Universities are finding it difficult to get to grips with the monthly individualised learner record (ILR) return to the ESFA. There are 84 data fields to populate and the terminology has been described as a ‘foreign language’ to staff in higher education.
Part of the issue is chasing data that is difficult to obtain. However talking to further education partners who are more familiar with the returns has been reassuring in some cases. For example the fact that the cost of EPA may not be known at the start of an apprenticeship has caused problems for universities who have been trying to estimate figures when they could have left the field blank.
A similar issue arises with trying to obtain the actual start date of the apprentice’s employment. Many experienced providers simply enter the date of the day before training begins.