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Helping you to find the information you need, quickly and easily.

Navigating a clear pathway through the complex world of funding information can be challenging and we can support you in quickly finding the information you need.

The information below provides current information on the funding streams available in England and how they map across to our extensive qualification offer. We provide useful information below and accessible links to take your straight to the information you require be you an employer, training provider or learner looking for a funded qualification.

How can I find out if an Open College Network West Midlands qualification is eligible for funding?

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) provide funding for different qualifications in England.

The funding regulations guide for 2021 to 2022 provides the funding principles, rules on eligibility, and other regulations used in the 16-19 funding model.

Good News!

Virtually all our qualifications attract funding and the sections below provide guidance on the various funding streams that relate to our qualifications:

  • <16 school- Section 96 = SEND now known as the 14 to 16 offer

    Most of our varied and valuable qualifications available are funded under Section 96, this is now known as the 14 to 16 offer (approved by ESFA) which covers a diverse range of subject sector areas and specialisms.

    Our list of funded qualifications and specific information on eligibility for funding under Section 96 for 2020 to 2021 can be found here:

    Please access this download folder above which you can filter to find our qualifications.

    In addition to this, our portfolio includes qualifications accessible to centres offering more school - based courses: “The Education and Skills Funding Agency provides pre-16 funding for schools to local authorities via dedicated schools grants. This funding is distributed to schools in the local authority…”

    Alternative website:

  • 16-19 Study Programme

    Maximise your learners’ success by including a range of employability and /or entrepreneurship skills in tutorial time, as part of your learners’ study programme and associated curriculum.

    With our flexible qualification offer, you can give your learners an additional qualification, giving them a competitive edge to aid their progression into successful employment or onto further/higher study.

    Our qualifications have already been successfully delivered by range of the colleges and other providers we work with and have proved to be highly successful in a range of centres and for their learners.

    We continue to review and develop this portfolio of additional qualifications to ensure they remain robust and valid. These can used to support the delivery of tutorials, induction, work based learning and other aspects of the study programme.

    Please use the links below to our qualifications page for additional qualifications to support you in meeting the requirements of the study programme.


    Please also refer to our funding Study Programme subpage

    The Education and Training Foundation also provide additional advice on delivering effective study programmes.

  • 19+ including 19-23 entitlement funding and 19 + local flexibility funding

    Most of our Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications are funded under local flexibility funding, and again specific information on each qualification offered and associated funding can be accessed via the hub.

    To search for our funded qualifications on the Hub, type in: OPENCOLLNETWESTMID in the box “Awarding Org Code or Name” or if you are aware of it add the qualification learning aim number within the box.

    As centres, you can respond to local areas needs and improve local outcomes by choosing from our diverse portfolio or by developing customised provision with us.

    To help use this funding effective information on qualifications within this funding stream is provided here.

    The 19-23 entitlement funding covers first level 2 and level 3 qualifications only. This can include some apprenticeships, see the ESFA Apprenticeship funding page or access this page.

  • Advanced Learner Loans

    We currently offer our centres over 60 wide ranging and valuable qualifications which are beneficial to our centres and their learners, which are eligible for funding under the stream.

    This includes our Access to HE Diplomas.

    This funding only supports Level 3 to Level 6 qualifications and many learners should be able to access a 19+FE loan or Advanced Learner Loans. These aim to help learners aged 19 + to manage the costs of learning to enable progression in employment, education and life. These qualifications cover a range of sectors from Health to Creative & Digital to Educational and Training making them attractive to a broad audience. Advanced learner loans are paid directly to the college or training provider on behalf of the individual.

    Advanced Learner Loans are available for individuals aged 19 or above to undertake approved qualifications at levels 3 to level 6, at an approved provider in England. Advanced learner loans give individuals access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that available in higher education and are demonstrated by Student Finance England”.

    Since 2018 we have developed even more qualifications which will attract this stream of qualifications including diverse range of qualifications within the animal care sector. These qualifications have been developed by using range of industry experts and employees to ensure validity and current within the subject area.

    Our full list of qualifications with Advanced Learner Loan Funding can be found here

  • Adult Education Budget (AEB)/ English and maths Entitlement Funding

    The AEB funds the delivery of education and training for learners aged 19+ and the funding can be accessed through local training providers or colleges. The AEB aims to engage adults to provide them with the skills and learning needed to progress within the workplace or to equip them for an apprenticeship.

    Employers can access AEB to improve or refresh skills of their current workforce, and learners can utilise the AEB funding to gain new skills to prepare them for the workplace, improve progression opportunities or support a career change.

    There is national support through the current funding methodology via the ESFA for individuals to progress by developing their English Language maths skills. Learners can achieve qualifications supported by the funding – thereby increasing the number for individuals achieving GCSE grade 9-4 qualifications or Functional Skills Level 2.

    View the AEB funding rules here.

    We offer an attractive range of eligible qualifications that centres can use across numerous sectors, enabling pathways for learners -taking them successfully from Entry Level upwards, and enabling the development of the essential skills needed got employment, further study and life enhancement. We also offer short, flexible qualifications that are eligible for AEB funding.

  • ESF Funding

    European Social Funds (ESF) are used in several ways. This includes funding qualifications to finance ESF projects, training and education. We advise that due to the varied nature of this funding stream you again check on the hub for qualification for current funding eligibility.

    This link sets out the rules for funding for the ESF which was updated in January 2021.

    Some of the main aims of the ESF funding are:

    • improve employment opportunities in the European Union ad help raise standards of living
    • help people to get better skills and better job prospects
    • help equip the workforce with the skills needed by business in a competitive global economy.

Short Qualification Offer

Many of our qualifications that are classed as 'short offer qualifications' attract funding and offer flexible solutions for Centres looking to utilise their ESFA and other funding budgets. Please access this information via this link.

The diagram below summarises the current funding streams available in England for 19+ public funding, and again how they may to our extensive qualifications offer.

CITB Grant and Funding

Good news! Funding is available for selected construction qualifications approved by the CITB.

See their website for further information.

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