The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published its 2019 to 2020 business plan, which sets out its ambitions for the year ahead.
The key aims of the plan are to protect public funds by strengthening the agency’s oversight mechanisms and placing an even greater emphasis on preventative work in respect of financial and governance failures. In addition, we are working to make the funding process easier for education and skills providers by seeking to reduce complexity and improving the customer experience of working with us.
It will achieve this by:
- implementing strengthened college and Independent Training Provider oversight regimes
- continuing with the delivery of our programme of compliance reviews carried out on Independent Training Providers
- working closely with partners including Ofsted, the IfATE, Ofqual and the FE Commissioner
- introducing customer-focused material, including online support and FAQs, as well as a new engagement centre that will ensure 98% of customer service enquiries across the financial year are dealt with within 5 working days.
Eileen Milner, ESFA Chief Executive said:
The ESFA delivers a significant number of programmes and policies that impact the lives of millions of children, young people and adults.
We play an important role in ensuring everybody has the opportunity and support to reach their full potential to make a positive contribution to society and the economy.
The agency has a collective responsibility to ensure we identify and act upon poor practice and in doing this make a contribution to improvement in, and strengthening of the sectors that we work with. We are committed to, providing a better service to providers by saving their time and simplifying the funding process.
The business plan also outlines the launch of a new customer-facing digital funding service, set to support pre- and post-16 providers, ensuring allocations are distributed accurately and on time.
The 2019 to 2020 business plan builds upon the achievements of the preceding year where ESFA allocated funds to support over 12 million learners, strengthened the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, and awarded the first T Level contracts to give young people a technical, employer-led alternative to A levels.
The Department for Education has also published its 2019 to 2020 business plan.
ESFA will publish its annual report and accounts before Parliament’s summer 2019 recess.