Financial support for education, early years and children’s social care

The government has put in place a number of funding and financial measures to support organisations – both public and private – during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. These are intended to be temporary, timely and targeted, to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption. This guidance sets out the financial support that is available for different types of education, early years and children’s social care providers in England. If you are not an education, early years and children’s social care provider in England, you should be able to get more information about the types of financial support available to you from other relevant government departments or devolved administrations.

Written on April 7, 2020 by Xeinadin Group

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No organisation should profit from the exceptional financial support available, and should therefore only access the support required. For example, organisations which continue to receive government funding should not furlough staff whose salaries that funding could typically be considered to fund, and therefore will not need to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

All organisations are expected to have adequate and effective governance arrangements and controls in place to ensure public funding is spent effectively and appropriately.

Funding and financial support for businesses

Continued government funding for activities

For many programmes, government will continue to provide funding at normal rates, for example core funding for schools through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), to ensure business continuity and payment of staff. Local authorities will also continue to receive high needs funding as part of the DSG and should continue to pass this on to providers (including the top-up funding in respect of individual children and young people) at the normal rates.

Where funding continues to be paid, we expect providers to continue to provide that service in so far as is possible, and in accordance with the relevant guidance. Where activities have changed, staff should be redeployed as best supports the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and should continue to be paid as normal, even if typical duties cannot be carried out.

Support for business that pay business rates

In addition to existing business rates reliefs, the government has outlined further support via the business rate system which may be relevant to the education, early years and children’s social care sectors:

  • an additional Small Business Grant Scheme to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible properties
  • business rates holiday for many nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register, and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Billing authorities may not grant the relief to themselves

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the grants or holidays should be directed to the relevant billing authority.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will help to support long-term viable businesses which may need to respond to cash-flow pressures as a result of the virus by seeking additional finance
  • the scheme supports SMEs with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to 6 years
  • the scheme is administered by commercial lenders, designed for UK-based organisations not classified as public sector
  • read more about the scheme and how to apply

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) is a government-backed loan scheme administered by commercial lenders
  • viable UK-based businesses with a turnover of between £45 million and £500 million which are unable to access finance on normal commercial terms will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme
  • loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest
  • read more about the scheme and how to apply

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

  • the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) is a facility designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus (COVID-19) disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper
  • the CCFF provides funding to businesses by purchasing commercial paper of up to one-year maturity, issued by firms making a material contribution to the UK economy. This facility will primarily provide bridging support to businesses to see them through the temporary nature of coronavirus (COVID-19)-related disruption
  • read more about the scheme and how to apply

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) relief for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

  • the government has introduced a rebate scheme to allow small and medium-sized businesses not classified as public sector to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because they have been ill with the virus or have had to self-isolate because of it
  • employers must maintain records of staff absences
  • read more about the scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for furloughed workers

  • the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) by providing them with a grant to help them to continue paying part of their employees’ wages who would otherwise have been laid off during this outbreak
  • the scheme will ensure furloughed staff receive up to 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contribution and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution on that wage
  • the scheme is available to all UK employers, including charities, which had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme by 28 February 2020
  • the government expects that the scheme will not be used by many public sector organisations, as most public sector employees are continuing to provide essential public services or contribute to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
  • where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them. This also applies to non-public sector employers who receive public funding for staff costs
  • organisations that are receiving public funding specifically to provide services necessary to respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) are expected not to furlough staff
  • in a small number of cases, for example where organisations are not primarily funded by the government and whose staff cannot be redeployed to assist with the coronavirus response, the scheme may be appropriate

Public Procurement Note 02/20

  • in March 2020, the Cabinet Office published the ‘Procurement Policy Note 02/20 – Supplier relief due to COVID-19’. This confirmed that contracting authorities would act to support critical suppliers ‘at risk’ due to coronavirus (COVID-19) on a continuity and retention basis so they are better able to cope with current challenges and to resume normal service delivery and fulfil their contractual obligations when the outbreak is over
  • it covers procurements carried out under the Public Contract Regulations 2015, Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011, the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 and the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016
  • contracting authorities will need to ensure that spending is regular, proper and value for money and conduct appropriate and proportionate due diligence is carried out to ensure any relief is necessary for the continuity of supply of a critical service
  • read more about the Cabinet Office PPN 02/20 guidance

The guidance below is intended to offer a view of the likely suitability of each of the schemes above, based on provider type. For further guidance on eligibility criteria of the above support packages, please refer to their respective guidance page as linked above.

Which options should be used

Due to the variety of organisations in the education, early years and children’s social care sectors and the different types of support on offer, it may be appropriate for organisations to access a mixture of different support. However, we expect that all relevant organisations should first consider any potential options to reduce their operating cost and secure commercial loans (including CBILS, CLBILS and CCFF outlined above) before seeking to access grant paying schemes like the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or seeking specific support from the Department for Education (DfE).

For organisations that are classified as public sector, and where there is continued public funding, staff that are supported by that public funding should not be furloughed. For public sector organisations where there is also private income which ceases or has reduced, it may be appropriate to furlough staff who would typically be paid from that private income, subject to the 5 conditions below.

We would encourage organisations to first consider how they would be able to redeploy their existing workforce to help support the coronavirus (COVID-19) response. Educational settings that are in receipt of some public funding should only furlough employees, and therefore seek support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if they meet the following conditions:

  • the employee works in an area of business where services are temporarily not required and where their salary is not covered by public funding
  • the employee would otherwise be made redundant or laid off
  • the employee is not involved in delivering provision that has already been funded
  • (where appropriate) the employee is not required to deliver provision for a child of a critical worker and/or vulnerable child
  • the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not lead to financial reserves being created

It is also essential that the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme should not be duplicative of other public grants that your organisations may receive. DfE is considering appropriate measures to monitor use of these schemes in order to detect any duplication of funding, and will be considering potential options to recover misused public funding as required.

We are also developing an online tool that will support the education, early years, and children’s social care sectors, in working through this guidance, and understanding the different funding and financial measures available to support them, and their workforce, through this period of disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sector-specific guidance

Early years

This section will be relevant to early years providers that are employers, and that usually have a mix of public income (largely this will be funding for the free early education entitlements, also known as ‘DSG funding’) and private income (largely this will be the fees that parents pay for childcare beyond the free entitlements).

Childminders are less likely to be employers, and therefore are less likely to be eligible for support via the CJRS. Childminders may find the Self Employment Income Support Scheme more relevant. Maintained nursery schools should take account of the guidance in this section. For school-based nursery provision, please refer to the ‘schools’ section below.

On 17 March 2020, the Chancellor confirmed that the government will continue to pay local authorities for free early years entitlement places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds to support providers at this time. On 18 March 2020, the government also announced a business rates holiday for many nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Read the guidance.

Early years settings should remain open where they are needed to provide childcare for the children of critical workers who cannot be cared for safely at home, and vulnerable children.

A private provider should only furlough employees, and therefore seek support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if they meet the following conditions:

  • the employee works in an area of business where services are temporarily not required and where their salary is not covered by public funding
  • the employee would otherwise be made redundant or laid off
  • the employee is not involved in delivering provision that has already been funded (free entitlement funding)
  • (where appropriate) the employee is not required to deliver provision for a child of a critical worker and/or vulnerable child
  • the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not duplicate other public grants received, and would not lead to financial reserves being created

If it is difficult to distinguish whether staff are funded through free entitlement or private income for the purposes of meeting the first 3 conditions as listed above, then an early years provider can access the CJRS to cover up to the proportion of its paybill which could be considered to have been paid for from that provider’s private income. This would typically be income received from ‘parent-paid’ hours, and excludes all income from the government’s free entitlements (or ‘DSG income’) for all age groups. In line with the conditions of the scheme listed above, providers should initially use the month of February 2020 to represent their usual income in calculating the proportion of its paybill eligible to be covered by the scheme. Providers should adjust these proportions in subsequent furloughing applications if their income from the government’s free entitlements changes, but are not expected to make any adjustments in relation to changes in parent-paid income.

To illustrate:

If a provider’s average monthly income is 40% from DSG and 60% from other income, the provider could claim CJRS support for up to 60% of their paybill.

This would be done by furloughing staff whose usual salary / combined salaries come to no greater than 60% of the provider’s total paybill.

These proportions could change in subsequent furlough applications as a result of DSG income changing (but not where income from parents increased or decreased). For example, if this provider subsequently receives additional DSG income from a local authority as a result of providing additional hours of childcare, such that its new DSG income would represent 55% of its total income in February 2020, then its maximum use of the furlough scheme should, from that point, be reduced to 45% of its paybill.

Some early years settings may also be eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF). The details and eligibility criteria for SBGF can be found in the guidance. For more information, and to find out how to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme, please refer to the Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.

Further guidance for early years providers is available.

The DfE is considering appropriate measures to monitor the use of these schemes in order to detect any duplication of funding, and will be considering potential options to recover misused public funding as required.

Children’s social care providers

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for government. Our aim is to ensure that children’s social care providers are able to continue to provide care to vulnerable children and to operate effectively during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We are asking providers to remain open and to continue to deliver care and support to their vulnerable children and young people. We would anticipate local authorities continuing to fund any contracted or commissioned providers, but where appropriate, providers may wish to consider accessing support measures for which they may be eligible to help them remain operational during this period, such as the business interruption loan schemes. Please refer to the respective guidance page as linked above for more information.

As placements will continue to be needed, local authorities will continue to pay fees to children’s social care providers. As these payments for essential services will continue, we would expect providers not to furlough staff, and for provision to remain available to support vulnerable children. The government has also announced £1.6 billion of extra funding for local authorities to help address pressures arising from coronavirus (COVID-19), including in children’s social care.

In the rare circumstances that providers feel they have no choice but to furlough staff, they should only seek support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they meet the following conditions:

  • the employee works in an area of business where services are temporarily not required and whose salary is not covered by public funding
  • the employee would otherwise be made redundant or laid off
  • the employee is not involved in delivering provision that has already been funded
  • the employee is not required to deliver provision for a vulnerable child
  • the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not duplicate other public grants received and would not lead to financial reserves being created.

Residential provision

State-funded residential children’s social care provision is offered in state-maintained schools, non-maintained special schools and independent schools. While the educational costs are funded from the DSG, the residential costs are met from social care budgets. Local authorities will continue to receive funding for social care provision and should continue to pay residential costs so that the employment and payment of staff supporting children and young people who require residential provision can continue.

Some independent schools have joint registration as a children’s home, and are effectively funded by local authorities that place the children in those settings. This funding should continue.

State-funded schools

This includes maintained schools, academy trusts, alternative provision, non-maintained special schools, state funded boarding schools and school-based nursery provisions. Maintained nursery schools should refer to the early years section above.

Mainstream state-funded schools

Local authority maintained schools (including pupil referral units) and academies (including free schools) will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year, as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. That will ensure that they are able to continue to pay their staff, and meet their other regular financial commitments, as we move through these extraordinary times. We know that schools may face additional costs as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). We have put in place additional support to help schools meet these costs; guidance is available on this additional funding.

We do not, in general, expect schools to furlough staff. However, we understand that, in some instances, schools may have a separate private income stream (for example, catering, sports facilities lettings, or boarding provision funded by parents in state boarding schools). Where this income has either stopped or been reduced and there are staff that are typically paid from those private income streams, it may be appropriate to furlough staff. Schools should first seek to make the necessary savings from their existing budget or consider options to redeploy these staff before furloughing them. Only after all other potential options have been fully considered should schools furlough those members of staff and seek support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The following conditions need to be met:

  • the employee works in an area of business where services are temporarily not required and whose salary is not covered by public funding
  • the employee would otherwise be made redundant or laid off
  • • the employee is not involved in delivering provision that has already been funded
  • (where appropriate) the employee is not required to deliver provision for a child of a critical worker and/or vulnerable child
  • the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not duplicate other public grants received and would not lead to financial reserves being created

Where these conditions are met, schools should receive a grant from the CJRS which is in line with the proportion of its paybill which could be considered to have been funded by a school’s private income.

To illustrate:

If a school’s average monthly private income stream (for example, from parent-paid school meals) provides 4% of the schools’ overall income, the school could claim support through the CJRS for up to 4% of its paybill, after exhausting options to meet costs from existing budgets and redeployment This would be done by furloughing staff (for example, catering staff) whose usual salary or combined salaries are linked with the income lost and come to no greater than 4% of the provider’s total paybill.

Schools are not expected to consider each stream of private income separately so a school should consider its total income from private sources, as a proportion of its overall income, and the pay of all the staff it proposes to furlough, as a proportion of its total paybill.

The DfE is considering appropriate measures to monitor the use of this scheme in order to detect any duplication of funding, and will be considering potential options to recover misused public funding as required.

Supply teachers and other contingent workers in state-funded schools

The below guidance sets out the general principles that state-funded schools (hereafter referred to as ‘schools’ in this section) and employment intermediaries (hereafter referred to as ‘agencies’ in this section) should follow for contingent workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Where schools are the workers’ direct employer

Schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure. This will ensure that they are able to continue to pay for staff and meet their other regular financial commitments.

Hence, we expect schools to ensure any employees funded by public money continue to be paid in the usual fashion from their existing staff budgets, and correspondingly not furloughed, in line with the HM Revenue and Customs guidance for public sector organisations.

Where schools have live assignments with contingent workers, and where the school is the workers’ employer, schools should continue to pay these workers from their existing school budgets and not furlough them.

Where schools have terminated contracts with contingent workers due to coronavirus (COVID-19) earlier than the original terms set out, and where the school was the workers’ employer under that contract, schools should reinstate these contracts on the terms previously agreed, as long as the contractor is not already accessing alternative support through another government support scheme.

Where schools are not the workers’ direct employer

Schools are advised to refer to all parts of the Procurement Policy Note 02/20 (PPN 02/20), which provides guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers for the purposes of ensuring the continuity of critical service during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Where schools have agency workers on live assignments who can continue to work, they may continue to make previously agreed payments for the supply of workers in line with the approach set out in PPN 02/20. Agencies who receive money for workers in line with this guidance should not furlough these workers, and should follow the open book accounting rules set out in PPN 02/20 to provide schools with proof that workers are continuing to be paid as normal.

Where schools have agency workers on live assignments who cannot continue to work due to coronavirus (COVID-19), schools and agencies should refer to the guidance set out in Procurement Policy Note 02/20: Contingent Workers Impacted by COVID-19.

The supplier relief guidance covers the length of existing live assignments up to the end date that had been previously agreed. It does not require these assignments to be extended further if the resource will not be required.

Where agency workers are not on live assignments with schools, or where a previously agreed assignment is due to end, schools and agencies should discuss any further demand for the worker. If there is no further demand, the employer can apply to furlough the worker via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Once a worker has been furloughed, they become unavailable to work and cannot provide services for their employer for a minimum of 3 weeks. Schools and agencies should bear this in mind when discussing ongoing resource requirements and agencies should keep this under regular review. Please refer to the supplier relief guidance for more information.

Where a worker is self-employed

Self-employed workers who are unable to work because of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be able to access support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Starting new temporary contracts

We expect schools will use their existing staff to maintain necessary provision, but schools may also continue to need supply teachers and other temporary workers throughout this period. We encourage schools and agencies to continue to liaise about any potential need to ensure workers are available where required.

School workforce employers can find additional guidance on the school workforce in the guidance on temporary school closures.

High needs funding

Local authorities have an important role in making sure that the high needs funding they receive as part of their DSG is used effectively in making educational provision for children and young people up to the age of 25 with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, and other vulnerable children and young people. Authorities will continue to receive their high needs budgets and should continue to pay top-up and other high needs funding so that the employment and payment of staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and those requiring alternative provision, can continue. High needs funding will therefore continue to be paid to the following types of setting, whether from local or central government:

  • local authority-maintained schools (mainstream, special and pupil referral units)
  • academies and free schools (mainstream, special and alternative provision)
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent schools, including independent special schools
  • independent alternative provision
  • high needs places in further education (FE) colleges and sixth form colleges
  • special post-16 providers
  • hospital schools

Funding will be maintained and should not be reduced because some or all children and young people are not in attendance (because of sickness or self-isolation, or where the institution has temporarily or partially closed).

Similarly, where settings pay top-up or other funding for pupils attending alternative provision, or pay for other SEND or alternative provision services, these payments should continue to be made so that teachers and other staff in all types of setting can be paid in accordance with their existing employment contracts. If placements and services for the summer term have not yet been agreed, settings should be willing to fund on the basis of previous patterns of placements and commissioning. Where changes to the delivery of special provision and alternative provision are required, the first response should be to redeploy existing resources, if necessary between settings and other institutions as well as within settings.

Teaching and non-teaching staff (administration, operations, maintenance and catering) should not be furloughed where they are funded from continued high needs funding, and where necessary and feasible, should be available for redeployment within settings and in other settings to assist in maintaining provision for vulnerable children and young people, and the children of critical workers.

Residential special schools

State-funded residential special provision is delivered in various types of setting, including state-maintained schools, non-maintained special schools, independent schools and special post 16 institutions. While the educational costs will continue to be funded from the DSG, the residential costs are met from social care budgets. Local authorities will continue to receive funding for social care provision and should continue to pay residential costs so that the employment and payment of staff supporting children and young people who require residential provision can continue.

Independent schools

Mainstream independent schools

In line with other settings, independent schools have been asked to remain open for the children of critical workers and the most vulnerable children. Independent schools are, in general, funded by fee income paid by parents. Since schools have closed to the majority of pupils, they, like other businesses, may be facing a sudden and substantial loss of income. These institutions should access the support schemes referred to above, in order to retain staff and enable the school to reopen fully in due course.

However, if there are any activities for which schools continue to receive public funding, such as looked after children placed by a local authority, or local authority support for pupils with EHC plans, we expect schools to use that money to continue to pay those staff in the usual fashion – and therefore not furlough them or seek support via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Independent special schools

The majority of pupils in independent special schools have been placed there by local authorities under an EHC plan, funded from the high needs block of the DSG.

As noted above, local authorities will continue to receive their high needs budgets and should continue to pay top-up and other high needs funding to independent special schools, so that the employment and payment of staff supporting children and young people with SEND can continue. Some independent special schools also have pupils who are funded privately instead of under an EHC plan. These institutions should only access the support schemes identified above in relation to the proportion of staff that is not supported through public funding, and only to the extent that the school is facing a loss of income because the children have been withdrawn by their parents leading to a loss of fee income.

Further education and apprenticeships

Further education and apprenticeship providers include further education colleges, sixth form colleges, designated institutions, independent training providers, adult and community learning providers, and higher education institutions to the extent that they provide further education or apprenticeships. They are funded in 3 main ways: by grant; under a direct contract for services with ESFA; or through a funding agreement with the ESFA (where provision is delivered under a contract for services between a levy paying employer and an apprenticeships training provider, or advanced learner loan funded learning).

Where the provider is continuing to receive public funding through any of these routes they should continue delivering this provision where feasible, including through remote delivery. They should not furlough staff whose salaries are paid from continuing Education and Skills Funding Agency (or any other public) income. This applies to both teaching and non-teaching staff.

We recognise that many providers rely on funding from a mix of public sources and other income streams such as fees, employer contributions and commercial income. Where public income has reduced or non-public income has ceased or reduced, it may be appropriate for providers to seek support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough staff. Providers should only furlough employees if they meet the following conditions:

  • the employee works in an area of business where services are temporarily not required and whose salary is not covered by public funding
  • the employee would otherwise be made redundant or laid off
  • the employee is not involved in delivering provision that has already been funded
  • (where appropriate) the employee is not required to deliver provision for a child of a critical worker and/or vulnerable child
  • the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not duplicate other public grants received and would not lead to financial reserves being created

If it is difficult to distinguish whether staff are funded through continuing public funding, for the purposes of meeting the first 3 conditions listed above, then the total proportion of teaching and non-teaching staff (based on gross payroll) that are retained (for example, not furloughed) should, as a minimum, be equivalent to the continuing public income, as a proportion of all income that the provider usually receives. For example, if the only source of public funding is through a grant, and non-grant income makes up 25% of total income, then this should be the total maximum proportion of staff (based on gross payroll) that could be furloughed.

Where providers consider furloughing staff, they should ensure that they take a fair and reasonable approach to part-time, sessional and temporary staff, reflective of good HR practice and legal requirements.

Where a provider receives Adult Education Budget (AEB), or apprenticeship funding, as part of a direct contract for services with ESFA, and is at risk financially, they may be eligible for support (subject to meeting additional criteria) as part of DfE’s response to the Cabinet Office’s Procurement Policy Note 02/20. Support provided through that mechanism would count as public funding for the purposes of conditions covering the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Further guidance on the operation of any supplier relief scheme for providers funded under a contract for services with ESFA will be published when available. Providers should email ESFA.PPN220Queries@education.gov.uk to register their interest in the scheme.

In instances where public funding is not delivered under a contract for services with the ESFA, the Cabinet Officer’s Procurement Policy Note 02/20 is not applicable.

The DfE is considering appropriate measures to monitor use of these schemes in order to detect any duplication of funding, and will be considering potential options to recover misused public funding as required.

Some providers may also be eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme. For more information on eligibility, please consult your commercial bank or refer to the financial support for businesses guidance.

Special post-16 institutions

As noted above, local authorities will continue to receive their high needs budgets and should continue to pay top-up and other high needs funding to special post-16 institutions, so that the employment and payment of staff supporting young people with SEND can continue. The ESFA will continue to provide high needs place funding. Similarly, local authorities should continue to support the residential costs of those students that are in residential provision.

As with colleges, special post-16 institutions may rely on non-grant income for young people with EHC plans. If such income has ceased or reduced, it may be appropriate for special post-16 institutions to seek support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough staff who are working on activities relating to those non-grant income streams, in the same way as providers as set out above.

Higher Education

During and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our aim is for Higher Education (HE) providers to continue to:

  • deliver HE provision
  • support the needs of students, both on and off campus

We will work with HE providers to help them access the range of measures on offer to:

  • support financial viability and sustainability
  • safeguard jobs (including those staff on casual, hourly paid or fixed-term contracts)

We have confirmed that the Student Loans Company is planning to make Term 3 tuition fee payments as scheduled.

We expect that in most circumstances, HE providers will be able to continue paying their staff as usual because HE delivery has largely moved online, and staff are maintaining key services, including those for students remaining on campus.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (CLBILS) and COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

If HE providers meet the published criteria for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), they should consider approaching their bank to apply for the scheme, if they judge that is needed. HE providers who do not meet the criteria, namely those with turnover exceeding £500m, may similarly wish to explore the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and should liaise with their bank to discuss eligibility. If their bank does not issue commercial paper, UK Finance has published a list of those banks that are able to assist.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

Where the above schemes are not appropriate, HE providers are eligible for the CJRS. HE providers should only furlough employees and seek support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they meet the following conditions:

  • the employee works in an area of business where services are temporarily not required and whose salary is not covered by public funding
  • the employee would otherwise be made redundant or laid off
  • the employee is not involved in delivering provision that has already been funded
  • (where appropriate) the employee is not required to deliver provision for a child of a critical worker and/or vulnerable child
  • the grant from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would not be duplicative to other public grants that the HE provider receives and would not lead to financial reserves being created

Any grant from the CJRS should not duplicate other sources of public funding where these are being maintained, such as UK home student tuition fees. However, we do recognise the complexity of HE revenue and the role that cross-subsidy plays. If it is difficult to distinguish whether staff are funded through public or commercial income for the purposes of meeting the first 3 conditions as listed above, and some staff will be funded through multiple sources, as a guiding principle, HE providers should not seek to furlough a higher proportion of their wage bill than could reasonably be considered to have been generated through commercial income, including from non-public research grants and contracts.

It is likely that decisions on whether to furlough staff will need to be taken on a case by case basis. To be eligible for the CJRS, when on furlough, an employee cannot undertake work for, or on behalf of, their employer.

Where research work has been paused (for example, where grant holders have requested a no-cost extension to UK Research & Innovation grants) and therefore providers are not able to receive payments towards staff costs for a period, resulting in a loss of income due to ceased or reduced delivery of research programmes, providers should consider their eligibility and apply for the wide range of financial support that HM Treasury has already announced for businesses, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in line with the above conditions.

The DfE is considering appropriate measures to monitor the use of these schemes in order to detect any duplication of funding, and will be considering potential options to recover misused public funding as required.

We will continue to engage with the sector and update this guidance, and provide further clarification as necessary.

From: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care

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