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									Learner Support Service stakeholder e-bulletin, June 2009

Welcome to the June e-bulletin from the LSC’s Learner Support Directorate.

In this month’s edition we are pleased to tell you about a change in
terminology of the EMA Contract, the results of an evaluation of EMA
provision, 2009/10 Guidance documents are available and an update on the
Professional and Career Development Loans.

If you would like your name added to the distribution list please email us at
learnersupportupdate@lsc.gov.uk



In this e-bulletin:
     1. Plans for the future Learner Support Service
     2. LAPS training seminars
     3. Important change about the EMA Contract
     4. EMA evaluation
     5. Learner Support suite of Guidance available
     6. Update on Professional and Career Development Loans
     7. 2009/10 application packs and marketing materials
     8. Actions you may need to take
     9. Keeping you informed




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1. Plans for the future Learner Support Service
We told you in May’s edition of this e-bulletin that we had started to receive
2009/10 EMA application forms, and that we had already sent out a number of
Notice of Entitlements (NoEs). We are pleased to tell you that we are
continuing to send out NoEs to eligible learners, and as at 15th June we had
despatched over 26,000 NoEs.

Introducing LAPS

As you know, we have introduced the ability for learners to request an
application pack for EMA and ALG for the 2009/10 academic year online from
the directgov website. We are also processing new applications received for
the 2009/10 academic year.

LAPS will be available for the start of the 2009/10 academic year, which
begins on the 31st August. From this date EMA and ALG applications will no
longer be administered by the Interim Learning Provider Portal and will be
managed by LAPS through a new Portal. We will soon be sending you details
of how you can nominate Super Users, which will begin the process of
allowing you access to LAPS. The Interim Learning Provider Portal will run
until September, and we will migrate the data across to LAPS. We will do our
best to ensure that we prevent any disruption to your work and there will be no
additional work for you as Providers.

We will also be sending materials to help you to use LAPS before August, and
we will communicate information about the process of transferring to LAPS
through this e-bulletin.



2. LAPS training seminars
As you know, during June and July we are running a series of regional
seminars to talk to you about LAPS and provide training on its use. This will
allow you to see parts of the system for yourself.

We have been contacted by some Learning Providers about a number of EMA
training courses that are being offered by organisations outside of the LSC.
We would like to remind you that the Learning and Skills Council does not
endorse any other training events on LAPS. All our training events are free to
attend and are the only seminars which will feature policy updates from the
LSC policy staff along with specific training and demonstration of LAPS.




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Of course you are free to attend other training events that you feel are
beneficial, but it is up to you to decide whether or not alternative training is
valuable to you: We are not able to provide advice about the suitability of non-
LSC LAPS training events.



3. Important changes to the EMA Contract
We are aware that at this time of year many of you are producing or reviewing
your own internal guidelines for EMA. We would like to highlight a recent
change in the terminology of the Contract Parts 1 & 2.

Please note that from now on these will be renamed the EMA Agreement
(Attendance, Behaviour and Effort) and EMA Agreement (Bonus). We
emphasise that the purpose of these documents has not changed. However,
we would recommend that your own guidelines and associated documents
reflect the change so that they refer to the EMA Agreement rather than the
EMA Contract.

More information about the EMA Agreement can be found in the Education
Maintenance Allowance Provider Guidance 2009/10. Specific information on
the EMA Agreement can be found on pages 6 and 17.



4. EMA evaluation
Many of you will be aware that the EMA Valid Learning Provision trial has
been running since November 2007. The EMA policy team worked closely
with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to review the
complex area of valid provision for the purposes of EMA. A new set of
eligibility criteria (called the valid provision trial) was created, which it was
hoped would allow different types of provision to come under the umbrella of
EMA and thus allow more learners to be financially supported in their learning.

We have now completed an evaluation, which measured the impact of the trial
of the new criteria; this involved Learning Providers, learners, DCSF and key
stakeholders involved with EMA. The final report of this evaluation project has
now been produced and is available to download from the EMA website.

The EMA policy team are now in discussions with DCSF regarding the
recommendations made in the report.




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5. Learner Support suite of Guidance available
We are pleased to inform you that the suite of Guidance documents for
Providers for the Learner Support Schemes is now available. These include
EMA, ALG, Care to Learn, Free Childcare for Training and Learning for Work,
Sixth Form College Childcare Scheme and Dance and Drama Awards
(information for non-DaDA Providers).

These documents replace the 2008/09 Guidance; they are designed to advise
you on how to operate and get the best from the various Learner Support
schemes within your organisation.

Please be aware that for EMA, advice for Providers delivering Further
Education and advice for Providers of LSC funded Entry to Employment (E2E)
and Programme Led Apprenticeships (PLA) is now contained in a single
document for 2009/10. Please use this document in conjunction with the
Education Maintenance Allowance Marketing and Communications Guidance
which has also been updated for the new academic year. This document
outlines what marketing and support materials are available to Providers and
identifies ways in which Providers should raise awareness of EMA.

Please download a copy of these documents by visiting our website
www.lsc.gov.uk/providers/moneytolearn. Please also discard your 2008/09
Guidance documents and ensure you are using the most up-to-date version
by checking the website regularly.



6. Update on the changes to Professional and Career
Development Loans
Professional and Career Development Loans have now replaced Career
Development Loans.

With a Professional and Career Development Loan, learners will:
      Have the option to borrow up to £10,000 from a participating bank to
       support the cost of learning that improves their career or salary
       prospects.
      Benefit from a fixed interest rate for repayment of the loan, that is
       competitive compared with other commercial unsecured loans.
      Be allowed to have up to £16,000 of savings and still be eligible for a
       loan.
Leaflets to help you promote the new loans with potential learners will
be available from July. To place your orders please call the helpline on 0800


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585 505. For more information on the loans and for a list of frequently asked
questions, please visit http://pcdl.lsc.gov.uk/ or email pcdladvice@lsc.gov.uk
to sign up to our regular Professional and Career Development Loans e-
newsletter.
Application packs for learners will be available from July. Learners
should call the helpline on 0800 585 505 to place orders or for more
information, visit www.direct.gov.uk/pcdl




7. 2009/10 Application forms and marketing materials
Below is a list of the resource materials that are available for Learner Support
schemes; most of these you may be aware of but please take the time to read
through these, as new materials have become available since the last edition
of this e-bulletin was distributed.

EMA

Application packs for the 2009/10 academic year are available to order from
LSC Publications (details below). Please quote ref LSC-P-NAT-090013.

The following marketing materials are available to help Learning Providers
promote and support EMA:
        EMA My Choice DVD – explains the benefits of EMA and how it has
         helped five young people stay in learning. This is now available to
         view on the directgov website. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-080004.
        EMA leaflet – aimed at learners and contains information on EMA and
         where to go for more information. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090004. This
         leaflet is also available in large print and Braille:
        Large print version ref: LSC-P-NAT-090004LP
        Braille version ref: LSC-P-NAT-090004BR
        A5 GCSE envelope – contains a leaflet that explains about options
         and choices after GCSEs. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-080005
        EMA resource pack – designed to support you in classroom-based
         learning and highlight the post-16 options. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-080120
        A guide to EMA for providers working with young people – assistance
         in advising young people and their families. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090006.
         You can also download the guide from our website at:
         http://readingroom.lsc.gov.uk/lsc/National/Practitioners_guide_09-
         10.pdf

There are also a number of documents available to support the information
contained within the Guidance for EMA; these have been updated for the



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2009/10 academic year, and are available to view and download from the
website:


      Sample EMA 2009/10 application form. Please note that this is a
       sample document only; application packs for 2009/10 should be
       ordered through LSC Publications, or requested on-line from Directgov.
      2009/10 EMA application form guidance notes. These give advice
       and guidance for learners on how to fill in their application form.
      EMA Residency supporting information – provides a summary of
       residency criteria, definition of terms used in the guidance and
       examples of evidence which can be used to prove residency status.
      EMA Marketing and Communications Guidance 2009/10. This
       document provides information on how you can help raise awareness
       of EMA and details of what marketing materials are available.
      Example Notice of Entitlements. This illustrates what the Notice of
       Entitlement document will look like for EMA FE learners and E2E
       learners.

ALG

Application packs for the 2009/10 academic year are available to order from
LSC Publications. Please quote ref LSC-P-NAT-090014.

The following marketing materials are available to help Learning Providers
promote and support ALG:
        Business card holder – promotional product with basic eligibility
         questions and contact information (100 business cards included). Ref:
         LSC-P-NAT-090041
        Business cards – additional business cards as described above. Ref:
         LSC-P-NAT-090040
        A4 Laminated card – a quick reference guide to ALG for Providers.
         Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090042
        Birthday card – targeting prospective new applicants, individuals
         turning 19 years old, providing basic scheme and contact information.
         Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090039
        Leaflet – provides basic scheme and contact information suitable for
         distribution by student services. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090038
        Poster – references potential maximum grant amount (£30) and
         contact details for further information. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090045

Free Childcare for Training and Learning for Work

Application packs for Free Childcare for Training and Learning for Work for
the 2009/10 academic year are available to order from LSC Publications.
Please quote reference LSC-P-NAT-090017.



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The following marketing materials are available to help Learning Providers
promote and support Free Childcare for Training and Learning for Work from
LSC Publications (details below):


       Leaflet – aimed at the learner gives basic information about Free
        Childcare for Training and Learning for work and gives contact details
        for further information. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090091
       Poster – for Learning Providers and Childcare Providers to use to
        inform parents about the scheme. Gives contact details for learners to
        find out if they are eligible. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090090

Care to Learn

Application packs for the 2009/10 academic year are available to order from
the Learner Support Service on 0845 600 7979.

The following marketing materials are available to help Learning Providers
promote and support Care to Learn from LSC Publications (details below):
        Leaflet – aimed at the learner gives basic information about Care to
         Learn and how to apply. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090005
        Poster – for Learning Providers and Childcare Providers to use to
         inform young parents about Care to Learn. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-080007
        Code of Practice – aimed at Childcare Providers this gives advice on
         how they can help young parents. Ref: LSC-P-NAT-090052. You can
         also download a copy of this from the website at
         http://caretolearn.lsc.gov.uk/cop/

Sixth Form College Childcare

Application packs for the 2009/10 academic year are available to order from
the Learner Support Service on 0845 600 7979.

To order materials from LSC Publications, call 0845 602 2260 or email
lsc@prolog.uk.com. Please remember to quote the correct reference
number to ensure that you will receive the correct materials.


8. Actions you may need to take
Below is a reminder of the actions to be taken over the next few weeks.
Please:

       Inform colleagues of the change of the EMA Contract to the EMA
        Agreement. Please also ensure that the change in terminology is
        reflected within your own organisation’s documents (see Item 3).


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       Read the report of the Valid Learning Provision Trial (see Item 4).

       Download 2009/10 Guidance for the Learner Support schemes and
        ensure that you replace any 2008/09 Guidance with these documents
        (see Item 5).

       Visit the Professional and Career Development Loans website and
        sign up to receive our e-bulletin on this scheme.

       Order 2009/10 application packs and marketing materials for the
        schemes.



9. Keeping you informed
We will keep you up-to-date with the Learner Support news via this monthly e-
bulletin.

If you would like to find out more about the Learner Support Service or the
various Learner Support schemes, including EMA and ALG, please go to
http://www.lsc.gov.uk/providers/moneytolearn or call us on 0845 600 7979.




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