Education Funding Agency (EFA) 16-19 funded qualifications

The Education Funding Agency funds further education (FE) in colleges for 16 to19 year olds, and since 2012, has been reforming the way it funds and the types of programmes it funds.

With the raising of the participation age (RPA), which means that all young people up to the age of 18, should be in training or employment with training (e.g. an apprenticeship), and the recommendations of the Wolf Report on Vocational Education, the decision was taken to introduce study programmes for learners that would assist them with achieving their aspirations for employment, further or higher education, an apprenticeship or traineeship. The information below explains study programmes and the funding methodology for them. There are links to relevant EFA funding and policy pages for further information.


Study programmes, or programmes of study (POS)

The EFA funds sixth-form colleges, FE colleges, sixth-forms in schools and academies, commercial and charitable providers (CCPs), local authorities (LAs) and higher education establishments (HEIs).

They fund these institutions to provide study programmes for the following types of learners;


Students aged 16 to 19


Students up to the age of 25 when they have a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)


14 to 16 year olds who are directly enrolled into eligible FE institutions


Home educated students of compulsory school age at any further education college

Each student is funded at the same basic funding rate per academic year, depending on the size of their study programme. See the diagram below for funding rates and programme sizes.


Annual timetabled Hours/ and student type

National funding rate per student


540+ hours

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



450+ hours

Students aged 18 and over who are not high needs



450 to 539


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



360 to 449





280 to 359





Up to 279



£4000 per FTE*

(FTE*) means the proportion of 600 hours.

Each student funding rate is increased by other factors such as programme weighting, area cost uplift and any relevant disadvantage funding.

The study program must be tailored to the prior attainment of each student, have clear study and/or employment goals reflecting the student’s prior attainment, show progression in learning, and should include;


Substantial qualifications or work experience


Maths and English for students who have not achieved grade A*-C GCSE in these subjects by age 16


High-quality work experience


Added value non-qualification activity

Most study programs have a core aim. The core aim of a study program is a substantial qualification which can be academic or vocational, or work experience. It will usually be the component with the largest amount of timetabled activity associated with it. Study programs can only have one core aim at a time. Core aims are an important part of the funding allocations calculation.

For students of greater ability, it is possible to claim further funds to support a more demanding program of study. The large programme uplift is by exception and is only available for high quality study programmes providing students with substantial stretch and challenge. For example programmes of 4 or more full A levels, the full level 3 International Baccalaureate (IB), and some large, level 3, Technical Baccalaureate (TechBacc) programmes. The uplift is paid where a set quality threshold is met.

The 10% and 20% uplifts will be calculated based on the national funding rate for the relevant academic year. The uplift is only paid for two years for each student aged 16 and 17, that is academic years 12 and 13 only. Those large programmes taking longer than two years generate no additional uplift.


Study programmes of 4 A levels receive a 10% uplift


Study programmes of 5 A levels receive a 20% uplift


Study programmes that consist of the full International Baccalaureate level 3 Diploma will attract a 20% uplift


Large TechBac programmes equivalent to 4 A levels attract a 10% uplift


Large TechBac Programmes equivalent to the full International Baccalaureate attract a 20% uplift

More detailed information about the Large Programme Uplift can be found on the link below.

Large Program Uplift

Maths and English funding are separate from the national Funding Rate and added on if the student needs to take maths or English as part of their study program. More information on this can be found on our dedicated maths and English Funding page on this link

Maths and English funding

The EFA provides detailed information and videos to assist providers with understanding their funding arrangements and the National Funding Rate calculation. More details on the funding of study programmes can be found on the following link

Funding arrangements for study programmes

More detailed information on funding regulations and guidance, and funding rates and formula for 16-19 education and skills can be found here;

16-19 Education funding guidance

For general information about the remit of the Education Funding Agency (EFA), visit their website

Education Funding Agency’s website.