Funding rate for 16 to 19-year-olds announced

Providers delivering education to 16 to 19 year olds will receive a national basic rate of £4,000 per full time student the Education Funding Agency has announced.

The agency published the national funding rate for 2013/14 in a letter sent out to schools and colleges across the country from Peter Mucklow, national director for young people at the agency.

Up until now providers were funded per qualification rather than per student and providers have eagerly awaited the final figure working on the basis it would be around £3,900.

The new rate is based on an average programme of 600 hours per year for a full-time student, says the letter dated March 21.

From September the sector will also be expected to deliver study programmes to develop the needs of each 16 to 19 year old student, including English and maths for those who have not already achieved grade C at GCSE.

The letter reveals how “monitoring reports” will be introduced by the agency over the next 12 months, to “alert institutions where this requirement is now being met”, the letter says.

Mr Mucklow says in the letter: “We are putting together more information on possible approaches to designing study programmes which we will make available from mid-April onwards. We will be inviting bids for shared learning grants to support good practice. Further details can be found in the DfE response to the consultation.”

The document adds that the agency would “shortly” publish a detailed “Framework for Delivery” setting out how Traineeships would be introduced in 2013/14. Traineeships — study programmes for 16 to 24-year-olds with work experience placements and English and maths where appropriate — were created in response to Alison Wolf’s Review of Vocational Education.

The year ahead will also see providers plan for “rigorous linear A-levels and a standalone AS qualification” to first be taught in September 2015 as well as the introduction of the government’s recommendations following the Richard Review on apprenticeships.

New funding arrangements for high needs students aged 16 to 18 and 19 to 24 for those with a Learning Difficulty Assessment were also revealed. The first £6,000 of their additional support costs would be allocated to providers by the agency for a specified number of students, the letter says, with additional places being met by the student’s local authority through top-up funding.

The letter also says how funding reforms would mean eligible FE and Sixth Form colleges could enrol full time 14 to 16 year-olds from schools and be directly funded by the agency.