Colleges to keep left-over funding

Clawback will be waived for providers who have delivered 97 per cent or more of their targets, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has revealed. The SFA, in Issue 81 of their updates weekly bulletin, say they have agreed principles for managing 2010/11 funding outturn for all grant-funded providers.

This is subject to the final data return for 2010/11, which is due this month. The proposed approach, the Agency say, is intended to ensure that past and current performance is reflected in future funding allocations. It reads: “A tolerance of three per cent will be applied to the final outturn for 2010/11, so clawback will be waived for providers who have delivered 97 per cent or more. Therefore, most providers will not be subject to clawback for 2010/11.”

A number of factors will be taken into account for those below the tolerance, states the SFA, such as performance in previous years and accuracy of mid-year estimates for 2010/11 in deciding whether clawback will be applied.

SFA adds: “Where a provider has delivered more than 100 per cent of the allocation for 2010/11, the assumption will be this year that the Agency will fund over-performance, subject to a normal maximum of 10 per cent of the total allocation or £1m, whichever is lower.”

The update also states “In cases where there has been significant under-performance and where this was not declared in mid-year estimates, the Agency may rebase a provider’s allocation for 2011/12.  This may be in addition to, or instead of, clawback.”

This month, the SFA’s relationship teams will speak to providers who may be subject to clawback or rebasing to “understand the circumstances” behind it. Decisions will be communicated to providers next month. The SFA also revealed it is in a position to allocate additional funding in 2011/12.

The update adds: “This will be used to increase training opportunities targeted at low skilled young people aged 19-24 who are NEET. “Providers who have delivered on target or above in 2010/11 and/or believe they could deliver more provision for this group in 2011/12 are invited to speak to their Agency Relationship Team before November 18.”

Funding Allocations for the next academic year, due to be released next month, will be calculated on the actual performance in 2010/11. The final funding allocation for 2012/13 is due to be issued in March 2012 and it will be updated to reflect mid-year estimates for 2011/12. The update adds: “This means that it may be higher or lower than the initial allocation. The Agency will review mid-year estimates to ensure they are reasonable and realistic, including looking at the accuracy of estimates for previous years. This will ensure that allocations for 2012/13 reflect current performance in 2011/12, as well as past performance in 2010/11.”