Mapping the terrain: 16-19 funding transfer

Further information

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Local Authorities (LAs) now have the lead in joining up 14-19 education and creating a unified and coherent system for young people aged 14-19, which will work at local, sub-regional and regional levels. In addition by 2010 planning and funding responsibilities for 16-19 year olds will be transferred from the learning and skills council (LSC) to the LAs.

The overall aim of this project was to establish LAs' early experiences with regard to the 16-19 funding transfer in order to inform future progress in terms of workforce capacity issues. More specifically the objectives were to:

Research questions

Exploratory research conducted as part of a previous project "mapping the terrain - the 14-19 agenda" revealed three key areas were reported to be important at this early stage of preparation for funding transfer:

  1. relationships in terms of partnership and collaborative working
  2. needs analysis, with regard to both learners’ and the local economy’s needs and
  3. the commissioning process, especially in terms of the shadowing process.

In the case of each of these key areas the following questions were asked:

Impact and outcomes

The research took place between December 2008 and May 2009. A concise report, with executive summary is available. The main impact is to inform future LA preparations for the 16-19 transfer, especially in terms of capacity building.

Research design and methods

In order to explore and understand LAs’ early experiences in terms of preparation for the funding transfer, and to further inform capacity building, a qualitative methodology was used.

Nine case studies were conducted, one in each Government Office Region. Each of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services’ (ADCS) regional representatives were asked to supply the names of LAs in their region (both more- and less-well advanced in terms of preparation for the funding transfer).
The NFER selected the nine case-studies from the sample population, in order to ensure a cross-section of LA type and preparedness for the funding transfer.

Case-study visits
The project was cognisant of what had been learnt in the exploratory stage of this research, and mindful of some of the identified benefits of partnership working. It also considered what could be learnt from relationships formed as part of the Diploma Gateway Consortia (in consultation with the LGA). Each case study included a variety of stakeholders:


Key audiences include the LGA, the Association of Colleges (AOC), the DCSF, the DIUS, the Sixth Form College Forum, the Association of Learning Providers, the LSC and other national level stakeholders and provider bodies.

Time scale

December 2008 - July 2009.

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