SFA reveals those told to pay back after surprise in-year audit

SFA reveals those told to pay back after surprise in-year audit

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has released the identities of the 97 providers who paid back £554k after a surprise in-year audit — with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) worst hit with a request of more than three times anybody else at £150k.

Una Bennett, deputy director for funding systems for the SFA, wrote to 699 providers before Christmas warning of a shock clawback on 2013/14 funding, because “some provision has been incorrectly claimed”, as exclusively revealed by FE Week on January 9 (pictured right).Fe-Week-144-3

The SFA said the following month that it had “resolved the identified issues” with more than 600 providers who wouldn’t have to return any 2013/14 cash, but it estimated that a total of £500k would need to be repaid by more than 90 providers. And it has now revealed, in response to a Freedom of Information request lodged by FE Week, the identities of the 97 providers asked to repay.

The average amount paid back among the 97 providers was £5,711, but the five highest sums to be repaid were from CITB, Carshalton College, Kingston College, Veolia Environment Development Centre and West Suffolk College, respectively.

An SFA spokesperson said that it reclaimed the funds “through providers earnings” where “we still have a contract with a provider”, but in “all other instances the money will be reclaimed through an invoice process”

A spokesperson for CITB, whose SFA allocation as of April was £40.6m, said: “This was an administration error on a number of learner files following changes to SFA criteria on training periods. We have worked with the SFA to amend any errors and the issue has now been resolved.”

Peter Mayhew-Smith

Peter Mayhew-Smith

Peter Mayhew-Smith, principal of Carshalton and Kingston colleges, which were federated in 2012 but retain separate governing bodies and were allocated a combined £8.7m by the SFA in April, said: “From 2013/14, students over the age of 24 have had to either pay for a level three programme themselves, or apply for a 24+ learning loan. Kingston College and Carshalton College processed over 600 24+ learning loans for 2014/15.

“Unfortunately, due to a clerical error, the colleges claimed a small proportion of these as funded students. The clawbacks have been actioned through subsequent payments.”

A spokesperson for Veolia, which was allocated £1.2m by the SFA in April, said; “We have resolved the data coding error, which related to the end dates of apprenticeship programmes with the SFA, arranged repayment and look forward to their continued support in the future.”

A spokesperson for West Suffolk College, which was allocated £1.2m by the SFA in April, said: “It [the repayment] related to 10 apprentices who genuinely achieved their programmes prior to the projected end date.

“The SFA reclaimed the funding [in May] which was deducted from the college’s normal monthly profiled payment.”

Meanwhile, the SFA revealed in its June ‘Inform’ newsletter that it had uncovered incorrect funding claims for 2014/15 after another in-year review.

It said: “Following a review of R10 data we can still see that learners are being reported as fully-funded in circumstances when they should only be co-funded. Some providers are incorrectly claiming full funding for learners aged 24 and over, learners aged 19 to 23, and apprentices aged 19 and over. We also have concerns about providers incorrectly claiming funding for learners aged 24 and over for learning aims at levels three and above.”

Here’s the full list of colleges and sums paid back:

Activate Learning £2,276.32
Babcock Training Limited £328.90
Basingstoke College Of Technology £7,822.27
Bexley Youth Training Group £1,099.88
Blackburn College £2,304.35
Brent London Borough Council £3,817.92
Bromley College Of Further And Higher Education £1,142.28
Burton And South Derbyshire College £154.71
Busy Bees Nurseries Limited £3,486.68
Cambridge Regional College £1,374.35
Carshalton College £43,425.66
Central Bedfordshire College £2,413.44
Central College Nottingham £821.31
Central Sussex College £1,558.15
Chichester College £1,167.11
CITB £150,308.07
City And Islington College £428.97
Common Council Of The City Of London £2,871.20
Compass Group, UK And Ireland Limited £2,372.73
Darlington Borough Council £4,537.09
Darlington College £3,944.24
Derbyshire County Council £1,289.78
East Berkshire College £5,372.76
Eastleigh College £1,921.13
Easton And Otley College £3,960.51
Exeter College £708.14
First City Training Limited £514.54
Focus Training & Development Ltd £3,958.08
GP Strategies Training Limited £1,815.96
Great Yarmouth College £1,132.13
Harrow College £3,182.60
Health Education North East £12,693.38
Herbert Of Liverpool (Training) Ltd £730.37
Hopwood Hall College £4,535.37
Hospitality Training Partnership (Iow) Limited £731.72
House Of Clive (Hair And Beauty) Limited £10,282.34
Housing & Care 21 £744.56
HSBC Bank Plc £3,525.70
Hull Business Training Centre Limited £301.39
Hull College £534.81
In Touch Care Limited £2,149.27
IPS International Limited £1,121.41
K & G Hair Llp £677.90
Kent County Council £742.89
Kingston College £34,935.39
Kirklees College £3,663.48
Lancashire County Council £449.52
Leeds City College £19,356.59
Leeds College Of Building £895.16
Lesoco £1,950.74
Lincoln College £839.61
Marr Corporation Limited £900.52
Merton Borough Council £277.68
Michael Mccormack £888.95
Millbrook Management Services Limited £978.99
Mobile Care Qualifications Limited £1,840.22
Moulton College £555.00
New College Durham £9,867.23
New College Nottingham (Ncn) £5,202.79
North Hertfordshire College £3,396.75
North West Community Services Training Ltd £2,942.85
Oaklands College Of Further Education £1,894.77
Proco Nw Limited £2,019.39
QA Limited £6,173.99
Rathbone Training £662.25
Redbridge College £4,743.28
Redwood Education And Skills Limited £6,538.33
Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council £1,092.53
Riverside College £12,879.02
Royal Air Force £6,323.83
Rutland County Council £1,131.10
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council £852.48
Sheffield City Council £2,360.06
South Devon College £3,279.74
South Gloucestershire And Stroud College £491.11
St Helens College £1,905.51
Stephenson College £3,137.41
Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council £6,505.24
Stoke-On-Trent Unitary Authority £662.25
Sunderland City Metropolitan Borough Council £3,010.06
Telford College Of Arts & Technology £9,088.18
The Derbyshire Network £5,052.25
The Headmasters Partnership Limited £857.05
The Voluntary And Community Sector Learning And Skills Consortium £1,014.02
Total People Limited £1,141.50
Totton College £1,698.17
Tower Hamlets College £10,144.93
Trafford College £1,493.70
Train’d Up Railway Resourcing Limited £1,750.99
Tyne Metropolitan College £12,652.08
United Learning Trust £864.05
Veolia Environnement Development Centre Limited £22,732.05
West Herts College Of Further Education £1,333.17
West Suffolk College £21,519.72
Westminster City Council £3,458.40
Westminster Kingsway College £3,271.06
YMCA Training £1,030.91