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SFA Adult Education Funding 2016 to 2017

Skills Funding Agency (SFA) have produced new funding rules for 2016 to 2017 in accordance to the transitional phase towards the Full Skills Devolution set out by the government.

See the Quick Guide below for information and click on the useful links for further details.

Quick Funding Guide for Adult Education - 2016/2017

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has introduced new funding rules for 2016/2017 as part of the transitional phase towards full skills devolution.  See Adult Education Budget: changing context and arrangements for 2016 to 2017.

The move towards full devolution comprises of reforms to apprenticeships, Adult Education Budget (AEB) and Advanced Learner Loans.

For 2016/2017 there are separate funding rules documents for each budget area. These are to be read in conjunction with the Common Funding Rules document.
Click here to see Funding Rules documents

Adult Education Budget (AEB)

The future of AEB will eventually be transferred to local government areas through devolution agreements.

Within the AEB budget area, the two main types of funding provision are offered for 2016/2017:

  • Local Flexibility

  • Legal Entitlement

Local Flexibility

Local Flexibility offer is available for learners aged 19+ undertaking qualification or learning provision at Entry Level, Level 1 and Level 2.

Local areas, colleges and training providers will work together to influence the most appropriate provision of learning to encourage progressing into further technical and professional education.

Qualifications and types of learning available under the Local Flexibility offer must meet certain eligibility principles.

To see if a qualification is funded through Local Flexibility, search on the HUB or LARS (Learning Aims Search)

Legal Entitlements

The SFA will fully fund learners exercising their First Full Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications and/or English and Maths. From 1st August 2016 a streamlined offer for:

  • Learners aged 16-23 with technical and professional qualifications at its core.

  • Single list of English and Maths qualifications to support adults to GCSE or English and Maths.

Click here for a full list of qualifications available under the Legal Entitlements offer.

Advanced Learner Loans

Learners aged 19+ may apply for an Advanced Learner Loan if they are unable to qualify for funding through Legal Entitlements, for qualifications at Level 3 and above.
IMI have over 70 qualifications available for learners to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.
Click here for a full list of qualifications on the Advanced Learner Loans.


Apprenticeships in England are undergoing an extensive reform. 2016/2017 will see the introduction and implementation of Trailblazers developing into the new Apprenticeship Standards.

March/April 2017 will be the last opportunity to register on the current Apprenticeship Framework (SASE) as the new Apprenticeship Standards take over along with one funding offer through the Apprenticeship Levy.

For 2016/2017, there are two separate funding rules for the current Apprenticeship Frameworks (SASE) and the new Apprenticeship Standards.

Click here for Apprenticeship Framework funding rules

Click here for Apprenticeship Standards funding rules.

The Hub & LARS (Learning Aims Search)

The Hub, also known as LARS (Learning Aims Search) is an online service used by all types of organisations working with the SFA. Here you can search and confirm whether a learning aim (qualification or training course) is funded.

Click here to access the Hub