16 March 2022

Removal of funding for existing digital and ICT qualifications, and the reformed qualifications that replace them.

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Removal of post-16 funding from July 2022

From July 2022 the ESFA will remove post-16 funding from Level 2 Functional Skills Qualifications in ICT and Level 2 ICT for Users qualifications, from all awarding bodies. The details of the Pearson qualifications affected are below.

Phased removal of post-16 funding for Digital and ICT qualifications, Entry to Level 2. from July 2021 to July 2023

Due to the introduction of reformed qualifications, the ESFA are phasing the removal of funding from existing digital and ICT qualifications. The removal of funding began in July 2021 and will be completed by July 2023.

Funding will be removed for learners on the following ESFA funded offers:

  • 16 to 19 study programmes
  • ESFA funded adult education budget (AEB), including local flexibility
  • European Social Fund (ESF)

This will not affect funding approval where the qualifications are taken by students aged 14 to 16 (at Key Stage 4), as part of a traineeship, or as part of an apprenticeship. The qualifications will remain available in these offers.

Reformed qualifications

The DfE and ESFA are phasing out funding from certain existing digital and ICT qualifications for students aged 16 and over, from all awarding bodies, to focus funding on the new qualifications aligned to the national standards for the basic digital skills needed for life and work. These new qualifications are:

  • Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQs): A digital entitlement for adults with low or no digital skills was introduced in August 2020, supported by new EDSQs.
  • Functional Skills Qualifications (FSQs): New Digital FSQs at entry and level 1 will be developed and will replace existing FSQs in ICT from August 2023.

Further information

Further information on the removal of these qualifications can be found on the ESFA website here, which includes the background to the policy.

Summary of qualifications that will be removed for funding, and the qualifications that will replace them.

For students aged 16 and over

Funding removed from Pearson qualifications with funding removed New Pearson qualifications

Digital and ICT qualifications at Entry and Level 1 (E & L1) in:

  • Sector Subject Area ICT for Users.
  • In other Sector Subject Areas not linked to the application of digital skills for a specific occupational sector, or specific entry level job role.
  • 50065701: BTEC EL Award for IT Users (ITQ) (E3)
  • 50065713: BTEC EL Certificate for IT Users (ITQ) (E3)
  • 50065683: BTEC L1 Certificate for IT Users (ITQ)
  • 50065695: BTEC L1 Diploma for IT Users (ITQ)
  • 50067059: BTEC L1 Award for IT Users (ITQ)
  • 60185831: BTEC L1 Introductory Diploma in Information Technology
  • 6018582X: BTEC L1 Introductory Certificate in Information Technology
  • 60350064: BTEC L1 Introductory Award in Information Technology
  • 60088655: BTEC L1 Award in Social Media

Pearson EDSQ at Entry Level and Level 1

In addition, we know some of your learners may need to access to a broader range of ICT and digital and skills, we have made suggestions as to how these learners could be supported here.

Funding removed from Pearson qualifications with funding removed New Pearson qualifications

FSQs at L2 in ICT

ICT for Users qualifications at L2

  • 50098275: FSQ in ICT Level 2
  • 50078197: BTEC L2 Diploma for IT Users (ITQ)
  • 50078203: BTEC L2 Award for IT Users (ITQ)
  • 5007832X: BTEC Level 2 Certificate for IT Users (ITQ)
 
Funding removed from Pearson qualifications with funding removed New Pearson qualifications
FSQs at Entry Level and Level 1 in ICT 
  • 50091128: FQS in ICT Entry 1
  • 50091049: FSQ in ICT Entry 2
  • 50085001: FSQ in ICT Entry 3
  • 50094683: FSQ in ICT Level 1
Pearson Digital Functional Skills Qualifications at Entry Level and Level 1 (coming 2023)
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