Subcontracting post-16 education and training with Education and SKills Funding Agency (ESFA) funding

Closed 17 Mar 2020

Opened 4 Feb 2020


We are seeking views from providers who have an interest in subcontracted delivery to inform our thinking about reforms to subcontracting arrangements.

This consultation is now closed but providers can still submit a response to the consultation by emailing       before Tuesday 31 March 2020.

Why We Are Consulting

The subcontracting of education and training for learners over the age of 16 is a long established and widespread practice in the sector.  

We are committed to strengthening ESFA’s oversight of the approach to subcontracting in the sector.  

The review aims to:

  • strengthen our monitoring and improve our assessment of risk to identify problems earlier
  • intervene more quickly and decisively
  • harmonise and clarify the rules and requirements across post-16 funding streams
  • reduce the overall volume of subcontracted activity in the sector
  • eliminate subcontracting that is undertaken for purely financial reasons
  • retain subcontracting that meets niche or specialised needs, improves access and provides opportunities for disadvantaged learners

What Happens Next

Thank you for your responses. We’re using these to inform our thinking about the nature and extent of reforms to subcontracting arrangements and the timing of them.


  • Headteachers
  • Governors
  • Training providers
  • Local authorities
  • Adult education providers
  • Further education colleges
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Independent specialist colleges
  • Designated institutions and 16-19 academies
  • Designated safeguarding leads
  • Young people
  • Employers
  • Universities


  • Education
  • Governance
  • Intervention
  • Planning
  • Pupil data
  • Travel to school and colleges
  • Keeping children safe in education and other settings
  • Post-16 funding
  • Participation of young people in education, employment and training
  • Equality
  • Apprenticeships
  • Work based training
  • Community learning
  • Lifelong learning