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Updates should be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 27 June 2014.

Dear Principal

ILR funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2012-13: Funding summaries and request for updates to completion status data

1. This letter provides further education colleges with further information about how we have used their Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data (submitted to the Data Service) to inform funding allocations for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15.

2. This letter also asks colleges to provide an update for students whose completion status was reported as undetermined in their 2012-13 ILR R14 return. Updates should be uploaded to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 27 June 2014 (see paragraph 11).

3. We are also making available a number of funding summary outputs which will assist colleges in understanding how their ILR data have been used. If, on considering the outputs, colleges identify errors in the ILR data, they may wish to correct the version of their ILR data that we hold on our systems by submitting an action plan to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 4 July 2014 (see paragraph 6).

4. Colleges can access their funding summaries from today. We will write separately to the heads of colleges and Higher Education in Further Education: Students (HEIFES) survey contacts, to provide the necessary access keys to the HEFCE extranet.

Funding summaries

5. The funding summaries contain data that have been used to calculate:

  • 2012-13 funding for old-regime students (mainstream)
  • 2012-13 high-cost funding for new-regime students
  • 2012-13 funding for old-regime students (co-funded)
  • 2012-13 interim postgraduate taught allocation
  • 2014-15 Student Opportunity (SO) allocation
  • 2014-15 National Scholarship Programme (NSP) allocations [Note 1].

6. The funding summaries are provided for general information and to bring further transparency to our calculations. We expect colleges to review their outputs with a view to understanding how their data are used for funding. As in previous years, colleges may inform us of any errors they identify in their ILR data by submitting an action plan. The deadlines for submission of an action plan and sign-off for amendments are as follows.

  • Friday 4 July 2014        Deadline for the submission of action plans.
  • Friday 25 July 2014      Deadline for sign-off of 2012-13 ILR data amendments.

7. We originally published the algorithms used to generate the funding summaries in ‘Individualised Learner Record funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2012-13: Web facility’ (HEFCE Circular letter 23/2013). However, we have made some minor changes where we believe improvements are appropriate. 

Completion status survey

8. It is appropriate for the completion status for some students to be reported as ‘undetermined’ on the ILR data return. This occurs when a student has not yet completed their year of study, but is not defined as having ‘non-completed’ because the student is:

  • on a non-standard year (that is, a year of study that spans two academic years)
  • expected to undergo their final assessment within 13 months of the start of their year of study, these 13 months not having passed by the time the ILR return is compiled.

9. In the absence of definitive completion status, we have assumed in our provisional funding calculations that all such students have completed their year of study. We are asking colleges to update the completion status of any students reported in their 2012‑13 ILR R14 with an undetermined completion status (FUNDCOMP = 3) via a 2012-13 Completion Status Survey (CSS).

10. In finalising 2012-13 teaching grants for the October 2014 grant announcement, and for grant recalculations for subsequent years, we will replace our completion assumptions with the information returned in the 2012-13 CSS. Where colleges do not return the 2012-13 CSS, we will assume all such students on the 2012-13 ILR are non-completions and will not therefore count them towards our funding allocations.

11. The CSS workbook, containing pre-filled data for each HEFCE-fundable and employer co‑funded student in the HEIFES population who has been returned as FUNDCOMP = 3, can be downloaded from the HEFCE extranet (https://data.hefce.ac.uk/). We will write separately to the heads of colleges and HEIFES contacts with the necessary access keys for the survey. Colleges will need to update the ‘Updated FUNDCOMP’ column and upload the completed workbook to the same web-site. The deadlines for submission and sign-off of the updated completion status return are as follows.

  • Friday 27 June 2014     Deadline for the submission of the updated CSS return.
  • Friday 25 July 2014      Deadline for sign-off.

How we allocate funding

12.  Further information about how we fund colleges is provided in the individual grant letters that have been issued to colleges.

Relationship with ‘ILR FAMD 2012-13: Funding data reconciliations’

13. We also use ILR data to monitor other returns that inform funding and student number controls, such as HEIFES. We will separately release these funding data reconciliations later this year, and may ask colleges to provide explanations for any discrepancies that we identify.

14. The release of the funding data reconciliations will be in two phases. The first, in May 2014, will not incorporate colleges’ responses to the 2012-13 CSS. Therefore, as part of the first phase, we will only contact those colleges where we assess that any differences between the two data sources are not primarily due to the completion status assumptions (for students reported against FUNDCOMP = 3). The second phase will be released later this summer and will incorporate colleges’ responses to the 2012-13 CSS.

Further information 

15. General FAMD guidance is available on our web-site. Specific areas that may be of interest are as follows.

  1. Extranet locations, deadlines and documentation can be found in the ‘2012-13 funding and monitoring data overview’.
  2. Further details about the preparation and submission of action plans can be found in the ‘Guide to action plans’.
  3. Technical information (such as algorithms) is listed in the ‘2012-13 funding and monitoring data overview’.
  4. Further details about the funding summaries, including descriptions of some allocation methods, can be found in the ‘Indicative funding summaries’.
  5. Information on how to obtain data from the HEFCE extranet can be found in the ‘How to access outputs’ guide.

16. Institutions are reminded that the individualised data made available through this exercise are covered by the Data Protection Act. These data are only accessible to someone holding the HEFCE extranet key which we will provide to heads of college and HEIFES contacts for colleges. Colleges should ensure that extranet keys are not passed to anyone without a legitimate reason to access the individualised data.

17. If you require further information contact Edward Cross (tel 0117 931 7473, e-mail ilr_heifes_stats@hefce.ac.uk).

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive

 

Note

  1. The adjustments to the 2014-15 NSP allocation are primarily based on 2011-12 ILR data, rather than 2012-13 ILR data. The funding summaries for 2014-15 NSP were separately released via e-mail from Trisha Patel on 10 March 2014. These summaries have not changed from their original release on that date. We have included them here so that institutions can access all of the funding summaries at a single location on the HEFCE extranet. As the 2014-15 NSP allocation is now finalised, amendments to 2011-12 ILR data cannot be made for the purposes of amending this allocation.

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Date: 27 March 2014

Ref: Circular letter 09/2014

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Planning, Finance, Audit

Enquiries should be directed to:

Edward Cross, tel 0117 931 7473, e-mail ilr_heifes_stats@hefce.ac.uk