Education Skills Funding Agency invests £4 billion per year of public spending in colleges and training organisations, to fund training for adults in England. The skills training we fund enables people to do their jobs better, get new jobs, or progress in their careers.

They work to an annual budget, targets and priorities set by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. They work at a ‘short arm’s length’ from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, allowing a fast and effective response to policy, while reinforcing the autonomy of the Further Education sector.

Skills Funding Agency’s mission is to ensure that people and businesses can access the skills training they need to succeed in playing their part in society and in growing England’s economy.

Skills Funding Agency allocates funding to colleges and other skills and training organisations who have discretion over expenditure to meet the needs of local businesses and communities.

The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of the EU’s Structural Funds, set up to reduce differences in prosperity and living standards across EU Member States and regions, and therefore promoting economic and social cohesion.

The ESF is devoted to promoting employment in the EU. It helps Member States make Europe’s workforce and companies better equipped to face new, global challenges. In short:

  • Funding is spread across the Member States and regions, in particular those where economic development is less advanced.
  • It is a key element of the EU’s 2020 strategy for Growth and Jobs targeted at improving the lives of EU citizens by giving them better skills and better job prospects.
  • Over the period 2007-2013 some €75 billion will be distributed to the EU Member States and regions to achieve its goals.
Education funding agency

Education Funding Agency manages £54 billion of funding a year to support all state-provided education for 8 million children aged 3 to 16, and 1.6 million young people aged 16 to 19.

We are responsible for:

  • funding education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, and those with learning difficulties and disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25
  • funding and monitoring academies, university technical colleges, studio schools, and free schools
  • building maintenance programmes for schools and sixth-form colleges
  • allocating funds to 152 local authorities for maintained schools, and 4,000 voluntary-aided schools
Dept of education

 The Department for Education is responsible for education, children’s services, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England, and equalities. We work to achieve a highly educated society in which opportunity is equal for all, no matter what their background or family circumstances.

We are responsible for:

  • teaching and learning for children in the Early Years sector and in primary schools
  • teaching and learning for young people under the age of 19 years in secondary schools and in further education
  • supporting professionals who work with children and young people
  • helping disadvantaged children and young people to achieve more
  • making sure that local services protect and support children