Guidance

How T Levels will be funded in academic year 2020 to 2021

This information is primarily for those providers selected to deliver T Levels in academic year 2020 to 2021.

Purpose

This information is primarily for those providers selected to deliver T Levels in academic year 2020 to 2021. It explains how we will fund T Levels. The scope includes funding for 16 to 19-year old students and students up to age 24 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan. This information should be read in conjunction with the ESFA 16 to 19 Funding Guidance.

A T Level is a level 3 study programme, which has been approved by the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education under sections A2DA and A2DB of the Apprenticeships Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.

How T Level funding will be different from the way we fund 16 to 19 study programmes

We are building on the existing arrangements in order to distribute T Level funding for 16 to 19-year-olds, rather than design a new separate system. This means adjusting the current funding system so that it funds T Levels as well as existing 16 to 19 study programmes. There are a number of differences and additional elements that T Level students will attract, or where the rate for an existing element is higher for T Levels. We have introduced:

  • four new funding bands – because T Levels will be larger than standard study programmes and will be of different sizes
  • funding based on the hours over 2 years – because T Levels will be 2-year programmes
  • consistent funding for 18-year olds – because T Levels have fixed hours
  • Industry Placements funding at a flat rate of £550 - with half paid in the first year and half in the second
  • a single payment of £750 per subject per student, paid in the first year for students without level 2 in maths and / or English – who will need to continue studying these subjects as part of their T Level, in order to achieve the exit requirement
  • additional disadvantage funding to reflect the additional hours and demands of T Levels

Students must comply with the maths and English requirements as outlined for T Levels.

Background

As set out in the government response to the T Level funding consultation published in June 2019 and supported by the majority of the respondents, we plan to build on the existing arrangements in order to distribute T Level funding for 16 to 19-year olds, rather than design a new separate funding system, so that we can maintain a simple, fair, efficient and transparent funding system.

This will mean adjusting the current funding system so that it funds T Levels alongside existing 16 to 19 study programmes.

Funding formula for T Level funding

The diagram below shows the national funding formula for 16 to 19 funding that will apply from 2020 to 2021, adjusted for T Levels. Each element of funding for T Levels that is either additional to study programmes, or where the rate or operation is different is detailed below.

National funding formula

Student numbers

As T Levels are new there is no historical delivery to determine how many students to fund for T Levels for the 2020 to 2021 academic year allocations. We do not want funding to be a barrier to the introduction of T Levels. Therefore, in the early years we will be basing T Level student numbers on a planned figure agreed with providers. For the 2020 to 2021 academic year we are using the T Level student numbers submitted by providers in May 2019, based on recruitment in autumn 2020. Where necessary, as outlined in the section below for under/over delivery we will update this figure in autumn 2020.

T Level students will, in the main, be students who would otherwise have taken existing courses. Therefore, the funding of planned T Level student numbers will not affect a provider’s overall allocation of student numbers – only the bands in which they will be funded. The overall lagged student numbers approach as calculated for any other academic year will apply for 2020 to 2021 and will still be used as the basis for the allocation.

Only students enrolled with an eligible T Level provider can attract additional T Level funding.

Funding bands revision

Because T Levels will include more teaching hours and be more prescriptive in their content than study programmes, we are adding 4 larger funding bands to the existing 5 bands. T Level students will be allocated to the appropriate funding band. Table 1 illustrates the average and minimum planned hours, along with the funding rates for each of the bands.

Table 1 average and minimum hours and funding rate for each band

Average planned hours Minimum planned hours required for the band Funding rate (2 years)
Band 6 - small T Levels 1250 hours 1100 hours £8,726
Band 7 - medium T Levels 1450 hours 1300 hours £10,122
Band 8 - large T Levels 1600 hours 1500 hours £11,168
Band 9 - very large T Levels 1750 hours 1650 hours £12,216

For 2020 to 2021 the first 3 T Levels will be funded in the medium band, band 7. In calculating the allocation, students funded in the T Level bands will replace students in the current full-time band (band 5). This ensures only the difference between the funding for a full-time student in band 5 and the T Level student in the higher band is funded as T Level funding.

The size of the first 3 technical qualifications have been published in April 2020, the detail is available on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) website. In order to create the figures in the table below, we have assumed that 150 employability, enrichment and pastoral (EEP) hours, as outlined in the T Level funding consultation document, will also be completed in each T Level. This places the T Levels for delivery from 2020 to 2021 in the following bands.

T Level/Specialism Guided learning hours (GLH) Funding Band
Design, surveying and planning    
Civil engineering 1350 7
Surveying and design for construction and the built environment 1350 7
Building services design 1350 7
Hazardous materials analysis and surveying 1350 7
Digital production, design and development    
Digital production, design and development 1350 7
Education and childcare    
Assisting teaching 1064 hours to 1066 hours 6
Early years educator 1155 hours to 1159 hours 6

Including EEP hours, the Design Surveying and Planning for Construction and Digital Production, Design and Development T Levels are within band 7.

For Education and Childcare, even after the EEP hours are included, the T Level is below the minimum hours for bands 7 and band 6.

There is, however an expectation that for the Early Years Educator specialism 100 additional hours, as detailed below, though not included in the detail in the table above should be delivered as part of the necessary observation on the industry placement. These additional 100 hours for this specialism only should be counted as ‘planned hours’ for purposes of providers planning students’ programmes and completing the ILR / schools census (see below).

The Education and Childcare Technical Qualification specification states, providers must:

  • plan placements of 750 hours over the 2-year TQ delivery period
  • ensure students complete a minimum of 415 placement hours, of which 100 must be guided learning hours on placement to reflect the time needed for students to develop the skills and knowledge required and for formative assessment to take place to demonstrate success

Once the 100 hours for the observation are added, the Early Years specialism of the Education and Childcare T Level, is above the minimum hours for band 6, and will be funded at band 6 from 2021. The Assisting Teaching specialism will also be funded at band 6 from 2021 although, as set out below, providers will now need to ensure they deliver the minimum 1100 hours for band 6.

For 2020 to 2021 academic year (AY) however we will be funding this T Level at band 7, and in this particular year it is anticipated that providers will deliver either extra qualification hours or additional EEP to match the 1300 hours that are being funded.

From 2021 to 2022 AY Education and Childcare T Level will be funded at band 6, including students on the second year of the T Level they started in 2020 to 2021.

Until lagged student numbers and funding factors are applied to T Level students the current methodology for distributing lagged student numbers across the funding bands will not apply for the additional T Level students. Each T Level student will be placed in the appropriate band.

For example, if a provider has lagged students of 1,000 distributed across the current funding bands as shown below, and the ESFA has agreed with the provider delivery of 40 T Levels in 2020 to 2021, the distribution across the funding bands will be as shown in table 2 below:

Table 2 example - distribution of students across funding bands

Existing funding band Lagged students distributed across current funding bands New funding bands Lagged students with distribution across additional T Level bands
    Band 7 40
Band 5 500 Band 5 460
Band 4 200 Band 4 200
Band 3 100 Band 3 100
Band 2 100 Band 2 100
Band 1 100 Band 1 100
Total 1000 Total 1000

Planned hours

For future years (2021 to 2022 onwards), in circumstances where a T Level is allocated to the lowest T Level band (band 6) but (due to the size of the qualification), students’ programmes have a lower number of planned hours (including qualification and Employability, Enrichment and Pastoral (EEP) hours) than the minimum of 1100 hours for band 6, providers will need to deliver additional EEP or qualification hours/teaching to meet the minimum hours for the band (and therefore attract the funding for that). If they don’t meet the minimum hours, they will only receive funding for the existing student programme band 5. The planned hours that the provider will record will be for the technical qualification and the non-qualification elements of the T Level. The non-qualification elements will not include hours for any maths and English delivery or the industry placement but will include EEP. It is that planned hours total that will be used to determine whether the planned hours fall below the minimum hours for a T Level in the circumstance described above.

We would encourage providers to deliver band 7 hours in 2020 to 2021 where we have confirmed that is what we will fund, but it has subsequently been confirmed that the guided learning hours for the qualification will place the T Level in a lower band.

We expect that providers will deliver the minimum hours for all students but in exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to offer less, for instance where a student has significant prior learning. In those instances, the appropriate planned hours must be recorded, and where the planned hours are below the minimum for the T Level we will fund at the appropriate lower band.

Where this results in the student being recorded in band 5, where all the components of the T Level are recorded, all the additional features of a T Level will be retained, such as the same rate for 18-year-old and industry placement funding.

The retention factor

T Levels will be recorded as a 2-year programme, with retention calculated on an annual basis. When students are on a 2-year programme and they complete the first year, they will be counted as retained in that academic year. We define completing the first year as being in learning on the last working day in June. The same principle applies in the second year.

Transfers

We will use the core aim that the student is recorded on at the end of the academic year, to calculate funding factors and bands for future years. End year data will be used to identify what T Level the student is enrolled on. If during the first year a student transfers from one T Level to another, it will be the latest T Level aim that will count. Transfers from one T Level to another are not possible after the end of the first year.

Where the transfer is to a study programme, the planned hours recorded for the study programme will inform the distribution to funding bands for a future years’ allocation.

Where a student leaves the T Level during the year to start an Apprenticeship or other programme outside of 16 to 19 study programmes, usual retention principles will apply and the provider would lose 50% of the annual funding rate for that student, as the student will not be classed as having completed their learning aim.

Programme cost weighting revision

We will continue to use programme cost weightings (PCW) to recognise that some programmes are more costly to deliver than others. There are 6 PCW factors in the 16 to 19 model for 2020 to 2021 (increased from 4 in 2019 to 2020).

Table 3: programme cost weighting factors for 2020 to 2021

Weighting value
Base 1.0
Low 1.1
Medium 1.2
High 1.3
Very High 1.4
Specialist 1.75

For 2020 to 2021 we will apply the same PCW as we do for study programmes. We will calculate the PCW from 2018/19 data from the SSA tier 2 classification of the core aim for students on vocational qualifications. Full details for the programme cost weightings by Sector Subject Area for 2020 to 2021 will be included in the funding guidance page on GOV.UK.

We initially published that the first 3 T Levels being delivered in 2020 to 2021 will have a PCW of 1.2, however a review of PCW held in 2019 identified that some construction qualifications would receive a weighting of 1.3. Consequently the construction T Level will attract this uplift, when T Level students in 2020 to 2021 are included in future allocations.

A review of PCW is currently being undertaken and this may make a difference to the weightings that apply to delivery from 2021 to 2022 and/or beyond.

16 to 19 funding: Level 3 programme maths and English payment

This additional maths and English funding is provided to support the delivery of maths and English to those students on substantial level 3 study programmes (including T Levels) who have not yet attained a grade 9 to 4 GCSE or equivalent in either or both of these subjects.

The full details for how the funding will be applied is included in the guidance on GOV.UK.

Disadvantage funding

The disadvantage factor that we will apply to T Level students works in a similar way as for other 16 to 19 students, with 2 elements:

  • block 1: economic deprivation, based on the home postcode of the student
  • block 2: prior attainment in GCSE English and maths at age 16

Block 1: economic deprivation

Disadvantage block 1 funding is based on where students live, in order to determine whether disadvantage funding should be allocated and at what level. To do this we look up their home postcode in the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). The IMD is an official government index that tells us how deprived areas are, based on education, crime, health, employment, and income statistics. We then assign an uplift to those students who live in the 27% most deprived areas of the country. Details for how the factor is calculated are included in the 16 to 19 funding guidance.

The calculation of the overall economic deprivation factor is weighted based on individual students and their historic programme size. Because T Levels have more hours than students on study programmes, for 2020 to 2021 this factor is applied to a higher level of funding which means that the allocation will generate a higher block 1 funding amount.

Block 2: prior attainment

Disadvantage block 2 provides funds to support students with additional needs including moderate learning difficulties and disabilities. As a proxy for identifying these students we use low prior attainment in maths and English.

Low prior attainment is defined as not achieving English and/or maths GCSEs at grades A* to C or grades 9 to 4 by the end of year 11 (typically age 16).

Each instance of a student not having achieved a maths or English GCSE at grade C/4 or above is counted. This means that a student who does not have this grade in both GCSEs will be counted twice for the block 2 uplift. We will calculate block 2 funding for T Levels as part of the overall block 2 calculation for the institution. We will therefore multiply the T Level student number by the institution’s overall instance per student figure to determine the disadvantage block 2 funding for T Level students, in the same way as we do for full- or part-time study programme students.

The funding rate for block 2 disadvantage for T Level students will be £650, which is higher than for study programmes in recognition that this is a large demanding programme and additional support will be needed for students with special educational needs and disabilities, including when they are on an industry placement.

Table 5 example: how the number of instances of disadvantage block 2 will be calculated for T Level students

Total number of students Number of instances for maths and English Instances per student T Level students Number of instances of block 2 funding for T Level students
1000 350 0.35 40 14

Each instance will be funded at £650, so a T Level student, without both maths and English by the end of year 11, would attract £1300.

Large Programme Uplift

T Levels will be demanding programmes, however there could be a small number of students that will want to take an A or AS level alongside their T Level. We will provide funding for high attaining students who may want to take an A/AS level alongside their T Level through the Large Programme Uplift. T Levels are the only programmes where an AS level taken alongside can be eligible for the large programme uplift.

As the large programme uplift is funded on a 3-year lagged basis, for 2020 to 2021 academic year it is calculated using historical data for attainment from 2017 to 2018 academic year. This data is used to identify the number of students eligible for the large programme uplift. This means students starting a T Level in 2020 to 2021 that qualify for the LPU when they complete it in 2021 to 2022 will attract additional funding in 2024 to 2025.

A/AS levels (excluding general studies and critical thinking) taken alongside T Level programmes may qualify for the large programme uplift.

A student must achieve a minimum merit grade on their T Level programme and minimum grade B on their A/AS level (or minimum grade C for further maths) in order to qualify.

Additionally, any A /AS levels taken alongside a T Level must offer demonstrable additional content that is relevant to the student’s programme and which is not already covered by their T Level qualification (including occupational specialism) content.

Qualifying AS levels taken alongside a T Level programme will attract payment for 1 year reflecting that they are usually taken over 1 year.

Qualifying A levels taken alongside a T Level programme will attract payment for 2 years reflecting that A level qualifications are usually taken over 2 years.

The uplifts for T Level programmes are paid for either 1 or 2 years depending on whether it is for an AS Level or an A Level, as indicated below.

10% paid for 1 year A T Level programme with at least a merit grade plus one AS level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or AS level further maths at grade C
10% paid for 2 years A T Level programme with at least a merit grade plus one A level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or A level further maths at grade C
20% paid for 1 year A T Level programme with at least a merit grade plus more than one AS level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or AS level further maths at grade C
20% paid for 2 years A T Level programme with at least a merit grade plus more than one A level (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or A level further maths at grade C

It is very unlikely that a student would take an AS level and an A level in different subjects as well as a T Level therefore, students taking a combination of AS and A levels will get the uplift appropriate to the qualifying A level(s) only.

Advanced maths premium

We are supportive of high attaining students who want to take core maths or maths A level alongside their T Level. The advanced maths premium announced in 2017, will mean there is funding for this where providers are expanding the number of students taking level 3 maths, including T Level students.

Funding industry placements within T Levels

Industry Placements are a compulsory element of the T Level. Placements are to be delivered in line with the industry placements quality assurance guidance, due to be published later this spring. In the meantime, please see the published standards and principles that apply to industry placement Capacity and Delivery Funding. We will fund Industry Placements at £275 per student for each of the 2 years of the T Level. Payments will be allocated for the T Level student numbers agreed with providers.

Where a provider also has an allocation of the Industry Placement Capacity and Delivery Fund (CDF) a corresponding reduction will be made to the number of students funded through the CDF. For example, a provider with 100 places funded through the CDF and an allocation of 40 T Level students will be allocated placement funding for the 40 T Level students in their mainstream allocation and 60 places through CDF.

Under/over delivery against funded T Level student numbers for 2020 to 2021

Having set the allocation based on planned T Level student numbers, we will then use the first data return of the year (R04/2020 Autumn census) from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and the school census, to assess actual enrolments against the T Level numbers that we included in the allocation and make any necessary adjustments to the allocation. We will also check the T Level student numbers recorded in R04/2020 Autumn census against the final numbers recorded in year-end data (R14/2021 Autumn census). We will communicate a revised approach if the specified data returns are not available.

In instances where providers over recruit on their T Level student numbers; as there will be no threshold for growth in T Level student numbers in the first year, we will provide funding for all additional T Level students.

A revision to the number of students in band 7 and corresponding reduction to band 5 numbers will be made and the allocation re-calculated and re-issued.

Table 6 example: showing the distribution across funding bands where there is recruitment above the planned number of students to T Levels

Band 7 Band 5 Total students in allocation for all bands
Agreed T Level student numbers for 2020 to 2021 40 460 1000
T Level students in data return in autumn 2020 60    
Revision – increase in band 7 student numbers and reduction in band 5. (Overall lagged student numbers remain constant) 60 440 1000

If providers under recruit on their student numbers, as we recognise that providers will have planned and committed expenditure for delivery of the student numbers previously agreed, there will be an under-delivery tolerance of 40%, of student numbers.

For any under delivery up to that level, funding would not be recovered. Where under delivery is above 40% only the funding for students above 40% will be recovered.

For example, if the provider under delivers by 15 of the 40 T Level students we had included in allocations, T Level student numbers would not be reduced as 15 students out of 40 is less than 40%. However, if they under delivered by 20 students, (i.e. 50%) the number of students above the threshold (4) would be reduced in the T Level bands and the corresponding number of band 5 students will be increased.

This means that those students would revert to being funded as full-time band 5 students. Therefore, the difference in funding between band 7 and band 5 and the additional funding for industry placements, would be removed, other additional funding that is paid for T Level students will also be removed including the additional funding that is only paid for T Level students.

Table 7 example: showing distribution across funding bands for under recruitment below the threshold

Band 7 Band 5 Total students in allocation in all bands
Agreed T Level students numbers for 2020 to 2021 40 460 1000
T Level students in data return in autumn 2020 25    
No revision 40 460 1000

Table 8 example: showing distribution across funding bands where there is under recruitment above the threshold

Band 7 Band 5 Total students in allocation in all bands
Agreed T Level students numbers for 2020 to 2021 40 160 1000
T Level students in data return in autumn 2020 20    
Revision 36 164 1000

If a provider fails to deliver any T Levels at all: all T Level funding will be removed, and full-time student numbers returned from the higher band to band 5. This will result in all T Level funding being removed from the allocation and any reduction in funds being recovered from future payments, (such as, the provider will return to being funded for 1000 students overall with no additional T Level funding).

Table 9 example: showing the revision to distribution across funding bands where there is no T Level enrolment

Band 7 Band 5 Total students in allocation in all bands
Agreed T Level students for 2020 to 2021 40 460 1000  
T Level students in data return in autumn 2020 0     No T Level student enrolled
Revision 0 500 1000  

We will review the approach for over/under delivery of agreed T Level student numbers for future years.

Exceptional in year growth in overall student numbers

Should recruitment to T Levels result in an overall increase in student numbers (above that used for the 2020 to 2021 allocation) then the normal exceptional in year growth process, which recognises total student enrolments in excess of lagged student numbers, would apply. This process is subject to affordability.

How to record T Levels

Below is a summary of the information providers must return in their 2020 to 2021 data returns for T Level students. More detail can be found in the guidance published for the ILR and Autumn School Census data collections.

T Level programmes have a number of mandatory components:

  • Programme Aim – every T Level programme must have a programme aim (ZPROG001) spanning the entire duration of the programme.
  • T Level qualification – this is the main technical qualification of the programme covering the core and specialist content. This qualification must be recorded for each T Level student at the beginning of their programme and should be recorded as the student’s core aim. The 3 T Level qualifications approved for teaching from Autumn 2020 are:
    • 60358294 - T Level Technical Qualification in Education and Childcare (level 3) (delivered by NCFE)
    • 60358324 - T Level Technical Qualification in Digital Production, Design and Development (level 3) (delivered by Pearson)
    • 60358300 - T Level Technical Qualification in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction (level 3) (delivered by Pearson)
  • Occupational Specialism – every T Level student must choose an occupational specialism as part of their T Level programme. Although not a qualification in its own right it is important that providers record the occupational specialism each student undertakes. We have set up learning aim class codes for each occupational specialism for 2020 to enable clear recording. The student’s occupational specialism must be confirmed and recorded in data by the end of the student’s first academic year on their T Level programme.
  • T Level industry placement – every T Level student must undertake a substantial industry placement and this should be recorded using the learning aim ZWRKX003. This learning aim reference is specifically for T Level industry placement activity.
  • T Level planned hours – planned hours for the whole programme should be recorded against every T Level student at the start of their programme. In the ILR these are recorded in the es field against the T Level programme aim and in the census are recorded in the T Level qualification and T Level non-qualification hours fields.

Providers must also ensure that all learning aims delivered as part of a T Level programme are recorded with the T Level programme type 31.

Audit and monitoring

T Levels, including their integrated Industry Placement, will be funded as an integral part of the 16 to 19 National Funding Formula and will be subject, on a sample basis to planned routine assurance reviews, alongside 16 to 19 study programmes. Our assurance review approach will be developed to focus on areas of funding risk and will supplement data validation or analysis work. Further details on the audit and monitoring approach for T Levels will be published nearer the start of the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Early Adopter Development Fund (EADF)

For payment in 2019 to 2020 academic year

Additional funding has been allocated to providers delivering T Levels and Transition Programme in 2020 to 2021 and will be paid in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. The funding is to enable these early providers to support the department to co-create high quality courses. The activity that is supported by the EADF will be reported through the T Level Implementation plan.

The additional funding for early adopters delivering in the 2020 to 2021 academic year is:

  • £30,000 per T Level, so a provider delivering 1 T Level will be allocated £30,000, and if delivering 3 would be allocated up to £90,000
  • £20,000 per provider for delivery of the T Level Transition Programme
  • to be paid in 2 amounts, two thirds of the annual amount in October 2019, and one third in May 2020
  • £2,500 per T Level to support costs such as producing high-quality materials to recruit young people, all of which will be paid in October 2019

In return for the EADF for T Levels, providers are required to:

  • attend events, webinars and other activities arranged by the department and engage with the Awarding Organisations in the development of the technical qualifications
  • meet with their ESFA field force contact at least once a term to discuss plans for delivery
  • complete their implementation plans and return these to the ESFA by the submission dates. The plans should contain detail of the actions that providers are taking across the categories in the plan which demonstrate providers readiness to deliver T Levels. Providers should discuss their plan with their ESFA local contact
  • report on the recruitment of students for the first 3 T Levels with predicted student numbers expected set out in the October 2019 implementation plan. The number of students that have applied for T Levels to be reported in the January 2020 plan and the number of the confirmed T Level offers to students in the May 2020 plan. We will expect information and numbers on the staff recruited to deliver T Levels in the May 2020 implementation plans

In return for the EADF for the T Level Transition Programme, providers are required to:

  • take part in the preparation year from September 2019 to July 2020 and delivery year from September 2020 to July 2021, exploring different approaches to delivery agreed with The Association of Colleges (the delivery support organisation) and the department
  • engage actively in work to support preparation and delivery of the T Level Transition Programme in 2020 to 2021, including participating in peer learning, network events, progress monitoring and developing case studies of best practice
  • complete their implementation plans and return these to the ESFA by the submission dates. The plans should contain detail of the actions that providers are taking across the implementation categories in the plans and demonstrate their readiness to deliver the T Level Transition Programme. Providers should discuss their plan with their ESFA local contact
  • report on the recruitment of students for the T Level Transition Programme with predicted student numbers expected in the October 2019 implementation plan, updated predicted student numbers in January 2020 and the number of the confirmed T Level Transition Programme offers to students in May 2020

If providers fail to complete all actions above the department reserves the right not to pay the final 2020 EADF instalment and may seek to recover any EADF already paid.

For payment in 2020 to 2021 academic year

Further additional funding has been allocated to providers delivering T Levels and Transition Programme in 2021 to 2022. It will be paid in 2020 to 2021 academic year. The funding is for one year only, to enable these early providers to support the department to co-create high quality courses.

The additional funding for early adopters delivering in the 2021 to 2022 academic year is:

  • £30,000 per new T Level being delivered for the first time in 2021 to 2022. A provider delivering 1 new T Level for the first time will be allocated £30,000, and if delivering 10 would be allocated up to £300,000
  • £20,000 per provider delivering the T Level Transition Programme for the first time in 2021 to 2022 for development
  • to be paid in 2 amounts, two thirds of the annual amount in October 2020, one third in May 2021

Providers are required to complete all of the actions detailed in the requirements of EADF and if these actions are not completed the department reserves the right not to pay the final 2021 EADF instalment and may seek to recover any EADF already paid.

Requirements for EADF for T Levels

In return for the EADF for T Levels, providers delivering new T Levels for the first time in 2021 are required to:

  • attend events, webinars and other activities arranged by the department and engage with the Awarding Organisations (AO) in the development of the technical qualifications
  • meet with their ESFA field force contact at least once a term to discuss plans for delivery
  • complete their implementation plans and return these to the ESFA by the submission dates. The plans should contain detail of the actions that providers are taking across the categories in the plan which demonstrate providers readiness to deliver T Levels and how the EADF for T Levels is being spent. Providers should discuss their plan with their ESFA local contact
  • report on the recruitment of students for the T Levels they will deliver. Predicted student numbers expected should be set out in the October 2020 implementation plan statistical annex. The number of students that have applied for T Levels should then be reported in the January 2021 statistical annex. Further student numbers should be provided in the monthly pulse survey. The number of the confirmed T Level offers to students should be included in the May 2021 statistical annex. We will expect information and numbers on the staff recruited to deliver T Levels in the May 2021 implementation plan and statistical annex

In return for the EADF for T Levels, providers who have delivered T Levels in 2020 and are delivering additional new T Levels in 2021 are required to:

  • attend events, webinars and other activities arranged by the department and engage with the Awarding Organisations in the development of the new T Levels technical qualifications
  • keep records of the participation and engagement required above
  • record how they are spending the EADF for the new T Levels
  • make these records available to the department upon request

These records are to be made available to the department upon request and should be in a similar format to the EADF section of the T Level Implementation Plan.

Requirements for EADF for the T Level Transition Programme

In return for the EADF for the T Level Transition Programme, providers delivering both the T Level Transition Programme and T Levels for the first time in 2021 to 2022 are required to:

  • complete their implementation plans and return these to the ESFA by the submission dates. The plans should contain detail of the actions that providers are taking across the implementation categories in the plans, demonstrate their readiness to deliver the T Level Transition Programme and detail how the EADF for the T Level Transition Programme is being spent. Providers should discuss their plan with their ESFA local contact
  • take part in the preparation year from September 2020 to July 2021 and delivery year from September 2021 to July 2022, exploring different approaches to delivery agreed with the Association of Colleges (the delivery support organisation) and the department
  • engage actively in work to support preparation and delivery of the T Level Transition Programme in 2021 to 2022, including participating in peer learning, network events, progress monitoring and developing case studies of best practice
  • report on the recruitment of students for the T Level Transition Programme with predicted student numbers expected in the October 2020 implementation plan statistical annex, updated predicted student numbers in January 2021 and the number of the confirmed T Level Transition Programme offers to students in May 2021

In return for the EADF for the T Level Transition Programme, providers delivering the T Level Transition Programme for the first time in 2021 but who have delivered T Levels in 2020 are required to:

  • take part in the preparation year from September 2020 to July 2021, exploring different approaches to delivery agreed with the Association of Colleges (the delivery support organisation) and the department
  • engage actively in work to support preparation and delivery of the T Level Transition Programme in 2021 to 2022, including participating in peer learning, network events, progress monitoring and developing case studies of best practice
  • record how they have spent the EADF for the T Level Transition Programme
  • report on the recruitment of students for the T Level Transition Programme providing predicted student numbers in October 2020 and January 2021 and the number of confirmed T Level Transition Programme offers to students in May 2021 through a specific return

These records are to be made available to the department upon request and should be in a similar format to the EADF section of the T Level Implementation Plan.

Planned hours and funding bands

Table 1 above outlines the average and minimum number of hours for each of the 4 T Level bands, bands 6 to 9. The technical qualifications are being developed by the AO with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. The technical qualification for each T Level will be approved by the Institute prior to first delivery of the T Level.

We will fund the first 3 T Levels at band 7 for delivery in 2020 to 2021 and final funding bands in subsequent years for these 3 T Levels will be announced in due course, taking into account EEP and any additional requirements.

We will expect that providers will normally deliver the minimum hours as published for the band that the T Level is allocated to. There may be a small number of exceptional circumstances where it is appropriate for the provider to plan to deliver fewer than the minimum number of hours. This may be where the student has already completed the learning required, for example a level 2 qualification in a related subject. In such cases and where the provider considers sufficient prior learning has taken place and studying the full content of the T Level is unnecessary a lower number of planned hours should be recorded, and the funding rate for the appropriate lower band will apply. All the other elements of the T Level that would result in extra funding will still apply and therefore must be recorded correctly.

This approach will apply whether the planned hours recorded fall into a T Level band or bands 1 to 5. We will monitor the recording of planned hours per T Level student at provider level to establish whether a significant proportion of T Level students have planned hours lower than the published minimum, to ensure that the funding band represents delivery. The example below shows a student on a band 7 T Level, where the provider has only recorded enough planned hours to be funded in band 6.

Table 10 example: showing the funding rate to be paid where planned hours recorded by the provider are below the minimum planned hours for the specified T Level

Band 6 - small T Levels Band 7 - medium T Levels
Minimum planned hours required for the band 1100 hours 1300 hours
Funding rate for the band £8,726 (paid at £4,363/year) £10,122 (paid at £5,061/year)
Planned hours recorded by the provider for a T Level assigned to band 7 - which is below minimum for the band   1200 hours
Revised funding rate based on recorded planned hours   £8,726 (paid at £4,363/year)

Students that start their T Level part way through the year

We anticipate that students will commence a T Level at the beginning of the academic year. There may however be some students who have sufficient prior learning that the provider considers it is in the best interest of the student to join a group part way through the year rather than wait until the next year. In these instances, the total planned hours for the length of the T Level should be recorded, and we will calculate the level of funding that will apply to those planned hours. This funding will then be spread over the length of the T Level programme in a similar way that applies to part year study programmes.

Students undertaking a T Level programme and a study programme in the same funding year

The ESFA will not fund students to take more than one full time study programme or the equivalent in multiple part time programmes in one institution in one funding year.

We expect students to be undertaking a study programme or a T Level programme in one funding year and not both.

If in exceptional circumstances a student does progress from a study programme to a T Level part way through the funding year they will be funded as per any other T Level student generating a full year’s worth of T Level funding in year 1 and in year 2.

If the student then continues their T Level into year 3 due to the late start in year 1 there will be no further funding for year 3.

Transition programme Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Total funding
T Level Whole of year 1 funded at T Level rate Whole of year 2 funded at T Level rate Not funded  
  £5,061 £5,061 £0 £10,122

Funding for T Level Transition Programme

Delivery of the Transition Programme is expected to be through the standard study programme funding system and rates as set out in the T Level Consultation (November 2018) and the Government response (June 2019).

We also intend to apply programme cost weighting (PCW) to students on the T Level Transition Programme. However, these will be applied on a lagged basis so will not affect funding allocations until 2022 to 2023. We intend to apply the same PCW to students doing the Transition Programme in each route and will use the PCW applied to the relevant T Level(s) to determine these route-based PCW. Information on the specific PCW that will apply to Transition Programme students will be provided in future funding guidance. It will therefore be important for providers to record the correct core aim for Transition Programme students, as set out in the Provider Support Manual and the school census.

Published 10 July 2019
Last updated 15 September 2020 + show all updates
  1. We have updated the funding bands revision section with information from the NCFE technical specification for the Early Years Educator specialism explaining how the volume of planned hours is calculated. We previously referenced the NCFE Assessment Strategy for this information, we now reference the updated NCFE technical specification

  2. We have updated guidance for students taking a T Level programme and a study programme in the same funding year

  3. We have updated our guidance for academic year 2020 to 2021 to include information about the size of the first three technical qualifications, the funding bands they fall into and how providers should record T Levels

  4. General update to how ESFA will fund T Levels including updates to Early Adopter Development Fund and Large Programme Uplift sections.

  5. First published.