We have developed a zero-funded contract for commercial and charitable institutions. This is part of our drive to open up the 16-19 education and training market. The contract joins the range of market entry options offered by the Education Funding Agency. Other options include Free Schools, University Technical Colleges, Studio Schools, and responding to open procurements run by the EFA.

Zero-funded institutions will operate under a contract and receive a funding rate of £0 per student in the first year of delivery. The contract will then provide funding in future years. This will be subject to compliance with the contract, available funding and any policy changes or developments. Students at zero-funded institutions will still be eligible to receive bursaries.

During their first delivery year, zero-funded institutions must:

  • establish suitable facilities;
  • develop links to the local referral and education and training network;
  • recruit students and deliver to them education and training in accordance with the EFA contract and the principles governing study programmes as described in the publication ‘Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds ’;
  • administer and pay bursaries to eligible students;
  • submit the individualised learner record (ILR) for each student;
  • be in scope for Ofsted inspection;
  • be subject to, and satisfy in the opinion of, the EFA, financial health, audit, assurance and compliance considerations; and
  • meet all other requirements in order to be funded the following year.

You can apply for a zero-funded contract if you are a commercial or charitable institution with no direct EFA contract. This includes institutions that have a sub-contract from an EFA funded provider.
If you would like to apply, please complete and submit a questionnaire to us through the Contracts Finder website.

The windows for applying for zero-funded contracts are as follows. 

Window open on Contracts Finder Assessment period Decisions communicated
1 – 12 October 2012 15 October – 2 November 2012 Week commencing 5 November
7 – 31 January 2013 1 – 22 February 2012 Week commencing 25 February 2013
1 – 26 April 2013 29 April – 25 May 2013 Week commencing 27 May 2013