Adult Learning Learner Fees Policy 2021 - 2022

Learner Fees Policy –

Personal and Community Development Learning (PCDL),

Family English, Maths and Language (FEML),

Wider Family Learning (WFL),

Skills for Life and Work (SfLW),

Targeted Learning Projects (TLP),

Targeted Employment Projects (TEP),


All Adult Learning subcontract partners must adhere to the Learner Fees Policy.

Learners will be charged a fee for the learning they receive. There are three fee rates:

  1. Full Fee
  2. Reduced Fee
  3. Fee Exempt

1. Full Fee

    • £3.00p per guided learning hour (glh)

This applies to

    • Employed learners who are not eligible for a reduced fee or fee exemption.
    • Economically inactive learners who are not eligible for a reduced fee or fee exemption.

2. Reduced Fee

    • £0.80p per guided learning hour (glh)

This applies to learners who are in receipt of a State Pension and are not eligible for a fee exemption. 65+yrs for men and women.

3. Fee Exempt

    • No charge

3a. Learners attending the following courses are fee exempt:

    • Courses specifically for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LLDD).
    • The Course Proposal must state that the course is LLDD and the course must be only eligible to learners who have a learning difficulty and/or disability.
    • Please note, adults with a learning difficulty and/or disability who enrol on a non-LLDD course should pay the Full Fee rate unless they fall into the Reduced Fee category or are eligible for fee exemption under another criteria.
    • Courses where the main learning aim is English, ESOL or Maths.
    • Family English, Maths and Language courses.
    • Wider Family Learning courses.

3b. Learners in receipt of the following income based state benefits are Fee Exempt

    • Active Benefits:
      • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
      • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
      • Universal Credit
    • Other income related state benefits:
      • Income Support
      • Incapacity Benefit
      • Housing Benefit
      • Council Tax Benefit (low income households)
      • Working Tax credit
      • Pension Credit (not savings credit)
      • Return to Work Credit
      • In Work Credit
      • Job Grant, paid within two months of starting the learning
      • Mortgage Interest Run On
      • Carers Allowance

3c. Learners who fall into one of the following categories are Fee Exempt:

    • An offender serving their sentence in the community.
    • An Asylum Seeker in receipt of the equivalent of an income based state benefit.
    • The unwaged dependant of an Asylum Seeker.
    • An individual who is economically inactive because they are unable to claim income related state benefits.
    • An individual who earns less than £17,374.50 (01 August 21 – 17 March 22) £19,305 (18 March 22 - 31 July 22) annual gross salary, based on the assumption of a 37.5hr contract with paid statutory holiday entitlement.
    • An individual suffering hardship – see below guidance.

Hardship –Where a learner is required to pay either the full or reduced fees and the subcontract partner considers that an individual is unable to contribute towards the cost of their learning on the grounds of hardship, the subcontract partner should apply to The Council for fee exemption for the learner using the “Application for Learner Fee Discretionary Exemption Form: Hardship”.

On considering an application for hardship, subcontract partners must satisfy themselves of the learner’s inability to contribute to learning by reviewing appropriate financial evidence of learner income and be approved by The Council before the learner enrols and any fee exemption only applies after the application approval date.

3d. Evidencing Fee Exemption

To be eligible for fee exemption learners must provide appropriate written evidence.

Subcontract partners are required to check and keep any evidence as required by ESFA / WYCA funding guidance for 21/22

    • Learner evidence which is inappropriate will result in the learner being charged a Full Fee rate.If the learner is no longer on the course the subcontract partner will be required to cover the cost of the full fee rate.
    • The Council can advise on the appropriateness of evidence.

Learner Enrolment Time – Impact on Fee rate

A. Learners enrolling up to and including the third week of a course – the learner fee amount should be for the full length of the course.
B. Learners enrolling on the fourth or subsequent week of a course – the learner fee amount should be pro-rata to reflect the number of course hours remaining.
C. Once a learner has enrolled and attended more than 2 weeks full fee collection will be assumed.

Learner Fee Refunds

The subcontract partner should obtain the learner’s fees prior to the learner starting their course. Fees should be refunded in the following circumstances:

  1. The course fails to form or closes in the third week or earlier – the subcontract partner should return the full fee payment to the learner.
  2. The course closes in the fourth session or subsequent sessions – the subcontract partner should refund the learner a pro-rata amount, taking in to account the course hours remaining and the fee amount paid.
  3. The learner withdraws from a course as a result of circumstances beyond their control that could not have been foreseen at the time of enrolment – the fee refund should be calculated according to the guidance given in 1 and 2 above. The refund may be subject to the deduction of an administration charge.
  4. The learner withdraws from the course out of personal preference – no refund.

Additional Learner Charges

  • Subcontract partners are required to adhere to the hourly fee rates set out above and should not impose any additional surcharges to meet the general cost of providing courses.
  • Practical courses which require specialist course materials/resources - subcontract partners have the discretion to charge learners a reasonable amount for specialist course materials in practical courses.

Learner Fee Collection

  • Subcontract partners are responsible for collecting fees from all eligible learners.
  • Fee information should be accurately identified on the Course Proposal Form and the ILR Template.
  • The ILR will be used to calculate fees owed to The Council.
  • At the end of the academic year The Council will invoice subcontract partners for the Learner Fees amount.
  • The Council will use the learner fees monies to support ongoing delivery of subsequent Adult Learning provision.

Recording Learner Fee Payments

  • A subcontract partner must record details of all payments (course fees and other charges) made by the learner to the subcontract partner relating to Adult Learning provision.
  • A subcontract partner must issue a receipt to the learner for all payments made by the learner.
  • Subcontract partners must retain an audit trail for fees received and should make any fees documentation available for audit as required.


Learner Fees Policy -

Accredited Employment Pathway (AEP)

All learners will be fully funded or co-funded as defined by ESFA/WYCA in the Adult Learning Funding Rules 2021/22. Government contribution tables from the current 21/22 guidance are shown below:

Government contribution table 1: 19 to 23-year-olds

The level of government contribution for ESFA funded AEB is as follows.

Provision

19 to 23-year-olds

Notes

English and maths, up to and including level 2 (paras 148 to 154)

Fully funded

Must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement qualifications

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications up to and including level 1 (paras 155 to 158)

Fully funded

Must be delivered as part of the Digital legal entitlement qualifications list

First full Level 2 (excluding English & maths and Digital) (paras 131 to 132)

Fully funded

First full level 2 must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement qualifications

Learning aims to progress to a full level 2 – up to and including level 1 (para 116)

Fully funded

Must be delivered as entry or level one provision from local flexibility

Level 3 legal entitlement (learners first full L3 (paras 133 to 136)

Fully funded

First full level 3 must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement qualifications

Level 3 adult offer (paras 128 to 130)

Fully funded

Learners without a full level 3 or above can access a qualification on the level 3 adult offer qualification list

Level 3 Advanced Learner Loan

Loan funded

A learner has already achieved a full level 3 (Advanced learner loans funding rules)

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) learning up to and including level 2 (paras 163 to 166)

Fully funded

For those eligible through unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or on a low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Co-funded

For those who do not meet the definition of unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or do not meet the eligibility criteria for low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Learning aims up to and including level 2, where the learner has already achieved a first full level 2, or above (para 118)

Fully funded

For those eligible through unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or on a low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Co-funded

For those who do not meet the definition of unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or do not meet the eligibility criteria for low wage (paras 122 to 124)


Government contribution table 2: 24+

The level of government contribution for ESFA funded AEB is as follows.

Provision

24+

Notes

English and maths, up to and including level 2 (paras 148 to 154)

Fully funded

Must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement qualifications list

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications up to and including level 1 (paras 155 to 158)

Fully funded

Must be delivered as part of the legal entitlement qualifications list

Level 2 (excluding English and maths) (paras 131 to 132)

Fully funded

For those eligible through unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or on a low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Co-funded

For those who do not meet the definition of unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or do not meet the eligibility criteria for low wage (paras 122 to 124

Learning to progress to level 2 (para 119)

Fully funded

For those eligible for their first full level 2 through unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Co-funded

For those who do not meet the definition of unemployed (paras 120 to 121)) or do not meet the eligibility criteria for low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Level 3 adult offer (paras 128 to 130)

Fully funded

Learners without a full level 3 or above accessing a qualification on the level 3 adult offer qualifications list

Level 3 (paras 133 to 136)

Loan funded

A learner has achieved a full level 3

(Advanced learner loans funding rules)

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) learning up to and including level 2 (paras 163 to 166)

Fully funded

For those eligible through unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or on a low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Co-funded

For those who do not meet the definition of unemployed (paras 120 to 121)) or do not meet the eligibility criteria for low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Learning aims up to and including level 2, where the learner has already achieved a first full level 2, or above (para 118)

Fully funded

For those eligible through unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or on a low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Co-funded

For those who do not meet the definition of unemployed (paras 120 to 121)) or do not meet the eligibility criteria for low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Learning aims up to and including level 2, where the learner has not achieved a first full level 2, or above (para 119)

Fully funded

For those eligible through unemployed (paras 120 to 121) or on a low wage (paras 122 to 124)

Co-funded

For those who do not meet the definition of unemployed (paras 120 to 121)) or do not meet the eligibility criteria for low wage (paras 122 to 124)


Unemployed

For funding purposes, we define a learner as unemployed if one or more of the following apply, they:

  • receive Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), including those receiving National Insurance credits only.
  • receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
  • receive Universal Credit, and their take-home pay as recorded on their Universal Credit statement (disregarding Universal Credit payments and other benefits) is less than £345 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner).
  • are released on temporary licence, studying outside a prison environment, and not funded by the Ministry of Justice.

Subcontract partners may also use their discretion to fully fund other learners if both of the following apply. The learner:

  • receives other state benefits (not listed above) and their take home pay (disregarding Universal Credit payments and other benefits) is less than £345 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner), and
  • wants to be employed, or progress into more sustainable employment, and their take-home pay (disregarding Universal Credit payments and other benefits) is less than £345 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner), and you are satisfied identified learning is directly relevant to their employment prospects and the local labour market needs.

Fully funded learners are not charged a fee.

Co-funded learners will be charged a fee for the learning they receive.The subcontract partner may determine the level of fee to be charged but can be no more than 50% of the unweighted rate as shown on the LARS/“Find a learning aim” and a minimum of £3 per hour.

Evidencing Full Funding

  • To be eligible for full funding learners must provide appropriate written evidence.
  • Learner evidence which is inappropriate will result in the learner being charged a full fee rate.If the learner is no longer on the course the subcontract partner will be required to cover the cost of the full fee rate.
  • The Council can advise on the appropriateness of evidence.

Learners in receipt of low wage

You may fully fund learners who are employed, or self-employed, and would normally be co-funded for provision, up to and including level 2. You must be satisfied the learner is both:

  • eligible for co-funding, and
  • less than £17,374.50 annual gross salary

You must have seen evidence of the learner’s gross annual wages in these circumstances. This could be a wage slip or a Universal Credit statement within 3 months of the learner’s learning start date, or a current employment contract which states gross monthly / annual wages. Please note this is not an exhaustive list, but you must evidence your decision to award full funding to an individual who would normally be eligible for co-funding.

Subcontract partners are required to check and keep any evidence as required by WYCA / ESFA funding guidance for 2021/22

ESFA funding rules 2021-22 (published May 2021)

Learner Fee Refunds

The subcontract partner should obtain the learner’s fees prior to the learner starting their course.

Fees should be refunded in the following circumstances:

  1. The course fails to form or closes in the third week or earlier – the subcontract partner should return the full fee payment to the learner.
  2. The course closes in the fourth session or subsequent sessions – the subcontract partner should refund the learner on a pro-rata amount, taking in to account the course hours remaining and the fee amount paid.
  3. The learner withdraws from a course as a result of circumstances beyond their control that could not have been foreseen at the time of enrolment – the fee refund should be calculated according to the guidance given in 1 and 2.The refund may be subject to the deduction of an administration charge.
  4. The learner withdraws from the course out of personal preference – no refund.

Learner Fee Collection

    • Subcontract partners are responsible for collecting fees from all eligible learners.
    • Fee information should be accurately identified on the Course Proposal Form and the ILR Template.

Recording Learner Fee Payments

    • A subcontract partner must record details of all payments (course fees and other charges) made by the learner to the subcontract partner relating to Adult Learning provision.
    • A subcontract partner must issue a receipt to the learner for all payments made by the learner.
    • Subcontract partners must retain an audit trail for fees received and should make any fees documentation available for audit as required.