Funding and payments

Funding and payments

Last updated 7 May 2018
Last updated 7 May 2018

This page provides information about how Intensive Literacy and Numeracy Fund - English for Speakers of Other Languages (ILN ESOL) funding is set, funding allocation, funding rate, funding calculation, payment and funding recovery.


The Specialised English for Speakers of Other Languages funding mechanism is issued by the Minister responsible for tertiary education. The funding mechanism outlines the general form and essential components of the fund. It provides the mandate for us to allocate the funding and what the funding can be used for, and details how we administer the fund.

Funding is agreed through a tertiary education organisation’s (TEO’s) Investment Plan (Plan).

A TEO that receives ILN ESOL funding is required to:

Funding for ILN ESOL is set through the Government’s annual budget process. We determine the appropriate amount of ILN ESOL funding for a TEO.

Through each TEO’s Plan, we agree the mix of provision (MoP). This includes the:

  • programmes that the funding can be used for
  • allocation of funding towards each programme, and
  • volume of delivery expected from each programme.

Funding allocations

Funding for ILN ESOL is approved through the Plan process.

When allocating funding, we consider:

  • whether the TEO is eligible for ILN ESOL funding
  • the nature of the ILN ESOL programmes offered by the TEO
  • the region of delivery of the TEO
  • the TEO’s use of the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool with learners
  • the TEO’s historical delivery volumes compared to delivery commitments
  • pastoral care arrangements for students made by the TEO, and
  • the TEO’s performance, including against ILN ESOL policy settings.

Additional considerations 

When making funding decisions we also consider:

  • whether the TEO can demonstrate that it is recruiting appropriate ESOL learners in its region and can show how its programme takes into account the needs of the learners in its region
  • whether the TEO can accommodate learners whose learning may need to be delivered in a different context and deliver programmes which may be tailored to accommodate the aspirations of each learner, for example ESOL for work, ESOL for further education, ESOL for social interaction, and
  • evidence of the quality of a TEO’s ESOL programmes, including evidence of learner progression, outcomes and pathways.

We prioritise funding to TEOs located in common refugee settlement areas, including:

  • West Auckland
  • South Auckland
  • Hamilton
  • Palmerston North
  • Wellington
  • Lower Hutt
  • Porirua
  • Nelson
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin, and
  • Invercargill.

Funding rate

ILN ESOL provision is funded at a fixed rate of $18.75 per hour of face-to-face English language and literacy tuition, i.e. each hour of provision not attended by the learner is not to be reported and is not funded.

Note: Delivery to learners receiving less than 20, and more than 500, hours (if eligible) is also funded, not just delivery to learners receiving 20 to 500 hours. See Eligibility. (Programme eligibility).


ILN ESOL funding is paid in monthly instalments. The payment amounts are in equal instalments from January to June, and in equal instalments from July to December.

Recovery of funding

We are required to recover funding where the results of an audit, reporting or statistical return show a TEO has under-delivered against expected performance targets as described in their agreed Investment Plan. See Condition: Repayment of ILN ESOL Fund Funding.

Recovery of ILN ESOL funding is based on aggregate hours of actual, face-to-face delivery (actual attendance). This means the number of funded hours in the TEO’s approved allocation less the total number of hours delivered in the calendar year, multiplied by the funding rate. For example:

Hours funded - Total hours delivered = under/over-delivery or recoverable amount.

6,000 hours approved

5,897 hours delivered

Therefore 6,000 – 5,897 = 103 hours under-delivered

103 hours x $18.75 = $1,931.25

$1,931.25 to be recovered

In addition, funding is recovered for reported delivery that is ineligible for funding.

Recoveries are based on the end of year report and occur in the following year.


Principles for 2019 funding allocation

Purpose of the fund

The Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ESOL) Fund supports the intensive provision of high quality, fees-free literacy and numeracy learning opportunities for learners with low-level literacy and numeracy skills.

We will calculate your indicative allocation using prior performance data

This will include:

  • actual delivery volume (by learner hours), and
  • percentage of learners that received learning hours between 20 – 500 hours.

Your previous performance against these measures will determine your indicative allocation.

Your eligibility to receive funding is subject to criteria outlined in the relevant funding mechanism.

Please note, your indicative funding allocation is no guarantee of your final funding allocation.

Your final allocation will be based on your Investment Plan, performance and other strategic considerations

We will consider your performance information alongside strategic priorities as outlined in Plan Guidance, the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES), the Focus Area Briefs and Investment Briefs

We will also consider your use of the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool. 

Based on these considerations your allocation may stay the same or decrease. Alternatively, you may receive a nil allocation.

We will only consider an increase to funding where the TEO has requested it and they are high-performing. We will address requests for funding increases as part of our engagement process following the submission of draft Investment Plans or proposal if you are Plan exempt.

We may take into account any other measure that we determine to be appropriate when allocating funding.

We will recover for under-delivery or for funding you weren’t entitled to receive

We will recover the difference between the total dollar amount approved in your funding agreement and the total dollar amount actually delivered.

We may make other recoveries where these are required and are provided for in your funding conditions.

We may revoke or suspend your funding if you do not provide us with timely or adequate reporting information.