How are the priorities for Adult Education Budget and its Allocation changing?

On the 20th March 2020 the Government announced that the ESFA will continue to pay grant funded providers their scheduled monthly profiled payments for the remainder of the 2019 to 2020 funding year. The funding will be in line with the current agreement schedule with no clawback, as long as Adult Education Providers can fulfil the conditions of their existing contracts and prove that learners are continuing to complete their qualification/course remotely wherever possible. This pandemic has and will continue to reshape the priorities within the Adult Education sector, its allocation and how it is spent.

What have we learnt in recent weeks?

  • Learners are much more resilient, adaptable and savvy than what we thought, as long as Education Providers have given them key skills and have taken into account how they learn.
  • The importance of having a demand led adult education provision adaptable to changing economic, social and environmental conditions.
  • The pandemic has brought new learning needs and requirements to the forefront of adult education provision including digital skills, independent living, infection control and mental health & well-being; ultimately showing the importance of considering learners’ needs and adapting provision to accommodate.
  • The importance of understanding adults’ motivations for learning and how they want to learn. In recent months Centres have seen a rise in: demand from furloughed learners with time to upskill and gain new skills for employment; digital learning including by adults still in work; and a rise in demand from key workers needing to be upskilled in other areas, such as mental health and infection control. This is now a priority for their underspent AEB.

What could the future look like and what are Education Providers’ plans for their AEB funding?

Going forward it’s likely that we will see more flexibility and responsiveness in adult education provision and Adult Education Budget (AEB) allocation. AEB provision will continue to be a continuous flow of activity reflective of demands at different periods across the academic year, but Education Providers will now look to have more than one plan so they are prepared for rapid change if it was to happen again.

With the economic outlook changing so quickly, Education Providers will be looking to work more closely with combined and local authorities, and local enterprise partnerships, to ensure their provision is satisfying their priorities in supporting current labour market conditions and also future economic and social developments.

In addition, Education Providers will need to factor in the changing motivations and needs of learners, as well as the ways they want to learn. It’s likely that there will be a rise in learners wanting to study online, and we’ve heard from Centres that they are planning to teach digital skills at the start of courses, for example in ESOL courses. With this in mind there will need to be different engagement strategies in place for different types of learners.

Now more than ever adult education provision needs to continue to build resilience in adults with a focus on employability, digital skills, mental health, healthy living and minimising risk.

Our popular Qualifications for Adult Education Budget (AEB)

During this pandemic we are finding that Education Providers are using their underspent AEB on the following qualifications:

Digital Skills


The below qualifications are mapped to the National Occupational Standards:

Entry 3 Award in Developing Online Digital Skills

Entry 3 Award in Skills for Digital Transactions

Level 1 Award in Skills for Digital Transactions

Mental Health

Level 2 Award in Mental Health & Well-being – this qualification is designed to give learners the knowledge and understanding of different types of conditions, the impacts of mental health and how to support themselves and others.  It’s accompanied by free interactive online learning resources and a learner assessment booklet that can be used to build a portfolio of evidence.

Short Online Qualifications

These online qualifications contain practical applications to daily life, work and study, allowing learners to develop a diverse range of life skills.

Level 1 Award in Mental Health & Well-being

Level 1 Award in Personal Health & Well-being

Entry 3 Award in Healthy Living for Well-being and Mental Health

Entry 3 Award in Internet Safety for IT Users

Level 1 and Level 2 in Healthy Living

Level 1 Award in Social Media and Online Safety

Level 1 Award in Managing Personal Finance

Level 1 Award in Understanding Employment, Business and Enterprise

Coming soon is a brand new Short Online Qualification in Infection Control – Level 1 Award in Promoting Health and Preventing the Spread of Infection

Employability and Progression to Further Learning and Work

These qualifications are designed to help learners develop skills, attributes and values which will enable them to overcome barriers to employment and further study; build self-esteem and a positive attitude to work and study, helping them to take steps into further study and employment.

The most popular qualifications in our Employability suite are our Work Preparation qualifications available at Entry 3 and Level 1.

Popular qualifications in our Progression to Further Learning and Work suite are:

Entry 1, 2 and 3 Award/ Certificate/ Diploma in Independent Living

Entry 3 and Level 1 Award in The Importance pf Resilience and Grit

Entry 3 Award and Level 1 and 2 Award/ Certificate/ Diploma in Progression

Level 1 Award in Induction to a Learning Environment 

 Level 1 Award in Managing Transitions

New Qualifications coming soon

Essential Digital Skills

Ready for teaching in the new academic year, we have two brand new Essential Digital Skills Qualifications – Entry 3 and Level 1 Award in Essential Digital Skills for Work & Life. These qualifications are mapped to the new Essential Digital Skills Framework and are ideal for adults with little or no digital skills. These will also be fully funded under the Legal Entitlement Offer for learners aged 19+.

Previous article Next article

Watch Our Client Videos

Ascentis helps change the lives of over 170,000 learners each year. Hear about why our staff love working for us, and why our customers love working with us.

See all

Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service Speaking about Ascentis English & Maths Stepping Stones

Ascentis has a fantastic suite of English and Maths Stepping Stones qualifications which enable learners to focus on specific skills, build their confidence and progress onto further learning. This testimonial video features Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service who outline the benefits to them and their learners of using these qualifications.

Watch Video

The City of Liverpool College Speaking about Ascentis Access to Higher Education

Access to HE with Ascentis - We Make a Difference. Watch our Testimonial and hear how it makes a difference to learners and the opportunities it brings.

Watch Video

Best Practice People Speaking about Ascentis Short Online Qualifications

The Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are delivered in many centres across the UK and help to support learners’ Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. Listen to Ascentis Customer, Best Practice People talk about how effective the Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are and how they successfully aid their NEET learners, improving skills and confidence in turn helping them secure employment.

Watch Video

Join hundreds of happy centres nationwide

Arrange a visit

What our happy customers say

“We are very pleased that we made the move to Ascentis for all our ESOL exams. The exams are appropriate for our learners, and lecturers find the marking manageable. As an organisation, Ascentis is a pleasure to work with. Our queries are always dealt with quickly and we are extremely well supported by our verifier.”

Waltham Forest

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our first year with Ascentis. There has been support of a high quality throughout the academic year. Support has been provided through a variety of roles including the quality managers, lead EQA’s and subject moderators.”

Bradford College

“We have been delighted with the impact Ascentis Extended Awards in Mathematical Skills (Stepping Stones) have had on our student’s progression towards their functional skills mathematics as well as preparing them for the completion of their GCSE. It has taught them the essential skills in mathematics which enabled them to deal with the practical problems and challenges of life – at home, in education and at work. These skills are valued by employers and further education, and are a platform on which to build other employability skills. We are also very impressed with the level of service and commitment shown by the staff of Ascentis, they are always available to help whenever help is needed.”

Brent Start

“The transparency and support of Ascentis has been refreshing. Our moderation process has been a pleasure and developmental feedback has always been welcomed.”

Kensington & Chelsea College
  • AELP
  • CPD Certified
  • FAB
  • Cyber Essentials
  • Natecla
  • Access to Higher Education
  • The Parliamentary Review
  • West Yorkshire Learning Providers
Close
Ascentis customers please login to view full specifications, tracking sheets, sample papers, customer policies and key documents.

Qualifications

Specification Overviews

Key Documents