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Withdrawal of funding approval from qualifications with low and no publicly-funded enrolments

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​The government has issued the first part of their response to the first stage consultation on the review of post 16 qualifications at level 3 and below.

The government has issued a press release outlining their proposals. This confirms that more than 5,000 qualifications which are not being taken by anyone or are being studied by less than 100 students each year may lose government funding despite the fact that more than half of respondents were not in favour of removing public funding from low enrolment qualifications.

You can find and search the initial lists of qualifications with low and no publicly-funded enrolments in scope for removal of funding approval from 1 August 2021 here.

NAHT responded to this consultation on behalf of members and raised significant concerns regarding the withdrawal of funding from some qualifications with low enrolments. In our response we stated:

'Low enrolment in itself, is not a valid reason to remove approval for funding for a qualification. This would be fundamentally disadvantageous and detrimental to the learning opportunities of students with SEND, and the drive they have to move forward, be ready for challenge and feel ready for and valued by society. Such qualifications must therefore be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Students with SEND must have a qualification route that recognises their specific needs, and values them as learners and individuals as equals to their mainstream peers. It is not fair to disadvantage those with SEND by limiting their opportunities to embark on an appropriately challenging qualification. What is important is that each young person achieves the most that is possible for them, not to create barriers and inequalities with regards to what level of attainment is valued and what is not.'

From 13 February to 27 March 2020 awarding organisations will have an opportunity to notify the Department for Education if they believe a qualification on this list should be retained for funding.

Following the notification process, in July 2020 the DfE will confirm the final list of qualifications with low or no publicly-funded enrolments that will have funding approval removed.

If you are concerned about the potential removal of funding for any of these qualifications please contact your awarding organisation or email NAHT at and we will raise this with the relevant awarding organisation on your behalf.                                                                                                                                                                         

First published 28 February 2020