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Adult Education Budget (AEB)

At NCFE, we believe that lifelong learning is hugely important and we encourage our customers to make the most of their adult education budget (AEB) funding. There was a £63m underspend in the AEB in the last academic year and we’d like to see this reduce considerably this year.

One way you can utilise AEB funding is by supporting your staff’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Investing and upskilling staff is of huge benefit to your workforce but also your learners and customers. CPD qualifications can help people working in education develop their career, improve understanding in key sector areas and substantiate knowledge against Ofsted related themes. Learners can study at a time and place convenient for them and are supported through the qualification by an industry expert assessor. More and more providers are using these as ways to further advance relationships with adult learners and employers while fully utilising their AEB allocation.

We recently attended the Lsect training on the Adult Education Budget in York on the 10 May – at which, among his useful updates, Nick Linford provided some pointers for providers looking to deliver using the AEB.

  • The reassuring news is that the AEB is set at £1.5bn until the end of the current spending review period, the 2019/20 funding year.
  • The AEB draft rules were published back in March, these look pretty finalised for the 2018/19 funding year, however the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have reserved the right to make changes.
  • Nick clarified that the ESFA are committing to 3% over delivery on their allocations for all providers at end of 18/19, and their under delivery tolerance is at 97% for colleges and local authorities, with the ESFA clawing back or billing for any under delivery of allocation. It’s important, therefore, that your projections are accurate.
  • Check qualification eligibility on the Learning Aims Search – both that the start and end dates are valid, the ‘category’ tab will confirm if a qualification is a national legal entitlement or not. Learning Aims Search also lists the unweighted/weighted funding rate for a qualification.
  • If any AEB you are offering is co-funded; the overall funding rate is reduced by half the unweighted base rate.

In the next few years we’ll see the devolution of the AEB and the introduction of the National Retraining Scheme so the spotlight is firmly on adult and lifelong learning. Now is the time to maximise your AEB funding opportunity so if you’d like more information on NCFE funded qualifications please visit our funding page on our website.