Ben Kelly

ASF "Local flexibility offer" vs Category 40 (Local Flexibility)


Good morning all,

The ESFA's Adult Skills Fund funding rules refer to a "local flexibility offer"; and "local flexibility" is also defined in the glossary as any regulated aim that is not part of the level 2, level 3 and English and maths legal entitlements. Are we to take this definition literally? (My understanding is that "local flexibility" provision always has category 40 in LARS.) If a learning aim does not have category 40, but is not part of the legal entitlements, is it considered to be part of the "local flexibility offer"?

Source: Adult skills fund: funding rules 2024 to 2025 - GOV.UK (

Many thanks,



No one has replied to this post.

Steve Hewitt

Hi Ben

What categories *do* the aims have and has Last Date for New Starts passed? Also, are you talking about 23/24 or 24/25? Not entirely sure Cat 40 has rolled over into the new world?

Ben Kelly

Hi Steve,

Many thanks for your reply. 

I'm actually struggling to find any learning aim in LARS that isn't part of the legal entitlements and is not also category 40! (except the non-regulated formula-funded aims that the ESFA now funds through Tailored Learning).

However, we are a West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) funded provider, and, in 2024/25, WYCA are continuing to fund non-regulated formula-funded learning aims through their ASF core offer, rather than through Tailored Learning. So if a learning aim has, for example, category 23 (Class Code Category A: Non Regulated Provision (SFA Formula Funded)) but is not also category 40 (local flexibility) would this learning aim be considered to be part of the "local flexibility offer"*? (assuming the Last Date for New Starts has not passed).

*I know in 2024/25 ESFA would consider such an aim to be part of Tailored Learning, so I guess what I'm asking is - would the ESFA have considered such an aim to be part of their 2023/24 "local flexibility offer"? (as effectively, WYCA are still using ESFA's 23/24 rules in 24/25)

Hope this makes some kind of sense!

Many thanks,





Steve Hewitt

Yeah, no, WYCA aren't alone in making this decision, most of the Combined Authorities are doing something similar.

If we look at:

Non regulated Adult skills formula funded provision, Entry Level, ESOL, 45 to 68 hrs (

We'll see it has MCA/GLA Funding with LDNS of 31/7/25 and ASF funding rate of £300, so it's all grand (but the Adult Skills funding has LDNS 31/7/24 because it can't be used for National funding)

And, in fact, this has reminded me that ESFA NEVER put Cat 40 on the Class Codes, even though they were totally fundable as Local Flex, for reasons we could never quite understand!

Ben Kelly

Thank you Steve for your helpful advice, as ever. Much appreciated.