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New Masterclass to Prepare Students for Independent Living

New workshops will be available from September to support schools and colleges teach young people about living independently.

Young people will be put through their paces by their college or sixth form to prepare them for independent life after school, the Education Secretary has announced with the launch of new courses today (10 July).

Leapskills workshops, developed by student accommodation provider Unite Students, will offer schools and colleges resources to teach Year 12 and 13 pupils about independent living, managing money and dealing with conflict.


Schools, colleges and sixth forms will be able to put on the optional Leapskills sessions from September, using specialist resources developed by Unite, which cover areas including:

  • Independent living
  • Managing personal finances
  • Developing and maintaining relationships
  • How and where to access support

The sessions act as an innovative digital interactive masterclass to enhance how schools and colleges teach young people about what to expect and how to prepare for the leap of living away from home for the first time.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

For young people leaving school, starting the next chapter of their life should be a positive life-changing experience – but we know that many people struggle with the pressures of moving away from home and living independently for the first time.

A huge part of education is preparing young people for adult life and it is right that we teach them what to expect for life after school, whether that’s at university, work or an apprenticeship.

Whilst the majority of that focus is on the knowledge and skills needed to get qualifications, it is also important that we teach our young people the life skills they need like managing finances and understanding healthy relationships, as well as helping them to build character and resilience to be equipped to cope with the everyday challenges in life.

Unite Students offer schools and colleges free resources for teachers to deliver the Leapskills workshops, which use video content and a digital game to present a number of student life scenarios that simulate shared living, problem solving and conflict resolution.

Across the country, 1000 students have already benefited from the Leapskills workshops through a 18-month trial, with survey feedback showing 96% of students were engaged during the session and 91% of teachers would recommend it to a colleague.

Unite Students CEO Richard Smith said:

Every year we welcome over 50,000 students into their new home as they make the leap to university. For many this is one the most important and exciting moments in their lives but it’s also a time of uncertainty. We see first-hand the challenges they experience as they make this important transition.

We believe that resilience is vital in young people and that given the right opportunities and experiences, young people can build resilience. The better prepared young people are for the transition to university, the easier they will find managing the highs and the lows often involved in this leap.

That’s why we feel so strongly about creating the Leapskills programme and offering it for free to schools across the UK. Building resilience in our young people is crucial to their experience of university and their life beyond. We welcome the Secretary of State’s support for Leapskills and the part we are playing in providing all students with the opportunity to thrive.

Natalie Corriette, a teacher at St Bonaventure’s 6th Form in Forest Gate who took part in the workshop said:

We were keen to offer our Year 12 students this opportunity as students can sometimes feel anxious and unsure about what to expect when living away at university. These sessions afforded them the ability to reflect on university life and to consider how they can best prepare for university life in terms of establishing support networks and fostering social relationships and friendship groups.

Our survey indicated that students’ confidence levels in terms of their knowledge and understanding of university life more than doubled by the end of the session. I would recommend Leapskills to other schools as it really helped to empower the students and allay any concerns they might have about living away from home.

James Appiah, Year 12 student from St Bonaventure’s 6th Form, said:

The Leapskills University Workshop was my first real taste of university life. The tour around the university accommodation and the real life problems we were given to solve helped to make me really feel mentally prepared for university.

Detailed ESFA Guide: Subcontracting: Using Funding to Offer Education and Training

Information for providers of adult education and training services, including apprenticeships and traineeships on subcontracting ESFA funding.

  1. Subcontracting: for the first time
  2. Subcontracting: second-level
  3. Providing external assurance on subcontracting controls
  4. List of declared subcontractors (formerly the ‘subcontracting register’)

A lead provider is a college, training organisation or employer that has a direct contractual relationship with the ESFA.

A subcontractor is an organisation that is engaged in a contractual and legally binding arrangement with one or more lead providers, to deliver education and training provision that the ESFA funds.

Each lead provider and subcontractor must have a valid UK Provider Registration Number (UKPRN).

ESFA recognises that subcontracting has an important role to play in delivering quality learning to apprentices and adult learners. In recent years, we have strengthened our funding rules on subcontracting and we are continuing to do so. We expect providers to maximise the amount of funding that reaches front line delivery of high-quality learning.

When subcontracting, ESFA will require providers to:

  • clearly describe, before each subcontracting relationship is agreed the reason for subcontracting and all services they will provide and the associated costs when doing so. This will include a list of specific costs for managing the subcontractor, quality monitoring activities, and for any other support activities offered by the main provider to the subcontractor
  • ensure all costs are individually itemised and describe how each cost contributes to delivering high-quality learning. Providers must also explain how such costs are reasonable and proportionate to delivery of the learning or apprenticeship training
  • include a breakdown of all services and costs in each subcontract

ESFA will, ready for delivery from 1 August 2019:

  • revise funding rules and associated compliance measures to incorporate the requirements set out above
  • implement a risk-based approach for monitoring these rules
  • impose compliance measures when appropriate

These expectations will be reviewed in 18 months.

The implementation of the revisions to the AEB and apprenticeship funding rules will apply to new learner, or apprentice starts from 1 August 2019. We realise there should be an implementation period to allow providers to adjust to the changes and to revise their contracts with their subcontractors.

The implementation period of the revised rules will apply as follows:

  • From 1 August 2019 for new learner and apprentice starts where a new subcontract is yet to be agreed and entered into, and
  • By 30 November 2019 for new learner and apprentice starts where revised subcontracts are required

This means that from 1 December 2019, these revised subcontracting rules apply to all new learner or apprentice starts

Subcontracting: For the First Time

If the funding rules you are working to require permission from the ESFA to subcontract for the first time, you must obtain the ESFA’s written permission before doing so.

Subcontracting for the first time: seeking written approval (PDF, 150KB, 4 pages) describes the process for getting permission to subcontract funding for education and training.

Along with the request to subcontract, you must also provide a report from an external auditor.

Subcontracting: Second-Level

If the funding rules you are working to allow subcontracting to a second level (where a subcontractor further subcontracts to another legal entity), you must first obtain the ESFA’s written permission. You must obtain permission from the ESFA to subcontract to a second level every year.

You can find the information we need in order to review requests from providers to subcontract to a second level:

Subcontracting to a second level: seeking written approval (PDF, 156KB, 6 pages)

Providing External Assurance on Subcontracting Controls

The ESFA funding agreements contain a clause about an annual subcontracting assurance requirement. The clause requires lead providers that will subcontract more than a defined level of provision to obtain a report from an external auditor that provides assurance on the arrangements in place to manage and control their subcontractors. The clause requires lead providers in scope to supply us with a certificate confirming that the report provides satisfactory assurance.

We’ve published guidance on the clause and the information we need from lead providers.

List of Declared Subcontractors (formerly the ‘subcontracting register’)

The list of declared subcontractors provides information about subcontractors that hold contracts worth at least £100,000 in aggregate with one or more ESFA-funded providers of adult education and training services, including apprenticeships and traineeships.

Subcontractors are shown with their lead or main provider/s and the individual values of their contracts.

Some subcontractors are ‘lead or main providers’ in their own right. We have used data taken from subcontractor declarations that lead or main providers submit each funding year.

Published 31 January 2018 
Last updated 10 July 2019 + show all updates

  1. 10 July 2019 We have updated the first part of this page to reflect that our funding rules on subcontracting apprentice training have been strengthened.
  2. 6 August 2018 Added information explaining our intention to work with the sector to develop and publish expectations around subcontracting fees and charges in the coming months.
  3. 31 January 2018 First published.