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Further education and sixth form colleges should upload updates to the HEFCE extranet by Friday 8 July 2016.

Dear Principal

ILR funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2014-15: Funding summaries

1. This letter provides further education and sixth form colleges with further information about how we have used their Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data (submitted to the Skills Funding Agency) to inform funding allocations for 2014-15 and 2016-17.

2. We are making available a number of funding summary outputs which will assist colleges in understanding how their ILR data has 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 by Friday 8 July 2016 (see paragraph 5).

3. 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

4. The funding summaries contain data that has been used to calculate:

  • 2014-15 funding for old-regime students (mainstream)
  • 2014-15 high-cost funding for new-regime students
  • 2014-15 funding for old-regime students (co-funded)
  • 2016-17 targeted allocations for access, disability and retention
  • 2016-17 London Targeted Allocation (LTA).

5. 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 is used to inform 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 8 July 2016        Deadline for the submission of action plans.

Friday 29 July 2016      Deadline for sign-off of 2014-15 ILR data amendments.

6. These deadlines will ensure that we can consider whether any changes to ILR data should be reflected in the amended funding allocations to be issued to institutions in October 2016. It is unlikely that we will be able to incorporate responses received after these deadlines in the October 2016 announcement.

7. We originally published the algorithms used to generate the funding summaries in ‘ILR funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2014-15: Web facility’ (HEFCE Circular letter 23/2015). However, we have made some minor changes where we believe improvements are appropriate. Details of these changes are provided in the annex to this letter.

Completion Status Survey

8. We are asking some colleges to update the completion status of any students reported in their 2014-15 ILR R14 with an undetermined completion status (FUNDCOMP = 3) via a 2014-15 Completion Status Survey (CSS). Colleges are invited to complete a CSS return where there are at least 50 students with an undetermined completion status. We will write separately to all colleges that are invited to return a CSS with further details.

How we allocate funding

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

Relationship with ‘ILR FAMD 2014-15: Funding data reconciliations’

10. We also use ILR data to monitor other returns that inform funding, such as HEIFES. We will separately release these funding data reconciliations in May 2016, and may ask colleges to provide explanations for any discrepancies that we identify.

Further information

11. General FAMD guidance is available on our website. Specific areas that may be of interest are as follows.

  1. Extranet locations, deadlines and documentation can be found in ‘2014-15 FAMD overview’.
  2. Further details about the preparation and submission of action plans can be found in ‘Guide to action plans’.
  3. Technical information (such as algorithms) is listed in ‘2014-15 FAMD overview’.
  4. Further details about the funding summaries, including descriptions of some allocation methods, can be found in ‘Indicative funding summaries’.
  5. Information on how to obtain data from the HEFCE extranet can be found in ‘How to access outputs’.

12. Institutions are reminded that the individualised data made available through this exercise is covered by the Data Protection Act. This data is 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.

13. If you require further information contact Joellen Preece (tel 0117 931 7492, email ilr_heifes_stats@hefce.ac.uk).

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive

Date: 6 May 2016

Ref: Circular letter 08/2016

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Planning, Finance, Audit

Enquiries should be directed to:

Joellen Preece, tel 0117 931 7492, email ilr_heifes_stats@hefce.ac.uk