HEP Bulletin – September 2019

HEP Bulletin – September 2019

12 September 2019

We welcome your feedback to ensure that this bulletin is of value to you and your organisation.

The HE Account Management team – current update

There have been several changes to the HE Account Management team over the past few months. 

Rachel Thorpe has moved on from her role as Account Services manager. Jonathan Newby has taken over her role overseeing the HE Account Management team. 

We have also welcomed a new account manager, Lucy Marwood, who joined us from the Further Education (FE) Account Management team. 

Chloe Crainie left SLC at the end of August. We are currently recruiting two new HE account managers to replace her and Jonathan Newby. Once we have a full complement of account managers, we will issue an update on who looks after each region. 

In the meantime, our team will support all regions until our new account managers are in place.

Welcome to AY 2019/20

The new academic year is under way and HEPs across the UK are busy enrolling students. As always, we'd like to remind you to clear up any historic worklists. 

Please pay special attention to any outstanding registration and attendance confirmations, as well as Change of Circumstance notifications. These can affect a student's current and future applications. 

We would also like to remind you of the SLC/HEP Service Agreement ahead of the new academic year. The agreement outlines our mutual commitments around the delivery of student finance. You can find the full agreement here.

Your account manager will be in touch to ask that you provide an update on any outstanding actions.

Engagement and events

Registration is now open for our Student Information Service (SIS) training programmes which will take place in October and November. 

These events will provide an overview of SIS, while exploring the relationship between SIS and the other HE Gateway services. We will highlight when and how to take specific actions in SIS to ensure you are compliant with service standards. We will also look at how your account manager will use SIS data at your account review. 

These events are designed for new staff, as well as existing staff members who need a refresher session. You can register on the SLC events website.

We also have a Courses Management Service (CMS) webinar scheduled in early November. This will focus on 'right first time' submission of course data ahead of course collection for AY 2020/21.

We are planning workshop-style CMS training in November and December. These events are designed for providers that are new to the Office for Students (OfS) register. They are also beneficial for providers that have held Alternative Provider status and are now moving to full service access.

The training will provide an overview of CMS, with a specific focus on how to create courses. It will also outline the assurance measures we have put in place. You can find more information on the SLC events website. Registration will open shortly – look out for our email. We will also issue personal invitations to selected HEPs who would benefit from the training to assist with 'right first time' course submission.

Process update for Special Support Grant

This concerns students who: 

  • have taken agreed time out from a course due to an illness or caring responsibility
  • are now waiting to go back to the course after the illness or caring responsibility has ended

These students may be entitled to partial Special Support Grant (SSG) or Special Support Element of the Maintenance Loan. This comes under the 'SSG time out due to illness or caring responsibility' category.

We want to raise awareness for students who may be eligible for additional support under this category. 

The SSG or Special Support Element of the Maintenance Loan will be paid on a pro-rata basis. It will cover the time in which the student is fit to return, or the caring responsibility has ended, until the end of the academic year.

To qualify, students must meet the following criteria: 

  • they suspended their studies due to an illness or caring responsibility
  • they are fit to return to studies, or their caring responsibility has ended, during the same suspended year
  • they have received payment through suspension due to financial hardship
  • their university or college has prevented them from returning in the same academic year

We will need evidence of all of the above. 

If you recognise any students who may be eligible for this product, please discuss it with them. 

SFE students should send a Financial Hardship Confirmation form and their evidence to our Financial Hardship team at the address on the form.

SFW students should call us to request the form. You can find the contact details here.

Once our Financial Hardship team has received the evidence, they will contact the students if they need any more information. An assessor will also let the students know once the request is accepted or declined. 

If you or your students have any further questions about this category of support, please call our contact centre. You can find the telephone numbers here.

Update contact details on the HE Gateway

In the coming months we will be changing the way we authenticate users who access our portals. We will share full details on this soon. 

Before we make these changes, we need you to check that the contact details for your portal users are correct. Please also make sure to expire any users who no longer need access. 

You can find guidance on maintaining contacts in sections 7 and 8 of the HE Gateway user guide.


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