Guidance

How to return ILR final funding claims to the ESFA

Information for institutions who are required to make a ESFA final funding claim return for academic year 2016 to 2017.

How to return ILR final funding claims 2016 to 2017 to the ESFA

All Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) final funding claim returns should be run from your final Individualised Learner Record (ILR) R14 submission for 2016 to 2017.

The ILR R14 data return period will close on Thursday 19 October. This is the final data return for this funding year.

The ESFA final funding claim return for 2016 to 2017 includes the required declaration on the final page of the Funding Implementation Service (FIS) ESFA funding claim report. Institutions that make ILR returns should use the document exchange to return a PDF copy of the completed signed report.

The requirement to return a signed final claim report to the ESFA is set out in ESFA Funding guidance for young people 2016 to 2017 ILR Funding returns. Annex A explains the purpose of the signed declaration by the head of the institution.

We will not treat any final funding claim returned by 31 October 2017 as late. The final funding claim declaration must be signed by the Head of the institution.

Producing the funding claim report

The ESFA final claim report can be run from either the institutions ILR data using FIS or is available as a report from the Hub. The report must be run from your final ILR submission and must submit the same data to the data collections facility in the Hub.

Please submit your ILR R14 data return by 19 October 2017 so as to allow enough time to fully cleanse your data using the validation reports generated by the system.

The format of the report

The report must be produced from FIS or Hub as a PDF type report and not as an Excel report.

Signing the funding claim report

Once the FIS or Hub ESFA final claim report for 2016 to 2017 has been produced the document should be presented to the head of the institution to sign the required declaration on the final page of the report.

Scanning the report

The report should be scanned electronically and returned to ESFA. We only require the scanned electronic copy. The original hard copy of the report with the original signature must be kept by the institution as a financial record for the year and retained in accordance with the advice in ILR Funding returns paragraph 16 and in Funding regulations paragraph 141. The original document must not be posted to ESFA.

Returning the report to the ESFA

The scanned PDF version of the signed report should be sent to the ESFA through the Information Exchange in October.

Please note when you load the file on Information Exchange, the system will automatically change the file name to a compliant ESFA system file name.

The report should be saved in the Information Exchange folder headed “Revenue Funding”, sub folder “AY 2016-17”. When uploading your signed report please select ‘Funding Claim (RF)’ as the document purpose. No other FIS reports or any other documentation should be returned with the final claim report. It is particularly important to fully comply with the Data Protection Act requirements over personal data and not include any reports that include individual student details. The required summary ESFA funding claim report does not include any such details.

Using ESFA Information Exchange

If you have any problems using the ESFA Information Exchange, there is guidance available to help you.

All requests for clarification over the final claim return itself should be made to the institutions usual territory contact.

Gaining the necessary assurance over ESFA income for auditors signing off college accounts before the end of December

The ESFA will issue allocation information for 2016 to 2017 and ILR R13 funding out-turn information to all known college financial audit firms in a workbook form for all their known clients. This will be followed up with final figures based on ILR R14 returns in early November to assist the firms in signing off college accounts. The individual institution statements cannot be produced until all final returns are received and processed.

Next steps

As set out in ILR funding returns document in paragraph 14 the ESFA will issue final reconciliation statements to all ILR funded institutions through their Information Exchange account.

Contract institutions subject to reconciliation final statements will be issued in November and Grant-in-aid institutions will be issued in December 2017. The statements will be found in due course in the following folder location: Revenue Funding > AY 2016-17. Support and further information about the ESFA information Exchange is available.

Published 12 August 2016