MD2582 Adult Education Budget Procured Policy Changes for 2020/21

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2582
Date signed: 
25 February 2020
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

This Mayoral Decision (MD) form sets out the proposed changes to the Adult Education Budget (AEB) Funding and Performance Management Rules for Procured Providers (the “GLA AEB Procured Rules”) and AEB Funding Rates and Formula from 2020/21 academic year. The draft GLA AEB Procured Rules and GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula will be published on the GLA website in March 2020.

The changes are not considered to be substantial or material modifications, or changes to contract scope when compared with the original tender documentation.

Decision

That the Mayor approves the proposed changes to the GLA Adult Education Budget (AEB) Funding and Performance Management Rules for Procured Providers (the GLA AEB Procured Rules) and GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula set out in the tables at paragraph 2.4 of this decision form.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

In November 2019, the Mayor approved two important AEB policy changes for grant recipients (MD2557):

• a 10% increase to the average cost per AEB-funded enrolment for English and maths qualifications at Levels 1 and 2 funded thorough the legal entitlement in 2020/21, amounting to £77 per funded enrolment; and

• the introduction of flexibility within AEB grant funded provider allocations to fully fund relevant learning that upskills eligible teaching and learning support staff to deliver improved provision for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within the publicly funded further education (FE) sector.

It was noted in that MD that further work was required to determine whether it was possible to announce similar changes for procured providers. Having now completed this work, it is proposed that these two policy changes are also implemented for AEB-procured providers. These changes will be implemented via an update to the GLA AEB Procured Rules and the GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula from 2020/21 academic year. Further detail on the proposed changes, including any risks, is included both in Section 2 of this decision form and in the reserved Part 2 form attached.

The decisions set out in this form were considered by the AEB Mayoral Board on 19 February 2020.

Objectives and expected outcomes

This decision form seeks approval for changes to be made to the GLA AEB Procured Rules and GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula to incorporate the policy changes detailed above. These amendments mainly mirror the changes adopted in the GLA’s AEB Grant Funding Rules, for reasons of consistency.

 

​​​​​​​In October 2018, the AEB Procured tender documents made clear to bidders and potential bidders that the GLA AEB Procured Rules with which successful bidders must comply would be subject to change by the GLA from time to time. These changes usually mirror changes to the Funding Rules documents introduced by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) on a regular basis.

 

​​​​​​​GLA officers consider that the proposed changes to the GLA AEB Procured Rules are not substantial and do not significantly or materially alter the scope and nature of the existing GLA contracts. Further details in relation to this matter are presented in Part 2 of this Decision Form.

 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The proposed changes to the GLA AEB Funding and Performance Rules and GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula to implement these policy changes are set out in the tables below. Once the amendments have been made, both documents will be published in draft in February/March 2020.

 

 

Changes to GLA AEB Funding and Performance Rules

Section

Paragraph

Change

Adult Education Budget

Section 2, new paragraph under 140-142

Addition of following text: “We will fully fund eligible learning aims which support the upskilling of teaching or learning support staff to deliver improved specialist provision for learners with SEND within the adult/further education sector.

The above funding flexibility must be used to support eligible staff employed within the publicly funded adult and further education sectors in teaching or learning support roles and must be funded via your Flexible Allocation.

Only learning aims approved by the GLA in advance of enrolment will be fundable within this flexibility. A list of eligible learning aims will be published on the GLA website and updated from time to time. In order to add a learning aim to this list of eligible learning aims, providers must submit a short business case, using a template found on the GLA website to [email protected].”

Contribution table

Section 2

After 146

Addition of a row noting fully funding adult and further education sector staff members who deliver specialist provision to SEND learners.

Contribution table

Section 2

After 146

Addition of a row noting funding uplift to all learners enrolled in English and maths Level 1 and Level 2 courses under the legal entitlement.

Definitions used in the Adult Education Budget

Section 2

Para 165.2

Amended using the updated London Living Wage: “earns less than the London Living Wage as an annual gross salary on the date of the learner's learning start date. Learners will be deemed to earn less than the London Living Wage as an annual gross salary if they earn less than the hourly London Living Wage at that point in time, multiplied by 37.5 (hours per week), multiplied by 52 (weeks per year). Based on the 2019/20 London Living Wage, this would be £20,962, but AEB Procured providers will need to check the updated rates each year.

Learning in the workplace

New clause 187*

We will fully fund training that is delivered in order to upskill staff to deliver improved specialist provision for learners with SEND within the adult and further education sectors only via your Flexible Allocation, as outlined in paragraphs 140-142.

Learning in the workplace

New clause within 188.4

Addition of following text: “[We will not fund any learning aim delivered at an employee’s workplace, and that is either relevant to their job or their employer’s business unless] it is delivered to upskill staff to deliver improved specialist provision for learners with SEND within the adult/further education sector, as outlined in paragraphs 140-142 only via your Flexible Allocation.”

English and maths for those aged 19 or older

Section 2, new para after 196

Addition of following text: “We will provide additional funding uplift for fully funded Level 1 and Level 2 English and maths learning aims under the legal entitlement.”

Glossary

Annex 5

London Living Wage

Amended a sentence in the definition of the London Living Wage: ”The London Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay, currently set at £10.75.”

 

*Please note that this clause will be added to the GLA AEB Grant Funding Rules.

 

Changes to GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula

Section

Paragraph

Change

Introduction

2

Replacing current paragraph with the following text: “In 2020 to 2021, the GLA’s AEB programme will only pay an amount different to the ESFA’s national programme under the following circumstances:

  • we will fully fund some British Sign Language learning aims, which the ESFA may in some circumstances co‑fund;
  • we will fully fund some in-work learners that the ESFA would co-fund;
  • we will increase funding for English and maths legal entitlement qualifications at Levels 1 and 2; and
  • we will fully fund teaching and learning support staff to deliver improved specialist provision for learners with SEND within the adult/further education sector.

These circumstances are laid out in more detail in the relevant Funding Rules documents.”

The Single Activity Matrix

After para 46

New paragraph: “we will provide an additional funding uplift for fully funded Level 1 and Level 2 English and maths learning aims under the legal entitlement. The value of this uplift will be £77 for each funded enrolment. This is a flat rate increase for all eligible enrolments that will be flagged in the ILR using DAM code X, and claimed in the Earnings Adjustment Statement.” 

 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It should be noted that there are a number of other minor amendments to the GLA AEB Procured Rules and the GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula documents which include minor clarifications and other small changes such as correcting clerical errors that have been made directly to the text. Officers do not consider any of these amendments to be substantive and therefore requiring a formal Mayoral Decision.

Equality comments

Section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 provides that, in the exercise of their functions, public authorities must have due regard to the need to:

• eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
• advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and
• foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Relevant protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

The Mayor is required to comply with the duty set out above in making the decisions set out in this report and any future decisions relating to the AEB made pursuant to those arrangements which will be subject to separate decision forms.

All AEB policy changes proposed for 2020/21 consider the potential equalities impact for people with relevant protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).

While there is a risk that directing AEB funding to support the upskilling of teachers and learning support staff could reduce the funding available to learners with relevant protected characteristics it will also help build capacity within London’s FE sector to support more learners with SEND.

The aim of the AEB and European Social Fund (ESF) is to improve opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market. Many potential AEB participants have protected characteristics listed above. The GLA’s AEB provision will support a range of groups, particularly the most disadvantaged people not currently receiving sufficient support into employment or education. These include young adults who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), people without basic skills and people who are workless. It will also support Londoners in low-paid/low-skilled jobs.

Other considerations

A key risk associated with this approach is:

Risk of not amending the GLA AEB Procured Rules. Risks arise if changes are made to the AEB Grant Rules but not to the GLA AEB Procured Rules because the programmes would then be subject to different sets of Funding Rules. This could confuse providers and learners, result in a requirement for additional data collection and verifications, and ultimately increase the risk of non-compliance and the need to clawback ineligible payments. In addition, there could be considerable reputational risks if providers funded through different mechanisms are considered to be being treated differently in an unfair way. To mitigate this risk, it is proposed that the changes to the GLA AEB Procured Rules mirror the changes approved in the GLA AEB Grant Rules.

Further risks are set out in Part 2 of this decision form.

There are no interests to declare from those involved in the drafting or clearance of this decision.

Financial comments

There are no current direct financial implications to the GLA arising from the proposed amendments to the GLA’s AEB Funding and Performance Management Rules for Procured Providers. Whilst there is no overall financial impact on the AEB budget, there may be changes in re alignment which may affect individual strands but will be contained within the overall AEB envelope.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Mayoral Decision made

February 2020

Approved GLA AEB Funding and Performance Rules and GLA AEB Funding Rates and Formula published

February/March 2020


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