Post-16 funding: transitional protection of specialist provision in 2015 to 2016

Information for post-16 institutions about the transitional protection of specialist provision in 2015 to 2016

This guidance was withdrawn on

This page relates to the 2015 to 2016 academic year. Please visit our 16 to 19 funding pages for the latest information.


Transitional protection for specialist provision was introduced in response to a specific concern that, as a result of the high needs funding reforms, there might be a reduction in the number of students placed in specialist provision between 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015 and that, in turn, might result in a loss of specialist capacity whilst the wider reforms introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 are bedding in.

Having reviewed the current arrangements with Natspec and AoC, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) will provide an additional year of transitional protection for specialist provision, with up to £10 million available in 2015 to 2016. Although this is less than in previous years it will provide an additional year of protection for institutions whilst reducing their reliance upon it, better preparing them for when it ends in 2016 to 2017.

There are some key differences between the current published arrangements for 2014 to 2015 and how the scheme will work in 2015 to 2016. The result is a simpler set of arrangements and earlier confirmation of the amounts to be paid to each institution, enabling them to make earlier decisions about their EFA funding and provision ahead of the 2015 to 2016 academic year.

Eligibility of institutions in 2015 to 2016

In 2015 to 2016, transitional protection funding will be paid to the special post-16 institutions (SPI) and FE institutions that received transitional protection in 2014 to 2015 and that had more than 5 local authority commissioned high needs students in that year. These institutions are listed below and are the only institutions that will receive transitional protection in 2015 to 2016.

As this is the third and final year of the scheme, institutions that did not receive the funding in 2014 to 2015 will not be eligible to receive it in 2015 to 2016. We do not want to bring institutions into scope for payment and extend reliance upon transitional protection in the final year of the scheme.

Payment arrangements

We will not require institutions to make a template return declaring the number of agreed local authority commissioned high needs places as we have done in previous years. Instead, each institution will receive 50% of the funding that it received in 2014 to 2015. The guidance on the 2014 to 2015 transitional protection scheme, and how we calculated payment amounts for that year, tells you more about this.

For special post-16 institutions, payment will be made in two equal instalments in September 2015 and January 2016. For FE institutions a single payment will be made in January 2016. This is in line with the timescales of the 2014 to 2015 arrangements. Contract documentation for 2015 to 2016 will be prepared accordingly.

We contacted all eligible institutions between Friday 13th March 2015 and Monday 16th March 2015 to confirm the payment amounts and timescales for their payments.


There will be no reconciliation at the end of the 2015 to 2016 academic year as there has been in 2013 to 2014 and will be in 2014 to 2015. This is because the payment amounts for 2015 to 2016 have been derived from the payments we have made in 2014 to 2015, as opposed to the volume of high needs students occupying places in an institution.

Use of funds

Institutions should consider how best to use transitional protection funding to secure the long term future of provision, supporting restructuring where that is needed to accommodate changes patterns of demand. We encourage institutions to work with Natspec and AoC to facilitate the sharing of best practice on the use of transitional protection in this third and final year.

However, there are some restrictions on the use of the fund in 2015 to 2016, as there have been in previous years namely that transitional protection cannot be used to fund the recruitment of high needs students whose placements are not supported by their home local authority. Any additional enquiries about use of funds should be directed to the appropriate EFA territorial mailbox listed below.

All EFA funding is subject to audit and may be looked at as part of a sample during routine audit activity.

Eligible institutions for transitional protection in 2015 to 2016

Eligible institutions for transitional protection in 2015 to 2016
Abingdon and Witney College, Oxfordshire
Arden College (Speciality Care), Sefton
Bridge College, Manchester
Bridgwater College, Somerset
City College Plymouth, Plymouth
Condover College Limited, Shropshire
Derwen College, Shropshire
Dorton College, Kent
Education and Services for People with Autism Limited, Sunderland
Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education, Devon
Farleigh Further Education College - Frome, Somerset
Farleigh Further Education College - Swindon, Swindon
Foxes Academy Limited, Somerset
Freeman College, Sheffield
Henshaw’s College, North Yorkshire
Hereward College of Further Education, Coventry
Langdon College, Salford
Leicester College, Leicester
Linkage College, Lincolnshire
Lufton College of Further Education, Somerset
National Star College, Gloucestershire
Oakwood Court College, Devon
Pengwern College, Wales
Pennine Camphill Community Limited (The), Wakefield
Ruskin Mill College, Gloucestershire
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Southend-on-Sea
St John Rigby Roman Catholic Sixth Form College, Wigan
The David Lewis Centre, Cheshire
The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy, Hampshire
The Mount Camphill Community Limited, East Sussex
The Royal National College for the Blind, Herefordshire
Treloar College, Hampshire
Walsall College, Walsall
Westgate College, Kent
Weston College, North Somerset
William Morris (Camphill) Community Limited, Gloucestershire

Who to contact for more information

For more information contact:

ESFA enquiries

For all enquiries for the Education and Skills Funding Agency

Published 25 March 2015