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Fees policy

Fees policy for adult skills and learning.

Part 1: Who is funded?

Funding is not available for an individual if any of the following apply.

  • They are here illegally
  • Those who are resident in the United Kingdom on a Tier 4 (general) student visa unless they are eligible through meeting any other of the eligibility categories
  • Non-EEA citizens who are in the United Kingdom on holiday, with or without a visa
  • Non-EEA citizens who are a family member of a person granted a Tier 4 visa, have been given immigration permission to stay in the UK and have not been ordinarily resident in the UK for the previous three years on the first day of learning
  • Their biometric residence permit or residence permit imposes a study prohibition or restriction on the individual.

Most people will be eligible for funding if they:

  • are a UK citizen or a citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or other countries determined within the EEA, including those with bilateral agreements such as Switzerland, or have settled status or the Right of Abode in the UK

and

  • have been ordinarily resident in the EEA or other countries determined within the EEA, including those with bilateral agreements such as Switzerland, other than for the purposes of education, for at least the previous three years on the first day of learning.


In addition, family members of a ‘principal’ (husband, wife, civil partner, child, grandchild or dependent parent or grandparent) who has been ordinarily resident in the UK for three or more years will be eligible as follows:

  Principal ordinarily resident in the EEA for three years
UK citizen EU citizen EEA citizen Non-EEA citizen
Family member not ordinarily resident in the EEA for three years UK citizen Eligible Eligible Eligible Non-eligible
EU citizen Eligible Eligible Eligible Non-eligible
EEA citizen Eligible Eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible
Non-EEA citizen Eligible Eligible Non-eligible Non-eligible


Non-EEA citizens

A non-EEA citizen is eligible for funding if they have permission granted by the UK government to live in the UK, which is not for educational purposes, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the start of learning.

Individuals with certain types of immigration status and their family members

Any individual with any of the statuses listed below is eligible to receive funding and are exempt from the three-year residency requirement rule. Evidence of the learner’s immigration permission in these circumstances:

  • refugee status
  • discretionary Leave to Enter or Remain
  • exceptional Leave to Enter or Remain
  • indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain
  • humanitarian protection
  • leave Outside the Rules
  • section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 Leave
  • Calais leave to remain
  • the husband, wife, civil partner and child of any of the above

The learner’s immigration permission in the UK may have a ‘No recourse to public funds’ condition. Public funds do not include education or education funding, so this does not affect a learner’s eligibility, which must be decided under the normal eligibility conditions.

Asylum seekers are eligible to receive funding if:

  • they have lived in the UK for six months or longer while their claim is being considered by the Home Office, and no decision on their claim has been made

or

  • they are in the care of the local authority and are receiving local authority support under section 23C or section 23CA of the Children Act 1989 or section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 A114.

An individual who has been refused asylum will be eligible if:

  • they have appealed against a decision made by the UK government against granting refugee status and no decision has been made within six months of lodging the appeal

or

  • they are granted support for themselves under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

or

  • they are in the care of a local authority and are receiving local authority support for themselves under section 23C or section 23CA of the Children Act 1989.

Learners not eligible for funding will be charged the full fee. Priority will be given to learners eligible for funding.

Part 2: What is funded?

Adult Education courses are for learners aged 19+, however funding is available for 16-18 year olds on some accredited courses. Please ask for details.

Fee remission is available in accordance with ESFA co-funding rules.

  • ‘Fully Funded’ – the course is free to learners
  • ‘Co-funded’ – the learner pays 50% of the full fee
  • ‘Loan funded’ – the learners pays 100% of the full fee and can apply for an Advanced Learning Loan. Learners in receipt of a loan who withdraw before the end of the course will be liable to pay the balance of the fees owed directly to LASALS.
  • ‘Not funded’ – the course costs the listed full fee for the qualification or, for Community Learning, £5.50 per hour plus any materials/model costs.

Definition of 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
  • They receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • They receive Universal Credit, and their earned income from employment (disregarding benefits) is less than £338 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £541 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
  • Receives other state benefits and their earned income (disregarding benefits) is less than £338 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £541 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner) and wants to be employed, or progress into more sustainable employment, and the learning is directly relevant to their employment prospects and the local labour market needs

Learners in receipt of low wage (low wage flexibility)

We will fully fund learners who are employed and cannot contribute towards the cost of co-funding fees, if we are satisfied the following applies

  • The learner is eligible for co-funding
  • The learner earns less than £17,004.00 annual gross salary
  • We have seen evidence of the learner’s gross annual wages that supports this. This could be a wage slip within 3 months of the learner’s learning start date, or a current employment contract which states gross monthly/annual wages.

Accredited courses are priced according to the funded rate specified for the qualification in the ESFA funding rules, except for:

  • First steps courses offering progression into accredited programmes.

Community Learning courses are only for learners aged 19+ and are charged at £2.00 per hour except for the following, which are free to learners

  • Employability courses for the unemployed
  • Informal learning activities and taster sessions
  • First steps courses offering progression into accredited programmes
  • REMIT courses for learners with mental health difficulties
  • Family Learning courses

Courses that have a life model are charged at £3.00 to cover the cost of the model.

Full Cost Recovery Courses (where tuition is provided for a group and the activity and/or learners are not eligible for ESFA funding) are charged at £70 per hour.

Part three: Learner support funds

The Learner Support Fund is a limited amount of funding allocated to the service by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) each year for Adult Skills courses only (not Community Learning courses).

The purpose of the funding is to provide exceptional support to learners who are experiencing financial difficulty with meeting costs associated with learning. 

The service aims to manage the allocations process to ensure there is sufficient funding for prioritised needs throughout the year.  However, as this is a limited funding stream there is no entitlement to Learner Support Funds.  When the allocation is used up in the Academic Year the service will not be able to support learners under this fund.

Learners must be eligible for funding

The residency eligibility for Learner Support Funding is the same as overall ESFA funding eligibility (see Adult education budget funding rules).   Learners must be fully funded, or on an English or Maths course and earning less than £17004 annual gross salary.  For Asylum Seekers on an English and Maths course and not allowed to work, evidence of their weekly payments will be required.  

Learners must be 20+ to receive support for childcare

(ESFA’s Care 2 Learn is available for those 19 and under)

Priorities 16-18-year olds

The very limited funds for 16-18-year olds are only available to support learners who are in danger of dropping out of learning due to financial hardship if no alternative scheme is available to provide support.

What can Learner Support Fund be used for?

The funding is provided to increase access, retention and achievement for learners in exceptional financial circumstances.

  • 20+ Childcare (with an Ofsted registered provider) up to £14 per session, with a total limit of £1850.
  • Associated Learning Costs (course trips, books or equipment identified as essential in the course information sheet).
  • Other Costs.  Transport cost but only in exceptional circumstances, and not as a block contribution.

How do learners apply for Learner Support funds?

  • Learners complete and sign the Learner Support Funds Application Form indicating the support they are applying for and the priority group they are in.
  • Any Appeals to be addressed to the Learner Services Manager, LAEC, 54 Belvoir Street, Leicester, LE1 6QL.

How do we administrate and distribute Learner Support Funds?

  • For fully funded learners. Enrolment Advisers to ensure that details of other costs, and all childcare details are completed. Eligibility has already been established when the learner enrolled. 
  • For Maths and English courses Enrolment Advisers needs to see evidence of annual gross salary. Evidence required:  wage slip within 3 months of learning start date or current employment contract which states gross/monthly/weekly salary.  Asylum Seekers need to provide evidence of the weekly payment they receive.  This could be their letter with the payment amount stated or Post Office receipt.
  • Applications are then submitted to the Finance Team, LAEC for authorisation and processing. Finance Team write to each learner individually with result of their application.  In addition, when approved, Finance Team also contact each Childcare Provider to arrange direct payments.  The payments awarded will be added to the spreadsheet on the shared drive.
  • The Finance Team will alert staff when the LSF funding is running low and when no more applications can be funded
  • Learner Support Fund Applications must be submitted within 10 working days of the start of the course to ensure there is funding available.
  • The Additional Information section must indicate why the learner has been recommended for DLSF.
  • Applications must not be authorised for friends or family. If the Application is for a friend or a family member, then authorisation must be given by a colleague.

For further details please see the ESFA funded adult
education budget (AEB):funding and performance management rules 2020 to 2021 (PDF).

Part four: Refunds policy

If the Adult Skills & Learning Service closes the course before it starts or closes the course within two weeks of it starting, a refund of the full amount will be made.

Learners making postal or telephone enrolments have 10 working days within which they can change their mind and withdraw their enrolment. 

The Adult Skills and Learning Service do not normally provide a refund if a learner has to withdraw during a course. However refunds may be granted, subject to an administration charge of £10, in exceptional circumstances. All refund applications must be made in writing either by a letter, email  (lasals.admin@leicester.gov.uk) or by completing a ‘Request for Refund’ form. The amount of refund will be for the remaining sessions of the course and calculated from the date on the written request for a refund from the learner, less an administration charge.

Refunds will not be made under the following circumstances:

  • Four or more weeks have elapsed between the learner’s last attendance at the class and the request for a refund
  • On one day courses, unless the learner cancelled their place at least two weeks before the course was due to start. If a learner withdraws prior to the course starting, unless the place is sold to another learner before the course start date.

Part five: Payment by instalments policy

Learners can pay fees in instalments on courses lasting more than 5 weeks, this should include exam or other fees.

Short Courses (lasting 1 term or less)

  • 50% of the balance must be paid before the start of the course
  • 2 further payments must be paid by week 8.

Long Courses (more than 1 term)

  • 25% of the balance must be paid before the start of the course
  • Two further payments of 25% must be paid in the first term
  • The final payment must be paid before the half term holiday in the second term.

An instalment payment plan form should be completed for the learner and a copy retained and updated with each payment.

Learners failing to pay fee instalments by the due date will be given a written reminder. Continued failure to pay will result in their removal from class and the raising of an invoice for the outstanding amount.