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How is a course defined?
 

A course is a period of study, based on one specification, which leads to a qualification accredited within the National Qualifications Framework.  The content of the course should be distinct in that it is not replicated in any other course(s) offered as part of a school's provision.  A course should be further defined, at Levels 1 and 2, as consisting, normally, of at least 120 guided learning hours (the equivalent of a GCSE), and at Level 3 as consisting, normally, of at least 360 guided learning hours, (the equivalent of a GCE).  DE Circular 2016/10

Why are General/Applied courses delivered in my school not being funded?
 

Under the existing arrangements under the Local Management of Schools (LMS) scheme, the Board of Governors of every grant-aided school receives a delegated budget to meet the costs of providing access to the curriculum for the pupils within that school.  Costs associated with the provision of courses at KS4 and post-16 solely within a school (whether General or Applied) should therefore be covered by the existing LMS formula.  The EF support arrangements are intended to contribute to the additional costs associated with expanding access through collaborative working with other schools and providers.

 
Why are Level 2 Courses not being funded at post-16?

 

The EF became statutory from September 2015 and, given the finite resources available to assist schools to deliver the EF, it is essential that Department prioritises support for courses which clearly meet the criteria for the EF ie level 1/2 courses at KS4 and level 3 courses at Post-16.  The funding of level 2 courses at post-16 is no longer a priority under EF support arrangements.  While the Department recognises that Level 2 qualifications may provide worthwhile and motivating courses of study for some post-16 students, such courses will not contribute towards a school's post-16 curricular offer under the terms of the EF, although this does not preclude schools from offering such courses at post-16 and funding these from their LMS budget.

How were the Urban-Rural classifications arrived at?
 

Urban - Rural classification boundaries are defined from Settlement Development Limits (SDLs), as outlined in the Report of the Inter-departmental Urban-Rural definition Group published in 2010.  http://www.ninis.nisra.gov.uk/mapxtreme_towns/Reports/ur_report.pdf

Using the definition laid out in this report, post code areas can also be classified as ‘urban' or ‘rural'.  For this exercise, schools were classified as ‘rural' or ‘urban', based on the classification of their postcode in relation to settlement of 4, 500 or more population in size. The Department is aware that the current urban/rural classification boundaries as defined from the SDLs do not always reflect the position of individual schools and the transport costs associated with collaborative provision.  The Department reviews these definitions each year.

How were the pupil numbers in the funding report generated?
   

Pupil numbers presented in the funding report have been generated from the course entries input by each individual school into the EF Audit site and verified as accurate by the Principal.  Please note that as some courses have double or treble equivalency to a GCSE or A level.

 

 

Is this funding only for courses undertaken in FE colleges?
No, it is intended as a contribution towards the additional costs incurred for courses undertaken on a collaborative basis whether this is between schools or between schools and FE colleges or other providers.  The details as to how the funding is allocated is detailed in your school's funding report.

 

I have incorrectly entered data on providers and/or pupil numbers in to the audit and this has reduced my funding. Can I rectify this?
   

No, all schools have signed off the current data and the EF Support Formula has been run on this basis.  However, if you are aware of an error in your data input, this should be brought to the attention of DE 14-19 Team.  The scale and impact of all errors will be considered by the Department.  However, at this stage, no guarantee can be given that funding will be increased as a result of incorrect data input.

Why are some courses Non Eligible for funding?
   

Courses that are described as NE are Non Eligible within the Entitlement Framework.  There are a number of reasons why courses are labelled as non eligible, some of these could be the following;

  • Courses that are not at the appropriate level within the selected Key Stage, ie Entry level courses at Key Stage 4 and level 1 or 2 courses at Post 16;
  • Courses that are deemed as having insufficient guided learning hours and are therefore not considered as a full course within the Entitlement Framework; 
  • Courses entered which specify collaboration with another school, or host school where these entries do not match with the partner school's entries.

If you have a query about course eligibility please refer to the https://www.deni.gov.uk/publications/circular-201126-general-and-applied-courses-revised-definitions and https://www.deni.gov.uk/articles/entitlement-framework

My school is currently collaborating with another school to access a course from an FE College in our schools. I have recorded this provision under school/school collaboration, yet it has not been deemed eligible for funding. Why is this?
 

The weightings under the formula are dependant on the provider, not the location, of a course. As such the provision referred to should appear under "FE" and where there is partial delivery by the school with FE, the appropriate % box should would be selected.  Where a non-eligible course has been entered it will not been funded.   

 

Do I have to agree to Service Level Agreement (SLA) with each providers delivering an approved course on behalf of my school?
 

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) must be in place for each provider before collaborative provision commences.  Article 21 of the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 allows schools to enter into arrangements to provide secondary education on behalf of the school by an institute of Further Education or other provider.  Any such arrangements are subject to a written agreement which must include specific details on issues including pastoral care, quality of provision, the basis for any costs to be incurred or charged and any other issues deemed necessary by the school's Board of Governors.  DE will seek to ensure a consistent approach on this issue and schools should ensure that this documentation is available within the school if required at any point in the school year.

Do all schools have to complete an individual Implementation Plan?
 

No, the EF Implementation Plan relates to the targets and strategies for all schools in the ALC and from this year the plan will be completed online, allowing schools to review their Strategic Priorities and Objectives and Targets for the previous year and to agree them for the incoming year.

Who is responsible for completing the ALC Implementation Plan on behalf of the ALC?

Each learning community nominates one person (writer/editor) to complete the online implementation plan.  The nominated person can only edit the ALC plan and sumbit when agreed.  All ALC members can review the ALC implementation plan at any stage.  

My school is delivering/offering individual units/modules of a larger course to complement the rest of the schools curricular offer. Will I get funding for this and how do I enter this information on the audit?
While schools are free to offer such units/modules as enrichment courses, only full courses as defined in DE Circular 2006/24 Approval of Qualifications and Guidance on the Classification of Courses, will attract the appropriate funding under the EF support formula.  Units/modules of courses should not, therefore be entered on the audit.
What should be in an SLA?
 

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) must be in place before collaborative provision commences. Article 21 of the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 allows schools to enter into arrangements to provide secondary education on behalf of the school by an institute of Further Education or other provider. Any such arrangements are subject to a written agreement which must include specific details on issues including pastoral care and child protection, quality of provision, the basis for any costs to be incurred or charged and any other issues or assurances deemed necessary by the school's Board of Governors. DE will seek to ensure a consistent approach on this issue and schools should ensure that this documentation is available within the school if required at any point in the school year.  DE Circular 2016/10

 

 

How are central ALC costs such as ALC co-ordinator salaries now shared as there is no common per school collaboration funding element?
Each school has been provided with an allocation of £3,000 to specifically cover ALC co-ordinator costs for 2016/2017.
How do I know if I chose the correct provider when I entered my school's data?
Provider                 Delivery                       Location                       Pupils
Own School              Own Staff                      Own School                    Own Pupils

Own school and        Own Staff                      Own School                    Other schools' pupils and
host for other                                                                                      own pupils
schools' pupils

Collaboration with     Other school's                Other School                  Own Pupils
another school          staff

FE                            FE Staff                          FE                                 Own Pupils
                                                                     Own School 
                                                                     Other School

FE(part delivery)       FE Staff                          FE                                 Other schools' pupils
                                                                     Own School                     and own pupils
                                School Staff                   Other school                   Own Pupils

Training                    T.O Staff                        T.O                                 Own Pupils 
Organisation(T.O)                                           Own School

T.O                           T.O Staff                        T.O                                 Other schools' pupils and
(part delivery)                                                Own school                     own pupils
                                School staff                    Other school                   Own Pupils

Other Provider           Other Provider               Own school                     Own Pupils
                                 Staff                             Other school