08 Feb 2021 12:33 PM

The ESFA have recently published updated guidance to colleges that enables them to claim additional funds for exceptional in year growth. Whilst this has been in place for a number of years now, the good news is that the mechanism has changed that is hoped to enable more colleges to now access these important funds in these troubling times.

This funding is only available to colleges with exceptional growth and is subject to a year end reconciliation. This means that unlike normal 16-19 funding, which is based on a lagged learner approach, a reconciliation is completed and should a college in receipt of these funds not meet the minimum threshold then all growth funds received would be subject to repayment. This clawback is not proportional but all or nothing. Therefore, any college in receipt of these funds should ensure governors are aware of this risk and it is good practice for performance in this area to be specifically monitored within your management accounts.

Over delivery is calculated as follows:

  • FE and HE institutions – the lower of: (a) 20/21 R04 students multiplied by 19/20 R04:R14 ratio less 20/21 allocated students; or (b) 20/21 R04 less 19/20 R04 students
  • Schools and academies – 20/21 autumn census students less 20/21 allocated students

Growth calculation based on 20/21 allocated student numbers and funded based on the average funding per student

  • Lower threshold – 7.5% (min 25 students & max 100 students)
  • Upper threshold – 15% (min 50 students & max 200 students)
  • Funding below the lower threshold is Nil, Between Lower and Upper threshold is 100% and above threshold is 50%
  • Growth funding is only achieved for those student numbers above the lower threshold

Example: An institution with an allocation of 2,000 students has a lower threshold of 100 students and upper threshold of 200. It has a growth of 250 students. The calculation applied is as follows:

  • First 100 students equal the lower threshold and are funded at Nil = 0
  • Next 100 students equal the full funded band and are funded at 100% = 100
  • Final 50 students are above the upper band and are funded at 50% = 25
  • In total the institution would be funded in year for growth of 125 students

More details can be found on the following link including an in year growth calculator - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/student-number-in-year-growth-for-2020-to-2021