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We appreciate that understanding funding can be complicated when considering using our qualifications and units, so we have done our best to collate and summarise the key information about public funding available for our qualifications and include this on each qualification page wherever possible.

Below we have tried to outline the major funding sources and provide links to more information where it is available. We alert our providers on changes in funding policy via our blog and newsletter, and our regular funding webinars are always extremely popular and informative

This funding information is provided in good faith and it is always advisable to check directly with the funding agencies before committing to delivery.

How to search for funding

There are now two main sources for funding information, a straightforward ESFA Qualification Search and the more detailed Find a Learning Aim website.

ESFA Qualification Search

The Education and Skills Funding Agency search provides funding information on qualifications. It does not provide funding information for units, non-regulated activity and work placements, for this information please use Find a learning aim (FALA).

ESFA Qualification Funding Search

Find a learning aim

Find a learning aim (FALA) provides a search tool that you can use to check the funding status of any qualification, framework, unit, standard or T Level:

Go to Find a learning aim

For those unfamiliar with how to use the new Find a Learning Aim service, we have developed some simple guidance.

Gateway Qualifications’ guidance on How to use: Find a learning aim

Adult Education Budget
What is the Adult Education Budget?

The Adult Education Budget (AEB) funds education and training (including qualifications) for learners aged 19+.

The AEB is managed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and by Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) in devolved areas.

Advanced learner loans
What are Advanced Learner Loans?

Advanced learner loans give individuals access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that available in higher education and are administered by Student Finance England. The gov.uk guidance on Advanced learner loans states that the loans are available for individuals aged 19 or above to undertake approved qualifications at levels 3 to level 6, at an approved provider in England.

In order to receive funding for your provision through this route, you will need to have an Advanced Learning Loans facility agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

There is more information for colleges, training organisations and employers about advanced learning loans on the ESFAs Advanced Learning Loans webpages.

An increasing number of our qualifications, including all our Access to HE Diplomas, are eligible for funding via Advanced Learner Loans.

Apprenticeships
What are apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are jobs with training to industry standards.

Further information about our offer can be found on our Apprenticeships page.

Information about taking an apprenticeship is available on the Apprenticeships website.

Organisations that can receive government funding for apprenticeships are listed on the Register of apprenticeship training providers.

More information about funding for apprenticeships is available on the ESFA Apprenticeship funding webpage.

Devolution of the AEB
What is devolution of the AEB?

Devolution of the AEB is the transfer of accountability for the adult education budget from the ESFA to Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Further information can be found on our Devolution page.

The ESFA guidance for providers on AEB devolution provides advice for providers, information on responsibilities for the devolved authorities and a background to devolution.

ESFA Funding
Who are the ESFA?

The Education and Skills Funding Agency combines the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) in to a single funding agency for education and skills.

How do I find out what is fundable by the ESFA?

The ESFA funding rates and formula webpage gives guidance on funding and rates for the AEB, apprenticeships, advanced learner loans and the bursary, ESF and traineeships.

The ESFA funded adult education budget (AEB): funding and performance management rules 2021 to 2022 details the funding rules for 2021 to 2022.

The ESFA Qualification Search and Find a Learning Aim service provide a searchable database of qualifications and units which are eligible for each funding aim. If you discover qualifications that meet the funding eligibilities but do not appear in these searches, please contact us so that we can investigate and rectify the issue.

More information about the ESFA’s services, for existing ESFA providers, and for organisations that want to become providers is available on their website.

ESF Contracts
What are ESF Contracts?

The European Social Fund (ESF) is used to promote employment and social inclusion. This is usually through the award of contracts to address specific needs.

Gateway Qualifications works with a number of organisations to support their delivery of ESF contracts.

For more details, please visit our ESF Contracts page.

What will happen to the ESF after Brexit?

The proposed replacement for the ESF is the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

RARPA
What is RARPA?

Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA) is the process to record and measure progress on non-accredited learning programmes.

The following websites provide guidance and examples of using RARPA:

Study Programmes
What is a study programme?

Study programmes are a programme of learning available to 16-19 year olds. Study programmes were introduced for 16-19 year olds following Professor Wolf’s review of vocational education (2011).

Study programmes must contain:

  • substantial qualifications that stretch students and prepare them for education at the next level or for employment
  • English and mathematics where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade 4
  • work experience to give students the opportunity to develop their career choices and to apply their skills in real working conditions
  • other non-qualification activity to develop students’ character, broader skills, attitudes and confidence, and to support progression

We offer a range of qualifications which meet the requirements of the Study Programme, support other priorities facing the 16-19 market, offer progression into employment and higher level studies.

Find out more about our Vocational Qualifications.

We also offer a number of qualifications which can be delivered alongside the Study Programme to prepare your learners for securing employment at the end of their course and support them with their work placement.

Traineeships
What is a Traineeship?

A Traineeship Programme consists of work experience and English and Maths, along with job preparation such as CV-writing tips and advice on how to prepare for an interview. This means that learners can concentrate on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to enable them to progress on to Study Programmes, Apprenticeships or into work.

For more information please visit our Traineeships page.

ESFA Guidance for prospective trainees, employers and training providers on traineeships.

Unit Funding
How can I check if a unit is funded?

The ESFA stated that where a qualification is approved for funded AEB local flexibility, its components (units) may also be approved. Components are approved providing they meet requirements detailed in the ESFA’s Qualification funding approval principles 2019/20.

In simpler terms, if a qualification is funded the units within it may be funded.

If a qualification isn’t included on the list of current fundable qualifications, the units within this qualification could still be fundable as they may be used in a fundable qualification.
So, if you have found that a qualification you are running is no longer on the funded, it is worth checking to see if the unit is eligible.

One of the benefits of working with Gateway Qualification is many of our units are shared across qualifications.

For a step-by-step guide, take a look at our How to Search for a Fundable Unit post.