This is the second in the series of blogs we are posting from the Funding Data and Calculations team. I hope you find this useful but please feel free to post your comments or give us your feedback by replying to this post.
Following the publication of new provider monitoring reports in the Hub, we are publishing regular blog articles to capture relevant advice and guidance in one place. This week we are looking at report FRM 12 – repeat learning aims.
This report allows us and providers to monitor funding rule 91, as this is a key principle of funding. We have used the ILR data submitted by all providers over the last 3 years. It compares learning aims started in the 2015 to 2016 funding year against all achievements reported to us since the 2013 to 2014 funding year. This is different to current PDSAT reports because they can only run on the current submitted ILR data, so they will not return records from other providers or from previous funding years.
The data is matched on unique learner number (ULN) and learning aim reference. It identifies aims for the same ULN in this funding year where an achievement was reported with a learning actual end date prior to the start of this learning aim. We have included details of the outcome grade that was reported to us. In a number of cases, this appears as ‘NA’ which is because no grade was reported to us. Other valid entries and their meaning are contained in ILR specification 2015 to 2016 appendix Q, learning outcome grade code list: version 1 (25 March 2015). We have also included details of the provider and any subcontractor where previous learning took place.
You must validate this data, and any self-declaration by the learner, against the information held by the Learning Records Service (LRS) on the Personal Learning Record (PLR). You should also check that you have entered the correct learning aim reference or ULN for that learner. If the LRS appears to contradict the self-declaration, you must question the information supplied by the learner. The LRS includes a ‘Participation End Date’ for data supplied from ILR returns, which will be the same as the ‘learning actual end date’ supplied by the previous provider in their ILR return. If no award date is returned, and there is no obvious outcome grade reported, you must still obtain evidence to confirm whether the learning was achieved. In the majority of cases, where the data has been supplied by awarding bodies (AO) or the National Pupil Database (NPD), there will be an award date reported. If the learner does not grant you permission to view their record, you should still seek alternative evidence to confirm the learning was not achieved.
We will not fund a learner to repeat the same qualification where they have previously achieved it unless it is a requirement of the apprenticeship framework, or to obtain a higher grade in a GCSE where the learner has not previously achieved grade C or higher. You must record evidence of your initial assessments, including any conversations with the learner or other providers regarding their prior attainment, and evidence that you have used the LRS to inform your claim for funding. This includes where the LRS award date is blank. If you identify funding has been claimed in error, you must record the relevant learning aim records as funding model 99 (no Skills Funding Agency or EFA funding for this learning aim). Where the LRS seems incorrect, you should follow the data challenge process outlined in the Learner Registration Bodies Supporting Guidance. It is important that you return accurate achievement data to us as this feeds the LRS which is a key element in determining a learner’s eligibility in the future.