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Adult Education: Finance

Question for Department for Education

UIN 102108, tabled on 12 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Education and Skills Funding Agency plans to clawback any unspent adult education budget funding from the 2020-21 financial year from further education providers.

Answered on

19 October 2020

We fully appreciate the steps being taken by further education providers to continue to support adult learners and acknowledge their achievements in responding to the challenge posed by COVID-19.

We know that many providers have been able to continue delivery very successfully during the COVID-19 outbreak, including remotely, and would expect that all providers should now be able to function adequately under the current restrictions.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding and performance management rules for academic year 2020/21 (covering the period 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021) set out the funding arrangements for ESFA AEB providers, including the criteria for clawback of funds in cases of under-delivery. At present, we are not planning to further amend the ESFA AEB funding and performance rules for academic year 2020/21, but this will be kept under review.

Currently, approximately 50% of the AEB is devolved to 7 Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Mayor of London, acting where appropriate through the Greater London Authority (GLA). These authorities are now responsible for the provision of AEB-funded adult education for their residents and allocation of the AEB to providers. MCAs and the GLA are responsible for considering any flexibilities to their funding rules, in their respective areas.