Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 22 Feb 2021

Questions from learning providers

Delivery of learning aims

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) provides guidance on learning aim delivery. The content here is based on their guidance.

Q1: Our premises are no longer open for learners to attend. What steps can we put in place to ensure our learners can continue their learning aims?

A: The Secretary of State for Education has advised of the cessation of classroom delivery for most learners. This is due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are assuming that that you will continue with your study programme remotely where possible. This would usually mean using online learning.

Q2: Some programmes need a practical element of learning or assessment. What is the advice about continuing these programmes and how should we administer these?

A: The Department for Education (DfE) is working with the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) to see what flexibility and pragmatism can be applied to ensure these learners in AY 2020/21 are not disadvantaged.

The consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 may be of particular interest to you. It may also interest you if you have learners expecting to get a vocational or technical qualification, or other general qualification in 2021.

Q3: We know loan-funded learners must complete their Level 3 Access to HE Diploma as well as their HE course to qualify for loan write-off. Some learners have received an offer from their preferred university stating that, in view of the current situation, their place is secure whether they complete or not. Will they still need to complete their Access to HE Diploma in this case?

A: The government and the Office for Students (OfS) recently issued a statement asking universities and colleges to pause:

  • all unconditional offer-making
  • changes to existing offers for applicants who have not yet received their A levels, BTECs or similar qualification results

As such, there are no changes to the rules around the Access to HE write-off.

You can find further information on the OfS website.

Q4: One of our courses is technically finishing early, as the learners have completed all their written work. The awarding organisation has advised that final completion will be based on predicted grades. This is because learners cannot attend classes or placements because of the COVID-19 pandemic. How should we administer these learners on the LP Portal?

A: You are entitled to the full fee amount if a learner leaves the learning aim before the expected end date and has completed the aim. In this scenario, you should submit an early completion CoC to let us know.

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