Functional skills funding uplift brought forward to January 2024

54% increase fast tracked because it is 'so important', top apprenticeships civil servant says

54% increase fast tracked because it is 'so important', top apprenticeships civil servant says

31 Oct 2023, 11:48

More from this author

New funding rates for functional skills English and maths will be brought forward to January 2024, the government’s director for apprenticeships has announced.

Kate Ridley-Moy told today’s Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ conference the Department for Education will fast-track the uplift after originally planning to introduce it at the start of the 2024/25 academic year.

From January, all apprentices who have not gained their level 2 English and maths qualification will have their funding lifted to match the adult education budget – moving the rate up by 54 per cent from £471 to £724.

It will, however, only apply to new starters and not those already on programme.

Ridley-Moy said: “I know this increase is something that many of you have long made the case for. So I’m pleased to confirm that we will introduce this uplift for new starts from January 2024.”

She told the conference bringing in new funding rates and policies mid-year can cause “confusion and make things difficult” but her officials felt that this was “so important that we wanted to work with the Treasury and the ESFA to make sure that we could bring that in as soon as possible”.

QAR’s looking ‘substantially higher’

Ridley-Moy, who recently replaced Peter Mucklow as the DfE’s top apprenticeships civil servant, also said the sector’s qualification achievement rates (QARs) are looking “substantially higher” in 2022/23 than in recent previous years.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan recently said that improving QARs is one of her “top priorities” as the sector continues to target a 67 per cent rate by 2025. The rate in 2020/21 was 57.7 per cent and dropped to 53.4 per cent in 2021/22.

Ridley-Moy said today: “It’s an encouraging sign that the number of apprenticeship achievements up to quarter three in 2022/23 was substantially higher than previous years. I’m grateful for the role that each and every one of you is playing to help us achieve this ambition.”

While she couldn’t give an insight into what “substantially higher” looks like in terms of figures, she added “we’re definitely seeing an impact on achievement rates from all of the work to drive quality that’s been going on”.

The apprenticeships director also revealed the DfE is exploring ways with the Cabinet Office and Treasury to use more up-to-date, in-year data to monitor providers rather than relying upon year-old QARs.

More from this theme

Apprenticeships

‘Stronger’ apprenticeship accountability measures revealed

Thresholds on apprentice withdrawals and breaks in learning have been reduced

Shane Chowen
Apprenticeships, Ofsted

Ofsted upgrades ‘resilient’ emergency care provider from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’

Medipro staff were thanked for their ‘fortitude’ after sudden and complex influx of apprentices

Josh Mellor
Apprenticeships

IfATE slated for apprenticeship assessment reform confusion

Institute changes guidance AGAIN after sector outrage

Billy Camden
Apprenticeships

Apprentice minimum wage should be linked to age, says Low Pay Commission

Government advisory body finds evidence for scrapping apprentice rate but cites risks to labour market if removed

Anviksha Patel
Apprenticeships, Higher education

Revealed: The 8 trainers that will pilot teacher degree apprenticeship

Government also reveals schools will get ‘financial incentives’ to cover trainees’ salaries while they train off the job

Freddie Whittaker
Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship funding rules 2024/25: Changes you need to know

Reforms to additional learning support, subcontracting, SEND FSQs and active learning are coming

Billy Camden

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One comment

  1. I’m glad to see the English and Maths funding shortfall has been brought forward because it’s such an important issue. Although I must confess, I don’t recall it being viewed as that much of important issue just a few months ago.

    Let’s hope this isn’t a case of ‘look, angry dog’ & ‘quick, find cheap bone’.

    Will it really make the sector financially sustainable?