Blog image


Start & End of Year ILR Transition - 2019

Start & End of Year ILR Transition - 2019

IMPORTANT - There's a new version of this post for the start of the 2020-2021 funding year, check it out HERE!

ILR Transition Period 2018 - 2019 & 2019 - 2020

We're heading into the new funding year 2019 - 2020 but 2018 - 2019 ILR's are required to be submitted until 17th October 2019.

I’ve made this post a little late this year due to waiting for all the new information from the ESFA,as there's a NEW FIS application to download and the Hub is being replaced by the NEW Submit learner data service, which is officially launched today 22nd August 2019.

However, there's still lots of time to help you prepare your ILR's during this year end / start transition period.

As you are aware we are transitioning from one funding year to the next and to be fair it isn't a simple process unless you have an MI system to take out the hard work!

There are several very important aspects to factor in at this time of year which won't phase you if you are up to speed with the ILR Specification and Provider Support documentation.

However, if you aren't then I will explain what you need to know.

There is a crossover of ILR's during this transition period and this follows the same process each year.


Main Rules
•    The first ILR of a new funding year is due in September.

•   The data cut off for each funding year is always 31st July!
•    This means that the data you submit in R12, R13 & R14 MUST NOT include completion or achievements dates if these
      fall after 31st July.
•    These learners are classed as continuing, even if they complete in the first week of August, their ILR data must be submitted
      for the remainder of the new funding year.


Data Collection Timetables

Click the links below to download the return schedules.

2018 - 2019 Data Collection Timetable

2019 - 2020 Data Collection Timetable


New ILR Fields

The new funding year always sees changes to the ILR schema due to the addition and removal of various data fields.

The ILR Specification 2019 to 2020 V2 documentation explains this in full but there's the following additional fields:

  • Learning Delivery - New field - Planned hours (p134)

  • Learning Delivery - New field - Learning start date postcode (p137)

  • Learning delivery funding and monitoring type - New FAM type - Devolved area monitoring (DAM) - (p165)

All Revisions, new and removed fields can be found in the Summary of Changes 2019-2020 on pages 2 to 8 of the ILR Specification 2019 to 2020 V2 .


Submit Two Different ILR's in September and October!

Basically for two months you have to submit two ILR's to cover the end of 2018 - 2019 and the start of 2019 - 2020.

The main requirements:

1.    Prepare two ILR's for submission.
2.    Be aware of the two different ILR submission dates.
3.    ILR XML structure changes.
4.    NO Completion data after 31st July 2018 in R13 & R14.
5.    Continuing learners across funding years.

6.    Submit ILR's to the NEW Submit learner data service.



September Returns

5th September R01 - first return for 2019 - 2020.

13th September R13 - penultimate return 2018 - 2019.



What are ILR's R13 & R14 Used For?

Essentially these last two ILRs are there to allow you time to make sure all the ILR data you've submitted throughout the year is correct, which means by 17th October all of your 2018 - 2019 ILR data should be correct and up to date and all ALL PDSAT and FRM report queries should be resolved.

Check out the ESFA financial assurance: monitoring the funding rules for the specific funding year documentation. 

You must return correct learner information including:

•    Withdrawn

•    Completions in year

•    On Learning Break

•    On Programme

•    Including those transferred to another programme or provider.

Failure to do so could cause funding claw backs, inconsistent QAR data and ultimately running the risk of having your ESFA contracts cancelled due to the inability to correctly manage data.


October Returns

4th October R02 - second return for 2019 - 2020.

17th October R14 - final return of 2018 - 2019.


Using the ESFA’s Learner Entry Tool

This transition period is a tricky prospect, especially if you are using the ESFA’s Learner Entry tools!

There is no getting around this so here’s the gist of what’s in store for you!

To continue submitting R13 & R14 2018 – 2019 ILR’s you will use the setup you have now;

•    2018 - 2019 ILR Learner Entry tool

•    ILR learner entry 2018 to 2019 user guide

•    Learner Entry Tool Known Issues

•    FIS with 2018 – 2019 data set


For submitting 2019 – 2020 ILR’s you will need to have:

Each year the two funding years will almost certainly require a different XML schema so you have to make sure your ILR’s validate against the correct funding year data sets.

Again, you will need to make sure your R12, R13 & R14 MUST NOT include completion or achievement dates if these fall after 31st July.

But YOU MUST include these in your 2019 – 2020 ILR’s.

You will need to use both ILR Learner Entry tools and both data sets in FIS to validate the next 4 ILR submissions!

You will be able to import your 2018 – 2019 ILR into the 2019 – 2020 Learner Entry tool and modify the data there.

Then export in the new funding year format and validate in FIS against the 2019 – 2020 data set!

Important FIS Information!

You will need to make sure you update the ESFA'S Funding Information System (FIS) to include the new funding year data set.

1. Import 2018 - 2019 ILR

2. Run FIS validation

3. Check any errors against the 2018 - 2019 Validation Rules Spreadsheet.

You will also need to switch between data sets when validating your ILR's in different funding years

1. Change data set  to 2019 - 2020

2. Import 2018 - 2019 ILR

3. Run FIS validation

4. Check any errors against the 2019 - 2020 Validation Rules Spreadsheet..

Make sure you upload the ILR's to Submit learner data before the deadlines to avoid any problems.



You should all be GDPR compliant, or at least working towards compliance as the ESFA are checking up!

Since 25th May 2018 your application and enrollment forms should include the updated contact preferences fields, as set out in the ESFA's updated Privacy Notice.

You should also check out the Education and Skills Funding Agency privacy notice: April 2019 if you haven't done so already.


Take The Easy Option and Let Athena MIS Manage it for You!

Athena Manages the Changes!
You don't have to think about:

•    the different XML schema
•    changing data formats
•    data cut off period
•    transferring continuing learners

Athena MIS manages all this for you!

Athena MIS - ILR Dashboard

The ILR Dashboard accommodates the ILR transition across funding years.

Check out the ILR Return schedules built into the ILR Dashboard to see the different dates and switch funding years for the schedules to change.

You will now have to familiarise yourself with switching between funding years on the ILR Dashboard to view the appropriate learners.

The video below shows how to view ILR return schedules in different funding years.


Athena MIS - ILR Export Wizard

There has been a significant update to the ILR Export Wizard to support with the transition between funding years.

We have automated as much as we can by migrating continuing learners across funding years in the ILR Export Wizard!

You will see just how many; new, complete and continuing learners you have so all you have to do is select the funding year for the ILR you need to generate and it's all taken care of by Athena MIS

Watch the video below for step by step instructions!


Get Our Updates!

* Indicates required

Cleverclogs Multimedia LTD will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you regarding new blog posts and updates to existing posts on cleverblogs. We will NEVER share your personal details and will only make contact with you via email for this specified purpose. Please see our GDPR compliant privacy notice for further information.



Super User