Section 96 Section 96 Overview

Section 96 is a section of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. It gives the Secretary of State the power to approve qualifications for delivery to young people aged less than 19 years old.

Public funding is considered for qualifications that we have approved on section 96. For some funded institutions, such as maintained schools and academies, qualifications have to be approved on section 96 for them to be delivered to young people.

We approve each qualification in accordance with its suitability for students in the following age categories:

  • Pre - 16
  • 16 to 18
  • 18+

To determine if a qualification has gained section 96 approval you can use either the individual search function or download a full list of qualifications.

Qualifications and courses in funded institutions.

For an external qualification to be eligible for public funding, or for it to be delivered by or delivered on behalf of a maintained school or academy it must be approved on section 96.

In exceptional circumstances, under the terms of the model funding agreement, individual academies may seek the specific written approval of the Secretary of State to offer a course leading to a qualification without section 96 approval.

A funded institution can teach a course that is not on section 96 if it does not lead to a qualification. Section 96 only applies to courses that lead to a certificated qualification and does not cover courses that lead to more informal certificates, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, or provision that is not certificated.