Adult Learning and Skills has a contract with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver the Adult Education Budget (AEB) in Cambridgeshire. We subcontract some of this budget to other organisations. These organisations are known as Providers. Adult Learning and Skills is known as the Lead Provider.

The ESFA Funding Rules apply to this funding:

 Providers must respond to the priorities set by local commissioners and other stakeholders, for example, local enterprise partnerships and those combined authorities that will assume responsibility for the devolved AEB from 2019 to 2020 (subject to readiness conditions).

 The Adult Education Budget (AEB) aims to engage adults and provide the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or other learning. It enables more flexible tailored programmes of learning to be made available, which may or may not require a qualification, to help eligible learners engage in learning, build confidence, and/or enhance their wellbeing.

Cambridgeshire’s Adult Learning and Skills subcontracting rationale:

  • To encourage provision to learners furthest from learning
  • To align the provision of learning to both national AEB priorities and Cambridgeshire County Council priorities, particularly to embed ALS provision into wider county strategies for Adult Social Care, Children’s Centres, Community Engagement and the Library Service
  • To simplify our external offer to make outcomes clearer

The funding streams and targeted learner criteria for the 2018-19 academic year aim to address this rationale and provide potential sub-contractors with a clear guidelines.

Funding streams:

There are five funding streams for areas of delivery for the academic year 2018-2019.   Providers can apply for multiple streams and themes.   The only restriction is that providers can only apply for more than £100,000 in total if they are on the Register of Training Organisations

1. Accredited Learning

We will fund certain adult accredited qualification learning aims under ‘Local Flexibility’. Examples of some of the qualifications we fund include:

  • Maths and English Functional Skills and GCSE up to Level 2
  • Entry Level Awards and Certificates in IT and Employability up to Level 2
  • Royal Horticulture Society Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Garden Planning Establishment and Maintenance

Fundable qualifications under ‘Local Flexibility’ can be found on The Hub:

Further information about Local Flexibility can be found here:

We would be very interested in hearing from providers who could deliver Traineeships

The funding rates for qualifications are set nationally

Supporting document: Guiding Principles of Accredited Delivery 2018-2019.docx

2. Community Learning

Community Learning is available to help people of different ages and backgrounds gain a new skill, reconnect with learning, pursue an interest, learn how to support their children better, or prepare for progression to more formal courses/employment. Community learning courses do not lead to accreditation and are aimed at any learner where the Targeted Provision Criteria would not apply.

We will pay a fixed amount for learners who are in this category. Providers will receive one payment per learner per year.

The majority of our Community Learning is delivered by our Providers as evening classes and day schools.

Some examples of Community Learning courses include:
Ballroom dancing, Bookkeeping, Brew your own Craft Beer, Car Maintenance, Cookery, Creative Writing, Dressmaking, ESOL, French, Mindfulness, Photography, Pottery, Sign Language, Singing for Fun, Watercolours, Woodturning

You can view our current Providers and their websites here:

You can also see what our learners say about learning with us here: and

3. Targeted Learning

This is Community Learning however in order to count as ‘Targeted Learning’ learners must fall into one of the ten targeted groups and provision must address the core delivery priorities set out in the Targeted Provision Criteria document (see link below).

Targeted Provision Criteria 2018 - 2019.doc

We would be interested in hearing from providers who can deliver Family Learning. The aim of Family Learning must be to support children's learning and improve the home learning environment by:

  • Improving the skills of parents or other carers
  • Improving parents'/carers' ability to help their children learn
  • Improving children's acquisition of English and/or Maths and/or Language

(Learners' children must be under 18)

The Targeted Learning category pays a higher rate for learners. We will pay a fixed amount for learners who are in this category. Providers will receive one payment per learner per year.

NB: For both LOT 2 Community learning and LOT 3 Targeted learning providers must have their own Fees and Charges policy. Our Fees and Charges Policy is published here:

4. Cambridgeshire Adult Learning Fund (CALF)

CALF is for non-accredited courses and programmes designed as a first step back into learning for disadvantaged learners furthest away from learning. CALF aims to help learners prepare for progression to more formal courses/employment. To qualify learners should have not attended formal education for at least 2 years.

Funding will be set at a flat rate per learner.   The maximum amount of funding that providers can apply for under this stream is £25,000.   The Targeted Provision Criteria 2018-2019 applies to this funding stream.

This funding stream will be available throughout the year for providers to apply for, dependant on available funding.   Current CALF Providers include: Axiom Housing, CELS, CP Learning Trust, Groundwork East, Reboot Cambridge, Richmond Fellowship, Romsey Mill Trust, Switch Now CIC, CCC Traveller Health Team and Wintercomfort.   You can link to their websites to find out more about their work through our current provider page here:

Case Study from Reboot here:

5. Cambridgeshire Thrives projects

Cambridgeshire Thrives project funding is designed to allow providers to bid for a higher level of funding to support learners with multiple barriers or more intensive programmes of delivery. Throughout the year we will identify key areas where there is a need for an intervention. This intervention will be advertised as a Theme. Providers can apply for multiple Themes.   Providers will be required to provide detailed costings per learner on the application form.   The Adult Learning and Skills panel will review these applications and may be in touch to clarify or negotiate any aspects of the application before the contract is awarded.  

Priorities for this funding stream are:

  • Learners – those furthest from learning and on the Targeted Provision Criteria 2018-2019 list
  • Provision – engagement and progression. For instance moving learners closer to work or to be able to live independently
  • The funding available will be confirmed in LOT description
  • Clear alignment to address one or more of the following:

           1) Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adult Social Care priorities

           2) Children’s Centres priorities

           3) Community Engagement priorities

           4) JCP priorities

More information regarding the current LOT 5 themes can be found here LOT 5 Cambridgeshire Thrives.docx

Funding Streams

Funding per learner per year

1) Accredited Learning

Learning Aim Rates

2) Community Learning

£50 per learner

3) Targeted Learning

£120 per learner


£400 per learner

5) Cambridgeshire Thrives

Amount to be agreed


Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA) must be applied to all non-accredited programmes (LOTs 2,3,4 and 5). RARPA is a clear framework designed to support learners through the learning process, identifying key outcomes. It provides a robust approach to quality control and improvement of non-regulated provision with a focus on self-assessment that supports standards acceptable to the Office of Standards in Education (Ofsted). You can access further information from The Learning and Work Institute:


For all queries about becoming a provider or subcontracting with us please contact us at


In order to apply for funding, you must first successfully complete the due diligence process

Due Diligence

Questionnaire for all potential providers: Due_Diligence 18_19 Questionnaire.xlsx

Please send completed Due Diligence questionnaire and supporting documents to by the deadline below


  • Completed returns: Friday 9 March 2018 for applicants wishing to start delivery from the start of the next academic year (1/8/2018)
  • Notification of acceptance given by Friday 16 March 2018

Due diligence will stay open on website after this date for new potential providers to apply in-year.

Application Documents

Providers will be notified if their due diligence is successful. Providers can complete the application form(s) prior to this notification but do so at their own risk.

  • Application form guidance: Application Form 2018-2019 Guidance.docx
  • LOT 1, 2, 3 and 4 Application form: Application Form 2018-2019 LOTS 1,2,3,4.docx
  • LOT 5 Application form: Application Form 2018-2019 LOT 5 Cambridgeshire Thrives.docx


    • Application returns: 30 April 2018 – for approved providers wishing to start delivery at the beginning of the new academic year (1/8/2018)
    • Panel: w/c 14 May 2018
  • Acceptance decision or further clarification notices communicated w/c 21 May 2018

  • Contracts to be issued on receipt of signed acceptance
  • All signed contracts returned from Providers by 31 July 2018

Frequently Asked Questions
This will be updated on a regular basis FAQs 2018-2019.docx