Lifelong Learning Entitlement

DfE (the Department for Education) has decided to phase the delivery of the LLE during academic year 2025/26. The first LLE students will apply for their funding in September 2025 (instead of February 2025) and start studying their courses and modules from January 2026 (instead of September 2025).

DfE has taken this decision to:

  • protect the existing student finance system
  • allow for thorough systems testing
  • increase preparation time for education providers

You can read more about DfE’s announcement on GOV.UK.

DfE published the policy paper Lifelong Learning Entitlement (LLE) overview on 19 September 2023.

We’ve been involved in the early policy thinking to help initiate policy implementation work, and so we can be confident of being in a good position to deliver an operational system for academic year 2025/26.

Policy communication

We recognise the size of the business change across the sector and the importance of working with DfE, the OfS and the FE and HE sector. We understand that we need to consider all dependencies and requirements for collaborative working with these groups to make the LLE a success.

DfE continues to lead on stakeholder engagement to inform policy development and raise awareness within the sector. We’ll continue to work alongside DfE and OfS to support the communication of the LLE. We'll also continue to engage with stakeholders and partner organisations on operational design and implementation planning, to deliver this new student finance system.

Feedback and insight

Currently, we are designing the operational system. We welcome feedback and insight from the sector, through our existing channels and commissioned focus groups.

We’ve created the HE Advisory Group to support the design and development of the SLC operational system. The early focus is on what we need for course management and the links to providers’ course curriculum and specifications work.

We’ll provide updates within our other user groups and regional forums will provide updates. We'll also seek input from our HE provider and FE learning provider contacts, as we plan for more widespread communications.