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September 2021

What is the Adult Education Budget?

The Adult Education Budget (AEB) is a funding stream intended to fund provision which supports the local labour market and economic development. In particular, it focuses on ensuring that adults have the basic and core skills they need for work, including guaranteeing a number of statutory entitlements relating to literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

In the Chancellor’s Spending Review / Autumn Statement in November 2015, and in further announcements within the Budget in March 2016, it was confirmed that AEB would be devolved to the nine Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) / Combined Authority (CA) areas. For South Yorkshire the devolved AEB will play a key role in the region’s agenda from the 2020/21 academic year, linking with other activity aimed at supporting residents into productive and sustained quality employment, as part of an integrated education, work, skills and health system.

Who we are?

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) is a public authority and the Data Controller for the information that is provided to it by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to provide the Adult Education Budget funded provision.

Legislation requires the SYMCA to appoint a Data Protection Officer who is responsible for protecting individuals’ personal data according to current legislation. You can contact the SYMCA Data Protection Officer via email at

How we get your personal data

The SYMCA will be provided with the personal information that is collected by the ESFA in accordance with the terms and conditions of funding imposed on providers of learning, for example, further education colleges and private training organisations. Your personal information is processed by the ESFA, and passed to us when they process your information on behalf of the Department for Education, to enable the Department for Education to carry out its functions.

Learner information collected by the ESFA is known as the Individualised Learner Record (ILR). The specification and standards for the ILR are published for each academic year by the ESFA1. This specification provides more information about the use of your information.

Our legal basis for using your information

The SYMCA has a legal responsibility to provide AEB funded provision for the people of Sheffield City Region. Therefore, the SYMCA is using your data as it “is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller”.

In the event that special category data is used, for example gender or ethnicity, our legal basis would be that “it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest” as the SYMCA is carrying out work given to it by law.
What do we do with your information?

The SYMCA will only be able to use the data ESFA provide for specific purposes.

These are:

  • To enable SYMCA to prepare and plan implementation of its devolved adult education powers

  • Storing your information to make sure it is available when needed

  • Processing financial transactions including grants and payments

  • Maintaining accounts and records

  • Supporting and managing our employees

  • Providing adult education services

  • Administering any corporate activities, the SYMCA are required to carry out as a data controller and public authority;

  • Undertaking research and evaluation of the services provided;

  • Supporting internal financial and corporate functions; and 

  • Providing reports to governance boards regarding the adult education services.

  • When using the data for the above purposes SYMCA will be considered as a Data Controller.


What do we do to make sure your information is secure?

The information the ESFA provide will be subject to rigorous procedures to make sure it can’t be seen, accessed or shared with anyone who shouldn’t see it. These include:

  • Maintenance of up to date, data handling policies and procedures (including personal data) and made available to all staff. These set out how your information is protected and what happens if the security of the information is breached.

  • All staff training in how to handle data including personal data, in accordance with data protection law; 

  • All staff compliance with data handling policies and procedures.

  • All laptops used by staff being encrypted and needing a unique logon password and ID to access the computer systems; and 

  • Staff only have access to the information they need to do their job. This means if they are not the right person in the right team, they will not be able to see your information. 

  • The SYMCA has responsibilities to keep our computer systems secure and take steps to stop outside malicious access, also known as hacking. This requires us to comply with requirements specified by central Government.

  • How long will we keep your information?

  • The SYMCA will only keep your information for as long as is necessary and in any event for a maximum of 7 years from the end of the academic year once you have ended your learning activity, after which it will be securely destroyed.

How can I exercise my information rights?

The SYMCA must comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. Under data protection law you have rights, including: 

  • Your right of access – you have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. 

  • Your right to rectification – you have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate or incomplete. 

  • Your right to deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing. 

  • Your right to restriction of processing – you have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances. 

  • Your right to object to processing – you have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances. 

  • Your right to data portability – you have the right to ask what we transfer the information you give us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances; 

  • You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

If you have any requests in line with the above, please contact the SYMCA’s Data Protection Officer by:


Telephone: 0114 221 1353

Or in writing to:
11 Broad Street West
S1 2BQ.

How to find out more

To find out more about how the SYMCA handle your data please visit our organisational Privacy Notice.

If you feel we have not handled your information appropriately, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. For further details on this and your information rights, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website.