From 1st April the SFA (Skills Funding Agency) and EFA (Education Funding Agency) are to be brought together as The Education and Skills Funding Agency.
Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education made the announcement in a Written Ministerial Statement on 28th March. The ESFA will continue as an executive agency of the DfE with the Chief Executive sitting on the DfE management Board.
In a statement she said, ‘the creation of one funding agency is the next logical step for us, building on the significant achievements of both agencies and the closer working arrangements we have already established.’
‘I want to reassure you that immediate changes from 1 April will be relatively limited. But this change provides a platform for further improvement to the services we offer over the next couple of years.’
By taking the best of both agencies, the ESFA will oversee and be accountable for 5 to 16 education as well as post 16 education and training. This will include apprenticeships and funding for adult education in England, as well as delivering school building and maintenance programmes.
With the creation of the ESFA, the opportunity exists to remove duplication, providing a singular service to all external organisations and stakeholders.
Since the contracts and funding agreements will continue to be with the Secretary of State, there will not be any effect which will assist to ensure a smooth transition to the new Education and Skills Funding Agency.