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The deadlines for HEFCE-funded further education and sixth form colleges to submit of an action plan and signoff accepted amendments are as follows:

Wednesday 31 May 2017 Deadline for the submission of action plans.

Friday 28 July 2017 Deadline for sign-off of 2015-16 ILR data amendments.

Dear Principal

ILR data to inform 2017-18 funding allocations: 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 2017-18.

2. We are making available a number of funding summary outputs which will assist colleges in understanding how their 2014-15 and 2015-16 ILR data has been used. Colleges can access their funding summaries from today. We have written separately to the heads of colleges to provide the necessary access keys to the HEFCE extranet.

3. In previous years we have asked institutions to return a Completion Status Survey. Since we have come to the end of the three-stage recalculation process for teaching funding, we are no longer running the survey.

Funding summaries

4. The funding summaries contain data that has been used to calculate the 2017-18 Student premium (SP) targeted allocations. We are also providing the Higher Education in Further Education: Students survey (HEIFES) 2015 re-creation output (individualised file only) because some of the HEIFES re-creation derived fields are used to inform SP targeted allocations.

5. Data protection and operational considerations mean that we do not attempt to account for mergers, transfers or any other miscellaneous adjustments for a given college in the funding summaries.

6. The technical documentation containing the algorithms used to generate the funding summaries is available on our website. We originally published the algorithms used to generate the student premium and HEIFES15 re-creation outputs in ‘ILR funding and monitoring data (FAMD) 2015-16: Web facility’ (HEFCE Circular letter 22/2016).

Amendments process

7. 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.

8. We are developing a new amendments process and we will now only accept amendments to correct errors in a college’s data that are widespread and significant, and will make a material difference to HEFCE’s use of the data. If colleges are aware of errors in their 2015-16 ILR data, they may request to amend these by submitting an action plan  using the guidance provided on the HEFCE website. These will be assessed by a panel and colleges will be notified of the outcome.

9. The deadlines for submission of an action plan and sign-off for accepted amendments are as follows:

Wednesday 31 May 2017         Deadline for the submission of action plans.

Friday 28 July 2017                  Deadline for sign-off of 2015-16 ILR data amendments.

10. We do not intend routinely to issue grant tables for 2017-18 in October 2017 for all institutions as we have done in previous years. We may accept amendments to data without recalculating funding. Where amendments to a college’s data have been accepted for funding purposes, updated grant tables will be issued in October 2017 to reflect these changes.

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

Relationship with ‘ILR 2015-16: Funding data reconciliations’

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

Further information

13. Guidance is available on our website. Specific areas that may be of interest are as follows:

  1. Technical information (such as algorithms) is listed at ‘2015-16 funding and monitoring overview’.
  2. Further details about the preparation and submission of action plans can be found at ‘Guide to action plans’.
  3. Further background information can be found at ‘Indicative funding summaries’.
  4. Information on how to obtain data from the HEFCE extranet can be found at ‘How to access outputs’.

14. 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 access key which we have provided to heads of colleges. Colleges should ensure that the access key is not passed to anyone without a legitimate reason to access the individualised data.

15. If you require further information contact Lisa Zhang (tel 0117 931 7156, email

Yours sincerely

Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive


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Date: 13 April 2017

Ref: Circular letter 12/2017

To: Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges

Of interest to those
responsible for:

Student data, Planning, Finance, Audit

Enquiries should be directed to:

Lisa Zhang, tel 0117 931 7156, email