This is a £96m one-off funding for the 2020 to 2021 academic year only. It is ring fenced funding for schools, colleges and all other 16 to 19 providers to mitigate the disruption to learning arising from coronavirus (COVID-19).
The funding is being provided to support small group tuition for 16 to 19 students in English, maths, and other courses where learning has been disrupted. For example, vocational courses where assessment has been deferred because of lockdown.
Although the actual tuition does not need to be for GCSE English or maths, the students supported all need to be those who had not achieved grade 4 or above in at least one of those subjects at this level by age 16. All supported students must be on a 16 to 19 study programme.
Providers should prioritise students that will benefit most from small group tuition, based on the criteria above.
The funding should be used to support the tuition activity above and beyond the programmes of education already planned for 2020 to 2021.
Resourcing could be through paying for more hours from existing staff, hiring new staff, or buying in a service from a third party provider. Whilst providers will need to make their own decisions on the best approach and to explain that as part of their published statement, the ESFA does not expect groups supported from the fund to exceed five students.
Providers will need to ensure the funding allocation is used in accordance with the purposes detailed in this guidance.
The ESFA will run spot-checks of a sample of providers as part of the compliance process for this funding. Institutions must be able to identify the students supported, and evidence the delivery of provision to the students. In line with usual practice, institutions must retain original documents including, for example, attendance records, enrolment records and learning agreements.
The ESFA will look to recover funds where there is no delivery or where they identify that the institution is not able to demonstrate at spot checks, or audit how the delivery meets the purposes set out in this guidance.
This fund may be expected to be included within the 2020/21 regularity audit. Therefore, whilst funds are unlikely to be material to each institution it is essential that appropriate records are maintained.
If you have any questions about the fund please contact us.