16-19 Learning and Skills Funding

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funds learning for 16-19 year olds via further education colleges and institutions. The programmes and funding available for this age range are outlined below: 

Study programmes

Study programmes are flexible and are designed so providers can adapt the study programme to the needs of the learner. They are generally full-time and fully funded college-based programmes consisting of substantial technical and/or vocational qualifications, work experience, maths and English (where required) and other non-qualification activities to help the learner develop. For example, for some learners work experience may be the primary aim of the study programme and their programme could be adapted accordingly.

Study programmes are fully funded for the following learners:

  • 16–19-year-old learners
  • Students aged 19-24 with an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • 14–16-year-olds directly involved in eligible FE institutions
  • Home educated learners at compulsory school age at an FE college

Each student programme is funded according to the:

  • age of the learner
  • needs of the learner
  • size of the annual programme based on hours of learning delivery,

The above is demonstrated in the diagram below alongside the annual funding rate per learner:  


Annual timetabled hours / and student type

National funding rate per student


580+ hours

  • 16-17 year olds
  • Students aged 18 and over with high needs



485+ hours

  • Students aged 18 and over who are not high needs



485 to 579


  • 16 and 17 year olds
  • Students aged 18 and over who have high needs



385 to 484


  • All students



300 to 384


  • All students



Up to 299 hours

  • All students

£4,753 proportion of band 5


 T Level Study Programmes

T Levels study programmes differ from the standard 16-19 study programme, as many of the components such as work experience are built into the qualification itself. Funding for T Levels differs in the following ways: 

  • For the work placement, providers receive a flat rate of £550 per student, the placement hours are not counted towards the minimum hours in the band 
  • There are additional funding bands to compensate for the size of T Levels 
  • The ESFA does not fund T Levels at a higher band than the one set for the learners occupational specialism 
  • The funding is consistent across 18-year-old learners

The T Level funding bands are displayed on a 2-year basis, see the table below: 


Average planned hours

Minimum required hours for the band

National funding rate (2 years)

6 - Small T Levels

1330 hours



7 - Medium T Levels

1530 hours



8 - Large T Levels

1680 hours



9 - Large T Levels

1830 hours




Apprenticeships for 16-19 year olds

Apprenticeships are open to learners aged 16+ with a different funding model than the standard 16-19 model shown above. You can find more information about apprenticeship funding on our website using the link below 

Find out more about Apprenticeship funding