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Tax Credits Technical Manual

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Entitlement: CTC entitlement: definitions of education, approved training and a qualifying body

Full-time education

The Child Tax Credits Regulations 2002, Regulation 2(1)

Full-time education is education in pursuit of a course where an average of more than 12 hours per week (term time) is spent on the following:

  • receiving tuition,
  • engaging in practical work,
  • supervised study,
  • taking exams.

Note: Education received by a person as part of their job or any other official position, does not satisfy the conditions of relevant education

Example: A young person is engaged in full-time non-advanced education for an average of 9 hours per week and as a member of the Student Union she works as editor for the Union paper. As part of her duties as editor, the Union pay for her to go on a FTNAE course to benefit this role. This course is for an average of 5 hours per week. The ‘official position’ can be seen as their role in the Union and the course is provided by the Union to help with this role. So the time spent in FTNAE provided by the Union in this example would not count as ‘qualifying’ and as such should be excluded for the purposes of CTC.

Treated as being in full-time education

The Child Tax Credits Regulations 2002, Regulation 5(5)

A person is treated as being in full-time education if they are undertaking a full-time education course

  • at a school or college,
  • where that person was receiving that education as a child (under 16), elsewhere, if approved by the Board, or
  • as part of a Study Programme in England*

Example:

Jane is 17 years old and is taking her A levels. She has been home tutored from the age of 14 and continues to be so. The claimant would still be entitled to claim CTC for Jane as she was receiving this education elsewhere before her 16th birthday.

Note:

  • Education provided outside the UK immediately prior to the child’s arrival in the UK, should be considered in the same way as we would had that education took place in the UK as described above.
  • A person continues to be treated as being in full-time education during the period between the ending of one course and the commencement of another, where that person has enrolled on and commences the latter course.

*Study Programme - From Sept 2013 all students in England aged 16 to 19 will be doing a Study Programme. Study programmes include traineeships in England. These are to be treated as full-time non-advanced education without the requirement that they be undertaken at a school or college.

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 5(6)

Do not take account of time spent on

  • Meal breaks
  • Unsupervised study or homework which is undertaken outside normal hours whether on or off the premises of the educational establishment.

Non-advanced education

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 2

Non-advanced education is considered to include:

  • A levels, or similar qualifications (eg. the International Baccalaureate and Pre-U)
  • Scottish Highers
  • NVQ at Level 3
  • Study Programme in England
  • National Diploma
  • Ordinary National Diploma
  • National Certificate of Edexcel

If the young person is studying for a course that is not classed as advanced education, the education is non-advanced.

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 5(2)

CTC can be paid for a qualifying young person up to and including the last day they undertake full-time non-advanced education, approved training or they reach age 20, whichever is the sooner, providing they meet all the other qualifying conditions.

Advanced education

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 2

A person is receiving advanced education if they are in full-time education for the purposes of:

  • preparation for a degree
  • a diploma of higher education
  • a higher national diploma
  • a higher national certificate of Edexcel
  • a teaching qualification, or

any other course which is a standard above what is considered non-advanced.

Studying both non-advanced and advanced education

A young person undertaking both a non-advanced and advanced educational course will continue to meet the qualifying conditions providing the non-advanced education is full-time.

Note: Where a qualifying young person intends to continue their full-time education but at advanced level CTC can be paid to:

  • the last day of the academic year (31 August), or
  • if before 31 August the date the young person changed their mind and decided not to continue their education.

Example

A claimant telephones on 27 August to inform tax credits that her daughter has found work. The claimant states that although her daughter had originally intended to go to university, following her exam results she had decided to look for a job instead and has now found work. She is asked what date her daughter made the decision to look for work and not go to university. This date is given as the 21 August. CTC can therefore be paid to the 20 August.

Definition of a ‘qualifying body’

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 2

Qualifying body means

  • the Careers or Connexions Service
  • the Ministry of Defence
  • in Northern Ireland, the Department of Employment and Learning or an Education and Library Board established under article 3 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986
  • any corresponding body in a member state where Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1408/71 and Regulation (EC) No 883/2004(h) of the European Parliament and of the Council applies

The Careers Service means

  • In England and Wales, a person with whom the Secretary of State or the National Assembly of Wales has made an arrangement under 10(1) of the Employment and Training Act 1973, and a local education authority to whom the Secretary of State or the National Assembly of Wales has given a direction under section 10(2) of that Act, or
  • In Scotland, a person with whom the Scottish Ministers have made arrangements under section 10(1) of the Employment and Training Act 1973, and any education authority to which a direction has been given by the Scottish Ministers under section 10(2) of that Act.

The Connexions Service means

  • A person with whom the Secretary of State has made an arrangement under section 114(2)(a) of the Learning and Skills Act 2000 and 10(1) of the Employment and Training Act 1973, and any person to whom the Secretary of State has given a direction under section 114(2)(b) the Learning and Skills Act 2000 10(2) of the Employment and Training Act 1973.

The Ministry of Defence means

  • A person who has applied for, or is waiting to join the armed forces and has registered this interest with the Ministry of Defence.

Approved training

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 2

Approved training means

  • in relation to Wales arrangements made by the Secretary of State under section 2 of the Employment & Training Act 1973.These are currently:

    • ‘Foundation Apprenticeships’ or ‘Traineeships’.
  • in relation to Scotland made by the Scottish Ministers under section 2 of the Employment and Training Act 1973, or by Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise under section 2 of the Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990. This is currently:

    • ‘Employability Fund’ programmes.
  • in relation to Northern Ireland, made by the Department for Employment and Learning under section 1 of the Employment and Training Act (Northern Ireland) 1950. These are currently:

    • ‘Training for Success’, ‘Pathways to Success’ and ‘Collaboration and Innovation Programme’.

Unlike non-advanced education, there is no requirement to attend approved training for a minimum number of hours.

Note: Approved training in England (i.e. Access to Apprenticeships) ceased with effect from 31 August 2015.  The training that is available is provided as part of a Study programme and treated as full-time non-advanced education.

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 5(3)(ab)

Training must not be provided under a contract of employment.

Interruptions to full-time education and approved training

The Child Tax Credit Regulations 2002, Regulation 5(7)

Provided the Board consider it reasonable to do so, interruptions in full-time education and approved training may be disregarded

  • for up to 6 months; and
  • for any period where the interruption is due to illness or disability of the mind or body.

Note: This provision allows for interruptions where, usually due to circumstances beyond the claimants control, the child or QYP is temporarily unable to attend full-time education or approved training. These may include school holidays, moving location or illness. There must always be an intention to continue in full-time education or approved training prior to the interruption.

Education provided outside the UK immediately prior to the young person’s arrival in the UK should be considered as this could be relevant to the current gap or interruption provisions.