From 1st August 2021, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will remove funding approval for learners aged 16 and over from all Entry Level and Level 1 qualifications up in the sector subject area (SSA) ICT for Users, except for Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQs).

Funding approval for learners aged 16 and over is also being removed from ICT or digital skills qualifications in other SSAs that are not linked to the application of digital skills for a specific occupational sector, or specific entry-level job role.

This change will affect qualifications from all Awarding Organisations, and a full list is available on the ESFA website.

For learners who need to develop their basic digital skills, the new adult legal entitlement for Essential Digital Skills Qualifications should be used instead. EDSQ are now also eligible for use with 16-19-year-olds and can form part of a study programme. Our regular EDSQ webinars provide examples of how Centres of all types are delivering these qualifications, from embedding within existing provision to stand-alone courses.

We are aware that many Centres use some of the qualifications on the list in situations where EDSQ may not be appropriate, and we have developed new digital skills qualifications alongside updating a number of our existing qualifications, to ensure that Centres are able to meet learners needs.

In April we held two half-hour webinars to help Centres with planning their curriculum and encourage you to watch these, as appropriate to your situation:

Ensuring learners are ready for EDSQ – suitable for those offering digital and ICT provision at Entry Levels.

Building a fundable offer for learners progressing from EDSQ – suitable for those offering provision at Level 1 and above.

If you want to know more about EDSQs, we also hold regular webinars providing an introduction to EDSQ.  These webinars provide all the information you need to know about the qualifications and assessment. Sign up for a date convenient for you here:

Your essential guide to Essential Digital Skills Qualifications