The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is a Department for Education body that funds education and training for children, young people and adults in England. It replaced the responsibilities of the former Education Funding Agency and Skills Funding Agency.

Pupil Premium is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.

Pupil Premium

Ofsted is looking for accelerated progress from those eligible for Pupil Premium payments; these are the same children who receive Free School Meals.


In the 2017 to 2018 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years:

  • £1,320 for primary-aged pupils
  • £935 for secondary-aged pupils

There is also funding for looked-after children (£1,900).

Can ASDAN help? Yes. Our CoPE Levels 1 and 2 qualifications have been shown to close the attainment gap between children on free school meals and their peers. 

Engaging students

Ofsted wants to see how schools have used the curriculum to close the gap in ways to engage and motivate learners to achieve more.

ASDAN's Bronze, Silver, Gold Personal Development Programmes and Short Courses have a long and successful track record of providing engaging and motivating curriculum enrichment opportunities. In addition, learners who have undertaken our courses have in many cases also improved their academic performance.

16-19 Funding

All 16- to 19-year-old students are funded for an individual study programme. Download the ASDAN guide to 16-19 study programmes. Most study programmes have a core aim, which should be a substantial academic or vocational qualification or work experience. The study programme must be tailored to each student, have clear study or employment goals reflecting the student’s prior attainment, and include:

  • substantial qualifications
  • added value non-qualification activity that supports the student’s goals and is integrated into the study programme
  • English and maths for students who have not achieved grade A*-C GCSE in these subjects
  • high-quality work experience or work preparation

Planned hours funded by the ESFA

The activities in each student’s study programme in an academic year constitute the planned hours. These are categorised as either qualification (planned learning hours) or non-qualification (planned employability, enrichment and pastoral hours). Both categories are added up to form the total hours of a study programme, and the total hours are used to calculate the funding allocation, e.g. a full-time study programme for 16- and 17-year-olds is 540+ hours.

To count for funding purposes, the planned hours must be timetabled, organised or supervised by the institution, and take place in line with the institution’s normal working pattern. For example, they can include:

  • planned tutor-led activity on courses leading to qualifications
  • planned hours of tutorials, work experience or work preparation
  • planned hours on other activities relevant to the student’s study programme that are organised and provided by the institution, such as sport or volunteering

Non-qualification hours – employability, enrichment and pastoral

The hours of fundable activity that are not qualification based are known as planned employability, enrichment and pastoral (EEP) hours. This includes:

  • enrichment, volunteering or community activities organised by or on behalf of the institution
  • activities for informal certificates or other non-qualification activity
  • activities for tutorial purposes
  • work experience and other work-related activities
  • activities that do not count towards an academic or vocational qualification 

Examples of activity that could count towards EEP hours, provided they meet the criteria above, are:

  • informal certificates, such as citizenship awards
  • work experience or work-related activity, such as preparing CVs and practising interview skills and techniques
  • tutorials and one-to-one sessions, such as to plan study or revision
  • mentoring and coaching
  • revision hours, structured revision, exam test papers
  • completing job or university applications, where a tutor is supporting and helping the student 
  • employer visits arranged by the institution

Qualification Learning Aims can be checked using the Learning Aims Search (LAS).

Download this update from June 2015 on funding for Level 3 qualifications in personal skills

In response to the Sainsbury review on technical education and specifically the recommendation to offer a transition year and the opportunity of bridging provision, ASDAN has produced two documents to support centres with their future planning and to show how ASDAN courses can be a key component of a programme of study.

Post-19 Funding

Qualification Learning Aims can be checked using the Learning Aims Search (LAS).

Qualifications approved for public funding for 2017/18

Qualification reference Qualification title Level
600/7772/4 Award in Employability Entry 2
600/8014/0 Certificate in Employability Entry 2
600/8015/2 Certificate in Employability Entry 3
600/8016/4 Award in Employability Level 1
600/8005/X Certificate in Employability Level 1
500/6357/1 Award in Personal Progress Entry 1
500/6354/6 Certificate in Personal Progress Entry 1
500/6534/9 Diploma in Personal Progress Entry 1

Adult Education Budget

The Adult Education Budget gives colleges and other training organisations more flexibility to respond to the needs of their local area. This enables the funding of programmes that really make a difference by including locally designed learning activity alongside qualifications, or instead of them. 

Locally designed training provision must be high quality. Therefore, where applicable, use the Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA).

The Single Activity Matrix enables colleges and other training organisations to claim funding for qualifications and other learning activity that is not qualification based.

Activity that is not a regulated qualification uses generic learning aims called ‘class codes’. Download the class codes to be used to record non-regulated provision in the ILR for 2017-2018.

Download an example of the class codes for Category A: Non regulated Adult skills formula funded provision Entry Level, Foundations for Learning and Life SSA Tier 2 14.1.