), if this is available.
[147.] We will compare the information held in the PLR against the achievement data you report to us in the ILR to make sure only valid achievement is claimed for.
[148.] You must keep a copy of the apprenticeship framework achievement certificate, as this information is not yet entered into the PLR. We will update our rules and inform you when this changes.
[149.] You must apply for, and give to learners, the certificates that awarding organisations issue for achieving a learning aim. You must evidence in the learning agreement that this has happened.
Individualised Learner Record (ILR)
[150.] The ILR data reported to us is not evidence but is the basis on which our payments are made to you. The information contained in the learning agreement must support the ILR data you have reported. The ways in which you collect data may form part of your evidence. For example, you may include forms used to collect ILR data, such as enrolment forms, in the learning agreement.
[151.] You must accurately complete all ILR fields as required in the ILR Specification, even if they are not used for funding. We will use the ILR to monitor the funding rules. Where we find that your data does not support your funding claim, we will take action to get this corrected, which could include us reclaiming funding.
Self-declarations by learners
[152.] Any learner self-declarations must confirm the learner’s details and describe what the learner is confirming. This can be in electronic format.
[153.] Where the self-declaration relates to prior attainment you must check this against any information held in the PLR. If the PLR contradicts the self-declaration, you must challenge the information supplied by the learner. The PLR will not automatically override the leaner’s self-declaration.
- Learning Agreement (see paragraphs 132 to 139)
Eligibility for funding
[154.] You must make sure that learners are eligible to be funded on the day that they start learning. Eligibility is not determined on the day that the learner enrols. If the learner becomes eligible after they have started a learning aim, we will not fund this learning aim.
[155.] An individual having the right to live or work in England does not make that person eligible for state funding for education and training. For example, they may have permission to work in England, through a Tier 4 visa (general student), but not to state funding for education or training.
[156.] Different eligibility criteria apply for individuals applying for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan. The Student Loans Company assesses all individuals for their eligibility. You can find more information on eligibility on the GOV.UK website.
[157.] Most individuals will be eligible for funding if they
[157.1.] are a citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or other countries determined within the European Economic Area, or have the Right of Abode in the UK. EEA countries are listed within Annex 1, paragraphs a to c
[157.2.] have been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years on the first day of learning and
[157.3.] the learning is taking place in England
[158.] Eligibility of individuals who do not meet the requirements listed in paragraph 157 is discussed below.
[159.] A non-EEA citizen is eligible for funding if they have permission granted by the UK government to live in the UK, which is not for educational purposes, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of learning.
Individuals with certain types of immigration status and their family members
[160.] Any individual with any of the statuses listed below, is eligible to receive funding and are exempt from the three-year residency requirement rule. You must have seen the learner’s immigration permission in these circumstances.
[160.1.] Refugee Status.
[160.2.] Discretionary Leave to Enter.
[160.3.] Discretionary Leave to Remain.
[160.4.] Exceptional Leave to Enter.
[160.5.] Exceptional Leave to Remain.
[160.6.] Indefinite Leave to Enter.
[160.7.] Indefinite Leave to Remain.
[160.8.] Humanitarian protection.
[160.9.] Leave Outside the Rules.
[160.10.] The husband, wife, civil partner and child of any of the above in this paragraph. (160.1 – 160.9)
[161.] The learner’s immigration permission in the UK may have a ‘No recourse to public funds’ condition. This does not include education or education funding, so this does not affect a learner’s eligibility, which must be decided under the normal eligibility conditions.
[162.] Asylum seekers are eligible to receive funding if:
[162.1.] they have lived in the UK for six months or longer while their claim is being considered by the Home Office, and no decision on their claim has been made, or
[162.2.] they are in the care of the local authority and are receiving local authority support under section 23C or section 23CA of the Children Act 1989 or section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948
[163.] An individual who has been refused asylum will be eligible if:
[163.1.] they have appealed against a decision made by the UK government against granting refugee status and no decision has been made within six months of lodging the appeal, or
[163.2.] they are granted support for themselves under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, or
[163.3.] they are in the care of a local authority and are receiving local authority support for themselves under section 23C or section 23CA of the Children Act 1989, or section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948
Family members of EU and EEA nationals
[164.] In the explanations below, the ‘principal’ is the European Union (EU) or EEA national. The ‘family’ or ‘family member’ is the learner, and must be the husband, wife, civil partner, child, grandchild, dependent parent or grandparent of the ‘principal’.
[165.] If a learner, who is a family member of an EEA national, has been ordinarily resident in the EEA for the three years prior to the start of their course, they are eligible for funding.
[166.] This table shows the eligibility for family members if:
[166.1.] the family member is now ordinarily resident in England, but has not been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years before the start of learning, and
[166.2.] a principal has been resident within the EEA for the last three years
Children of Turkish workers
[167.] A child of a Turkish worker is eligible if all of the following apply.
[167.1.] The Turkish worker is currently ordinarily resident in the UK.
[167.2.] The Turkish worker is, or has been, lawfully employed in the UK, and
[167.3.] The child has been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Turkey for the full three-year period before the start of their programme.
[168.] Any learner or relevant family member who has applied for an extension or variation of their current immigration permission in the UK is still treated as if they have that leave. Keeping this permission applies as long as the application was made before their current permission expired. Their leave continues until the Home Office make a decision on their immigration application.
[169.] As such, a learner or relevant family member, is considered to still have the immigration permission that they held when they made their application for an extension, and their eligibility would be based upon this status.
16 to 18 apprenticeships
[170.] 16- to 18-year-olds are eligible to be funded for an apprenticeship if any of the following clauses apply.
[170.1.] They are accompanying or joining parents who have the Right of Abode, Leave to Enter or Leave to Remain in the UK (or accompanying or joining parents who are EEA nationals).
[170.2.] They are children of diplomats.
[170.3.] They are children of teachers coming to the UK on a teacher exchange scheme.
[170.4.] They are entering the UK (where not accompanied by their parents) and are British (or EEA) citizens.
[170.5.] They have a passport that has been endorsed to show they have the Right of Abode in the United Kingdom.
[170.6.] They are an asylum seeker.
[170.7.] They are placed in the care of a local authority, or
[170.8.] They meet the requirements for any other eligible category in this Eligibility for funding chapter.
Individuals who are not eligible for funding
Learners not meeting the eligibility criteria set out above are not eligible to receive funding and include:
[171.1.] those who are resident in the United Kingdom on a Tier 4 (general) student visa. They may however become eligible through meeting any of the other categories in this section.
[171.2.] non-EEA citizens who are in the United Kingdom on holiday, with or without a visa
[171.3.] those who have overstayed their visa
[171.4.] non-EEA citizens who are a family member of a person granted a Tier 4 Visa, have been given immigration permission to stay in the UK and have not been ordinarily resident in the UK for the previous three years on the first day of learning
[171.5.] individuals who are ordinarily resident in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man, unless they are also ordinarily resident within England.
Learners who live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
[172.] Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own funding arrangements. You must develop arrangements with the relevant administration if you are planning to deliver a significant quantity of learning to non-English residents.
[173.] We will consider funding an individual or a very small group of individuals who do not live in England, if specialist skills training is not available other than in England and they want to travel to, or live in England to study and learn. You must contact your Central Delivery Service advisor for authorisation before you recruit anyone under the terms described in this clause.
[173.1.] We will take into account the circumstances of any request, but it is unlikely that we will authorise more than 10 individual starts within a funding year.
[173.2.] You must not actively recruit learners who live and work outside of England.
[174.] For workplace learning, we will fund non-English resident learners (usually those learners living in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) whose main employment and normal place of work is in England.
[175.] If a UK-based employer, bases their training provision only in England but wishes to include non-English residents, you must ask our Central Delivery Service (CDS) for permission to recruit. It is unlikely that we will authorise a group of more than 10 individual starts within a funding year.
[176.] You may be able to deliver learning in England to non-English residents who fall within your catchment area, but you must get permission from CDS.
Learners in the armed forces
[177.] British armed forces personnel may want to continue in education and training while serving their country. We will fund eligible programmes of study for service personnel, Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel or civil and crown servants, their husbands, wives, civil partners and family members in the following circumstances.
[177.1.] If the person has a permanent address in other parts of the UK but is on a posting in England or is in England with a member of the service personnel, Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel or a civil servant.
[177.2.] If the person has a permanent address in England but is posted outside England as part of their work with the armed forces or is with a member of the service personnel, Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel or a civil servant.
[177.3.] In both of the above cases, this also applies if a learner begins a learning aim or programme in England and is posted elsewhere while enrolled on a learning aim or programme, and also where the person begins a learning aim or programme while posted outside England.
[177.4.] Members of the British armed forces posted outside of the EU remain ordinarily resident in the UK during their time spent outside of the EU. Such time would count towards the three years that they require to have been ordinarily resident within the EU to be eligible. This also applies to the family members of these individuals.
[177.5.] The learner would also be considered eligible if ordinary residence in the EEA or Turkey is required and the learner or relevant family member has been a member of the armed forces of an EEA state or Turkey. We define ordinary residence in the glossary.
[178.] Individuals of other nationalities serving as members of the armed forces of any country are eligible for the same funding as members of the British armed forces if they meet the criteria in paragraph 177. This includes the funding eligibility described above and their family members living with them on their postings. This does not apply to family members who do not join members of the armed forces and instead stay outside of England.
Learners temporarily outside of England
[179.] If a person who is ordinarily resident in England has to work outside of England as part of their job, they (and their dependants if they are ordinarily resident in England), are eligible for funding as long as some of the learning takes place in England.
[180.] If some learning activity means the learner has to travel outside of England, they will continue to receive funding. We will not provide funding to cover the expense of these activities.
Learning Agreement (see paragraphs 132 to 139).
Paragraph 160 – You must state that you have seen the learner’s immigration permission. This could be a passport, a letter from UK Visas or Immigration or other evidence.
Paragraph 168 – If the learner’s permission to stay has expired, you must hold evidence that the application to remain has been made and the learner is not an overstayer.
Published: 9 February 2015
Updated: 20 March 2015
- Rules and paragraph numbers updated to reflect version 2 of the rules following feedback and requests for clarification from the sector.
- First published.