For colleges that are eligible for the 16-19 tuition fund, the announcement that the eligibility for the fund was broadening in 2021/22 to include economic disadvantage, in addition to low prior attainment was warmly welcomed. Including these learners, allows institutions to offer tuition to all disadvantaged learners who have been impacted by the pandemic, while still maintaining focus on low prior attainment.
The funding is available for small group tuition for learners aged 16 – 19 in English, maths. and other vocational and academic learning that has been disrupted. All learners must be on a 16-19 study programme and includes those aged 19-24 who have an education, health, and care (EHC) plan. It is for learners who:

  • have not achieved a grade 4 or 5 in English and/or maths
  • have a grade 4 or above in English and/or maths, are from an economically disadvantaged background and would need catch-up support.

Providers need to opt-in to the 2021 / 22 Covid Tuition Fund by 12th October 2021.

Among other requirements, institutions as a condition of the receipt of the funding, must:

  • record all students in receipt of activity funded by the tuition fund in the individualised learner record (ILR)
  • record the use of the funding, including reference to the individual learners that receive the support, the needs of those learners, the number of hours of tuition delivered, and retain the necessary evidence of the tuition provided and additional cost
  • deliver the extra tuition and spend the associated funding in the 2021 to 2022 academic year

The tuition fund will be audited for compliance to check that the fund has been used correctly. Institutions must retain original documents including, for example, attendance records, enrolment records and learning agreements and funds could be recovered if this isn’t available at spot checks.

eSpirALS Users
The good news for eSpirALS users is that there are simple ways of helping you plan, track and monitor the Covid Tuition Fund across the organisation. This includes splitting costs between regular learner support funding pots and the Covid Tuition Fund to ensure there is no double funding. Details of the individual learners and small groups with associated costs are also recorded and you will be able to analyse and record the impact of the fund at the year end which may help with funding requests in following years.


If you need further details on tracking and monitoring of learners in receipt of the Covid Tuition Fund and the associated costs to evidence correct accountability of funds, please contact

For information about eSpirALS please visit