To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) likelihood and (b) potential effect of lifelong loan entitlement subsuming the Student Loans company.
5 January 2022
Officials in the Department for Education are working closely and collaboratively with colleagues in the Student Loans Company (SLC) on the introduction of Lifelong Loan Entitlement from 2025.
The SLC is undertaking significant reform through its Evolve transformational programme which will provide a more efficient and user-friendly service. We are working closely with representatives from across the education sector, as well as key delivery bodies such as the SLC, to scope and design the necessary system changes to ensure it is ready to deliver the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE). As flagged in the Skills Bill Impact Assessment, this includes using SLC data, such as monitoring metrics about the kind and rate of uptake for new student finance products, to centre users in our LLE design plans.
SLC has a successful history of delivering policy changes for Ministers and stakeholders. Changes of any scale are only implemented after considerable planning and testing to ensure that SLC’s systems possess the required robustness and resilience to ensure successful introduction.
We are committed to delivering at pace in order to introduce the LLE from 2025 and aware that delivering our vision will require extensive changes to the student finance system and the types of courses available. The legislation and regulation process may be complex, and must be informed by consultation, including detailed implementation work with the SLC.
The Evolve programme, and SLC’s ongoing transformation programme, will stabilise SLC’s existing technology base and IT infrastructure, which will enable the digitisation of the customer journey and remove existing manual processes. This will support the introduction of future system changes such as those which are required to deliver LLE.