Withdrawal of government funding for low volume qualifications

By Michael Lemin, Policy and Research Manager at NCFE

The Government has issued further information on the withdrawal of funding approval from qualifications with low and no publicly funded enrolments, as part of the Level 3 and below review.

This includes a response to the first stage consultation, a list of qualifications that will have funding removed from September 2021, and guidance for AOs on the process to request retaining funding.

The response outlines that the Government intends to progress with removing funding from qualifications that have no enrolments, or low enrolments (fewer than one hundred), over the last three years. The original proposal suggested a scope of two years, and we welcome the positive decision by Government to extend this following feedback from the consultation.

What does this mean for NCFE and what are we doing about it?

NCFE has a number of qualifications earmarked for withdrawal of funding from September 2021 – we’re currently working to identify which qualifications we will request continued funding for, on the basis of the criteria outlined.

We would look to retain funding where evidence exists to show that the removal of public funding will have a significant adverse impact on a particular sector or occupational area, geographical/ mayoral authority, or is linked to a niche industry.

As part of our dedication to the provision of high-quality technical and vocational education spanning all subject areas, we’re also working to identify suitable alternatives for any qualifications that may be withdrawn, to minimise any disruption to customers intending to request public funding for the identified qualifications.

What’s next?

We’ll be submitting our notifications to request continued public funding by 27 March 2020 and will inform you of our next steps after this point.

We want to assure you that these proposed withdrawals don’t take place until September 2021, and due to low numbers of publicly funded enrolments, are likely to have a negligible impact on current provision for the majority of providers.

Get in touch

In the meantime, if you have any concerns about specific qualifications, or the review as a whole, please email [email protected]