Adult and Family Learning - Policies and Strategies

Subcontracting Policy

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is in receipt of funding from the Skills Funding Agency to deliver its Adult and Family Learning Services and also some services for young people. By law the Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency must make the best use of resources when securing the provision of education and training. To enable them to do this they will monitor the fees and charges associated with sub-contracting by those organisations where services or provision are delivered using sub-contractual arrangements. It is now a requirement for those organisations, of which the Council is one, to publish their policy about supply-chain fees and charges on their website.

Adult Learning Supply Chain Fees Policy 2021-22

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Adult Learning and Employment Service (ALES) aims to “deliver accessible, high quality adult and community learning that enables learners to improve their wellbeing, widen their horizons and achieve their personal, social or economic aspirations”. 

The service achieves this by fostering partnerships with local, Council, and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) approved, subcontracted delivery partners to encourage participation from across the community, particularly with learners from disadvantaged areas or communities, providing them with the skills and confidence to make progress in their lives towards further learning and employment. 


This policy applies to all supply chain activity supported by funds supplied by the ESFA, and any successor organisation. 


It is a mandatory requirement from the ESFA ,effective from 1st August 2013, and the GLA, effective from August 2019, that Providers publish a supply-chain fees and charges policy on their website before entering into any subcontracting arrangements. The policy is reviewed and updated annually. The content of this policy was developed in line with the Association of Colleges and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers Common Accord, the ESFA and GLA Funding Rules. 

Overarching Principle 

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Adult Learning Service will use supply chains to optimise the impact and effectiveness of service delivery to learners. The Service ensures that: 

  • Supply chain management activities comply with the principles of best practice in the skills sector. In particular they will be guided by the principles given in the LSIS publication “Supply Chain Management – a good practice guide for the post-16 skills sector”. 
  • It will use fair and transparent procurement processes meeting the requirements of the Public contracts Regulations 2015, conduct robust due diligence procedures on potential subcontractors to ensure compliance with the Common Accord, and to ensure That those sub-contractors selected offered high quality and low risk delivery. 

    Due diligence checks will include ensuring that sub-contractors are not included on the Gov.Uk list of proscribed terrorist/extremist organisations
  • Funding retained by the Service to cover management costs relates to the costs of services provided. The level of funding retained will be clearly documented and the rates of funding provided will be commercially viable for both the prime and subcontracted partner. Any funding retained will be proportionate to the services being provided. 

The policy will be reviewed annually and agreed by the Council’s governance and accounting officer.

Rationale for Subcontracting 

The Service engages with subcontractors to better meet learner needs and in line with its strategic aims. This is seen as advantageous for a number of reasons, which include: 

  • Providing flexibility to temporarily expand provision to meet a new short term need. 
  • Providing access to, or engagement with, a new range of learners. 
  • Ensuring that the delivery intention is met, minimising any threat from recognised risks to direct provision. 
  • Supporting the development of capacity and quality of local providers 
  • Enabling delivery of niche provision where the cost of developing direct delivery would be prohibitive. 

Additionally, the ALS will retain funds to deliver a programme of Family Learning of which it retains direct oversight and management.

Quality Assurance 

Subcontracted activity is a fundamental part of Service delivery. The quality of the provision is monitored and managed through existing Service quality assurance processes and procedures, amended to fully encompass all subcontracted activity. 

This policy positions subcontracted partners at the core of the Service’s activity designed to bring about continuous improvement to the quality of teaching, learning and assessment for the Service, its subcontracted delivery partners and our learners. At the heart of this activity is the sharing of good practice across the supply chain, for example, through the moderated Self- Assessment processes which leads to a common quality improvement action plan and an associated continuous professional development programme for teaching staff. 

The Service supports and facilitates the development of subcontracted partners’ staff to improve the quality of provision delivered. 

The Supply Chain Fees and Charges 

80 per cent of the funding received is paid to subcontracted partners for delivery, with the service typically retaining 20 per cent of funding received to manage the subcontracted delivery. The 20 per cent management fee that is retained represents the cost incurred by the Service to effectively identify, select, manage, monitor, support quality improvement and report on all subcontracted provision. It covers the cost to the Service of: 

  • Providing any additional support necessary to ensure the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and success rates of subcontracted provision, continually improve and remain high. 
  • Promoting the sharing of good practice across the local partnership of subcontracted providers to improve delivery to learners with up to four meetings annually. 
  • Providing monthly performance monitoring data to providers, including the actions needed to ensure complete and accurate data returns. 
  • Holding regular review meetings with delivery partners to monitor the action points identified during formal monitoring (undertaken three times a year). Formal monitoring meetings will be undertaken with each sub-contracted organisation at least 6 times each year, some of these will be unannounced meetings. Meetings result in detailed reports to the provider about maintaining or improving standards and levels of on-going support available from the officers of the service. 
  • Providing frequent informal contact with subcontractors by telephone, email and informal visits. 
  • Providing access to a suitable management information system for inputting learner data to those who do not have one of their own – about 80% of providers. 
  • Providing data management and submission services to subcontracted delivery partners to ensure compliance with ESFA funding rules and requirements, including a member of staff who is suitably experienced and trained to undertake such work. 
  • Providing a comprehensive range of Continuous Professional Development [CPD] activities for all tutors, and other staff, who are engaged in the delivery of Adult and Family Learning on behalf of the Service. The service commits to providing approximately 6 CPD sessions per year. Subcontracted organisations are reimbursed for attendance by their tutors so that they can provide cover enabling sessional tutors to attend CPD sessions and sharing good practice meetings. 
  • Capacity building subcontract partners by providing training and development for their staff to carry out observations of teaching, learning and assessment to Ofsted standards, including paying trained staff to undertake a number of OTLAs per year on behalf of the Service. 
  • Supporting the writing and standardisation of self-assessment reports by subcontractors each year, including their attendance at a moderation meeting. 
  • Planning and facilitating at least three opportunities for subcontractors to discuss strategic and policy updates through the Adult Leaning Forum each year. 

Payment terms of the Service are detailed in the contract agreement but will not exceed 30 days following the receipt of an approved (as defined in the contract) invoice from the subcontracted delivery partner. Payment points are scheduled at three points during the academic year. 

Publication of Information Relating to Subcontracting 

In compliance with ESFA, GLA and other funding rules that apply the Service publishes its subcontracting fees and charging policy and end-of-year subcontracting fees and charges on its website as required by the ESFA/GLA. The service makes a Declaration of Subcontractors return to the ESFA/GLA as required. 

The Service will ensure all actual and potential subcontractors have sight of this policy and other relevant documentation during the procurement and contracting process with a link to the policy included within the contract itself. 

This policy is published on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea website and is reviewed annually. 

Policy reviewed in July 2021

Adult Learning Service Supply Chain Fees 2020/21
Organisation UKRLP Active on Companies house or Charities Commission 2020/21grant award Retained fee for 2020/21 Total Award
Action Disability Kensington Chelsea 1003740 Y: 03040329

CL: 17,240

ASB: 12,240

6250 31,250
Hammersmith Community Gardens Association 10083221 Y: 05499362 CL: 10,000 2,500 12,500
Morley College (KCC) 10004432 Y: 02829836 CL: 220,000 55,000 275,000
Learning Curve Group 10008935 Y: 08616453 ASB: 100,00 25,000 125,000
Nova New Opportunities 10054022 Y: Register of Charities:1158238

CL: 41,400

ASB: 118,600

£40,000 £200,000
Open Age 10062261 Y: Register of Charities:1160125 CL: 140,000 £35,000 £175,000
The Clement James Centre 10020589 Y: 02677427

CL: 50,000

ASB: 72,400

30,600 153,000
Westway Trust 10029145 Y:06475436

CL: 71,000

ASB: 99,000

£42,500 £212,500
WEA 10007364 Y:02806910 CL: 60,000 £15,000 £75,000
Writerz and Scribez 10083200 Y: 08922312 CL: 25,000 £6,250 £31,250
Pilot Projects UKRLP Active on Companies house or Charities Commission 2020/21grant award Retained fee for 2020/21 Total Award
Kensington and Chelsea Forum 10084698 Y: Register of Charities: 1158108 CL: 10,000 £2,500 £12,500
St Anne's and Avondale Nursery 10054143 n/a CL: 10,000 £2,500 £12,500
Goldfinger Factory 10085467 Y: 09400250 CL: 10,000 £2,500 £12,500


Last updated: 11 August 2021