Adult Education Budget Funding Guidance Published
The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has published eligibility principles for qualifications it will and won’t fund under the Adult Education Budget (AEB). Here is an overview of what the AEB is and how the changes should increase the number of Open Awards qualifications which will be eligible for adult funding in the next academic year.
The AEB is the SFAs budget that covers funding for all qualifications that do not fall into the advanced learning , Apprenticeships, European Social Fund, and Legal Entitlement categories. Its principal purpose is to engage adults and provide the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.
In order for an adult to be funded to undertake a qualification by the SFA, in accordance with the funding rules, the qualification must appear on the Hub. The eligibility criteria are a relaxation on the previous rules in place. Going forwards in order to be eligible a qualification must
- Be on the Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework
- Be proposed to be made available for public funding by the awarding organisation
- Not be a licence to practice qualification or form part of an employer’s statutory requirements
- Be linked to the Personal Learning Record by the awarding organisation
- Not link to UK visa requirements (e.g. ESOL International)
- Not link to a particular employer or commercial system
- Cover appropriate content
There has been a moratorium in place on the funding of new qualifications for this academic year. Previous to that awarding organisations were required to provide lots of additional documentation and evidence of support in order to get qualifications funded.
These rules are far simpler and many of Open Awards qualifications fulfil all of the criteria, which means we should see more of them eligible for funding shortly. We will update our stakeholders with information on this as and when it becomes available.
If you would like any advice in the meantime, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.