ESFA Update local authorities: 23 March 2022


1. Reminder: local authority maintained schools to check the status of their business rates payment process

From 1 April 2022, ESFA will centrally pay the business rates for those local authority maintained schools whose billing authority is implementing the new national non-domestic rates (NNDR) payment process. This means local authority maintained schools in those areas should not pay the 2022 to 2023 business rates bill to the billing authority.

You can check the NNDR payment process your billing authority is implementing. We recommend you check this before making payment to avoid any confusion and duplicate payments.

If your billing authority is continuing with the existing NNDR payment arrangements, local authority maintained schools should continue to pay the rates bill for 2022 to 2023 as per the previous year’s arrangements.

2. Information: updated 2021 to 2022 dedicated schools grant (DSG) allocations

We have updated the 2021 to 2022 DSG funding allocations to reflect updated high needs places and recoupment adjustments.

3. Information: teachers’ pay grant and teachers’ pensions employer contribution grant

We’ve clarified the arrangements for teachers’ pay grant and teachers’ pensions employer contribution grant in 2022 to 2023 for schools and academies.

4. Information: local authority 16 to 19 funds two part return for 2020 to 2021 financial year

We sent an e-mail to all local authority chief financial officers (CFOs) copied to chief executives on 21 March 2022, highlighting the process for local authorities LAs to submit their 16 to 19 funds two-part return to ESFA for 2020 to 2021 using Document Exchange.

Local authorities must upload a CFO signed grant return (Tab 1) and & 16 to 19 use of funds reconciliation return (Tab 2) to Document Exchange by 30 April 2022. We have added detailed guidance to the commissioning email.
You can access ESFA’s new Document Exchange portal by logging onto Document Exchange service. You can review documents you’ve sent by selecting ‘documents you’ve sent to ESFA’ from the main Document Exchange page.

You can access the Document Exchange by logging into DFE Sign-In. If you don’t have access to Document Exchange but would like it, please speak to one of the super users within your organisation. If you’re unsure who this is, please speak to the head of the organisation.

5. Information: Advanced Learner Loans (ALL) funding rules for 2022 to 2023

We have published version 1 of the ALL funding rules for academic year 2022 to 2023.

These rules have been published in HTML format which is more accessible to readers.

The rules apply to all providers of education and training who hold a loans agreement with ESFA.

We expect to publish the performance management in version 2 in late spring. If you have any queries on these rules, please contact us through our enquiry form.

6. Information: maximum loan amounts for Advanced Learner Loans 2022 to 2023

We have published the maximum loan amounts guide for academic year 2022 to 2023.

This document confirms we have maintained the same maximum loan amounts for qualifications that we designated for loans in 2021 to 2022.

If you have any queries on these rules, please contact us through our enquiry form.

7. Information: ESFA adult education budget (AEB) funding and performance management rules 2021 to 2022 – Ukrainian visa schemes

All Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme are immediately eligible for FE 19+ funding and are exempt from the 3-year residency requirement as per the current AEB funding rules.

Individuals applying for these schemes from outside the UK, will receive an official permission letter from Home Office confirming that they can travel to the UK. When they arrive in the UK with the permission letter, the UK Border Force officers will endorse their passport with a 6-month entry stamp. The 6-month entry stamp will be evidence of their right to work, study and claim benefits in the UK. Within 6 months of their arrival in the UK, they will be required to submit their biometrics to extend their stay for up to 3 years and will be issued a biometric residence permit (BRP), as evidence of their immigration status.

Individuals applying for these schemes from inside the UK, will need to book and attend an appointment at the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services service point where they will need to give their biometric information to get a BRP.

It’s important to note that there may be some delays in the issue of the Home Office BRP. In these cases all individuals will be issued with a document showing proof of Home Office immigration status.

If you have any questions, please contact us using our enquiry form.

8. Information: are you a school business professional in a special school, alternative provision or hospital school?

Would you welcome the opportunity to meet other practitioners working in similar contexts, who understand the challenges you face?

Supported by the Department for Education (DfE) and open to all school business professionals (SBPs) working in special and alternative provision throughout England, the National Network of Special Schools (NNoSS) is a network whose members understand and can help with the unique challenges faced within special schools.

For more information and details of how to join, visit the NNoSS website.

9. Information: practical risk assessment workshop for RPA members

As part of its risk management support, the DfE, in conjunction with Willis Towers Watson, is hosting a webinar on Asbestos Management. This workshop will focus on:

  • the legal requirement for undertaking health and safety risk assessments
  • a practical risk assessment that will go through the entire process, from the identification of hazards through to risk rating systems and the identification of control measures

Please select one of the dates below for further information and to register:

10. Information: questionnaire on managing reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC)

Responsible bodies (RBs) have been emailed with a questionnaire asking about the measures they are taking to identify, monitor and manage reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in their schools. Further information about RAAC is available from DfE guidance published in February 2021.

The questionnaire can be accessed via the DfE Capital Portal. If you wish to respond on behalf of your responsible body and do not already have a portal account, please email raac.awareness@education.gov.uk with your name, organisation, email address and job title.

The deadline for responses is Thursday 14 April 2022.

11. Information: Bett Show 2022, 23 to 25 March

DfE is once again delighted to be featured at Bett as it returns to ExCeL London this week.

Bett is the global community for education technology and this flagship UK event welcomes educators, leaders and innovators together to showcase the future of technology in education.

DfE is launching the first technology standards for schools and colleges, to help them understand their digital environment and what core technology to have in place.

Discover the full agenda including sessions from DfE, and keep up with latest with #Bett2022 on Twitter.