The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) puts small files (known as ‘cookies’) onto your computer to collect information about how you browse our sites.
Cookies are used to:
- measure how you use our websites so they can be updated and improved based on your needs
- remember the notifications you’ve seen so that we don’t show them to you again
SFA cookies aren’t used to identify you personally.
You’ll normally see a message on the site before we store a cookie on your computer.
Find out more about how to manage cookies.
How cookies are used by SFA
Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)
We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use SFA sites. We do this to help make sure our sites are meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements.
Google Analytics stores information about:
- the pages you visit on SFA sites
- how long you spend on each SFA page
- how you got to our sites
- what you click on while you’re visiting our sites
We don’t collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) so this information can’t be used to identify who you are.
We don’t allow Google to use or share our analytics data.
Google Analytics sets the following cookies:
|_ga||This helps us count how many people visit SFA sites by tracking if you’ve visited before||2 years|
|_gat||Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made||10 minutes|
We use Microsoft Azure Application Insights to monitor and improve the performance
|ai_session||Allow us to track a user over current session.||10 minutes|
|ai_user||Allow us to track a user over a longer period of time.||1 year|
Read more about Application Insights data retention
HotJar - user behaviour data
We use HotJar to anonymously monitor user behaviour and give us insight into how to fix user experience problems.
|_hjClosedSurveyInvites||This cookie is set once a visitor interacts with a Survey invitation modal popup. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not re-appear if it has already been shown.||1 year|
|_hjDonePolls||This cookie is set once a visitor completes a poll using the Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the same poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.||1 year|
|_hjMinimizedPolls||This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimizes when the visitor navigates through your site.||1 year|
|_hjDoneTestersWidgets||This cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.||1 year|
|_hjMinimizedTestersWidgets||This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimizes when the visitor navigates through your site.||1 year|
|_hjIncludedInSample||This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.||1 year|
Our introductory message
You may see a pop-up welcome message when you first visit an SFA site. We’ll store a cookie so that your computer knows you’ve seen it and knows not to show it again.
|seen_cookie_message||Saves a message to let us know that you’ve seen our cookie message||30 days|
Most services we link to are run by different government departments, eg HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the Home Office. These services may set additional cookies and, if so, will have their own cookies policy.
Our performance survey
We use SurveyMonkey to collect responses to the survey. If you take part, SurveyMonkey will save extra cookies to your computer to track your progress through it.