SFA Funding

Jim Dickinson made this Freedom of Information request to Bournville College of Further Education

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Dear Bournville College of Further Education,

You will be aware that paragraph 12 of the SFA Funding Rules 2012/13 is newly revised and states that “Where the Agency has made a full contribution to the costs of a Learner’s programme, Providers must not make compulsory charges to employers or Learners for any delivery of the learning activity funded by the Agency.
This includes: administration, registration, assessment, materials or examination costs whether incurred directly by the Provider or charged by other organisations such as awarding organisations. This includes charges for identification passes, uniforms, tools and material where without them, a learner cannot complete and achieve their learning aim.”

Please can you provide me with the following information:

1. The estimated cost to the college of implementing these requirements in the year ahead
2. Copies of any papers, including at Corporation level, pertaining to the implementation of these requirements
3. Can you make clear whether you are intending to apply these standards to other provision in the college, and specifically whether you intend to implement for EFA funded provision

You will also be aware of changes to the required Instrument & Articles for the college that give it freedom to adopt new structures and practices.

Please can you provide me with the following information:

1. The number of student members of the corporation at present
2. The existing methodology in use for their appointment/selection/election
3. If there are any plans to change the number, or methodology for their appointment/selection/election

Yours faithfully,

Jim Dickinson

Robert Smith, Bournville College of Further Education

10 Attachments

Dear Mr Dickinson,

 

Further to your request, I am pleased to provide the following responses
in relation to your questions on funding requirements:

 

1.      The estimated costs of not charging adult fully funded learners in
line with the requirements set out in your question will be approximately
£118k.   This is mainly examination registration costs, materials and
uniforms. This estimate is based on student numbers in the business plans
for this year (2012/2013) and a figure for registration costs based on
last year plus an appropriate level of increase.

 

2.      The change you refer to is indicated in the college’s fee policy
document - section 4.4 and 5.1 state:

 

        4.4     Awarding body costs such as exam fees will be charged
unless learners are Fully Funded by the agency in this case they will be 
eligible for a waiver to these.  Waivers are detailed in a separate
schedule at the end of this policy (Table 1).

 

        5.1     There will be a charge for awarding body costs.  All
external awarding body costs incurred by the College, for example,
registration fees and examination fees, will be recharged to the student
unless the learners are under 19 or undertaking a programme which is
deemed as Fully Funded as detailed in Table 1.

 

I attach a copy of the Tuition Fees Policy and a copy of the Corporation
minutes where this policy was approved. You will note the minute for this
is a simple approval only. This is because no discussion on the subject
was necessary as it was simply the implementation of a mandatory funding
condition. It is also considered non-significant in terms of the overall
budgetary impact.

 

3.      For learners fully funded by the EFA the college does not charge
for examinations and registration costs but will charge for materials that
fall within the guidance as detailed below:

        (“The prohibition on charging will not apply to other charges, for
example relating to equipment, special clothing or materials for
vocational learning aims. Where clothing or equipment is necessary for the
learner’s health or safety, a charge may be made for clothing  and
equipment that the learner retains, but only if the learner also has the
option of borrowing the clothing or equipment free of  charge”)

 

I am also pleased to provide the following responses in relation to your
questions on governance:

 

     1. The number of student members of the corporation is currently two
members

     2. The methodology in use for appointment/selection/election is that
the Corporation is recommended to appoint as governors the President of
the college’s student union plus one student nominated by the college’s
student council

     3. There are no current plans to change the number or methodology of
appointment

 

I am sorry for the delay in responding but, unfortunately, I have been
waiting for relevant managers to return from annual leave.

 

Regards,

 

Robert Smith

 

 

Robert Smith
Executive Director, Governance and Commercial Services
Talk. +44 (0) 121 477 1518

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