The 16-19 Bursary Fund is support made available by the Government to help those young people who may be facing financial constraints or difficulties in meeting the cost of accessing or continuing in post 16 further education.
In allocating the bursary fund, we will prioritise the most vulnerable students but will endeavour to support as many students as we can to participate in further education.
Recipients of the bursary fund are expected to use this support to help cover the costs of attending the Sixth Form. The anticipated costs include travel expenses, meals, course- related costs such as equipment and books and school trips. The applicant is the student/young person and not the parent/carer.
To be eligible to receive a bursary you must be aged 16 or over but under 19 on 31 August in the academic year in which you start your programme of study and you must satisfy Education Funding Agency residency criteria. All students applying for a bursary will need to have their own bank account.
There are three levels of Bursary payment:
LEVEL ONE- VULNERABLE STUDENT BURSARY AWARD
Students who meet the criteria, and who have a financial need, can apply for a Vulnerable Bursary. Students are awarded the amount of support they need to participate in their study programme based on an assessment of the types of costs they have, up to a maximum of £1,200 per year. Only after assessment and in exceptional cases to enable study to continue will an allocation of more than £1,200 be allowed.
In some cases a student might meet the eligibility criteria for a Vulnerable Bursary but their financial needs are already met or they have no relevant costs. In these circumstances, the application may be refused or a reduced amount awarded.
The defined vulnerable groups of students are:
- In care
- Care leavers
- Receiving Income Support (IS), or Universal Credit (UC) because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is a dependent on them and living with then such as a child or partner
- Receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) In their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC) in their own right
- For students who are in care or a care leaver, written confirmation from the local authority.
- For students in receipt of IS or UC, a copy of their award notice in their own right.
- For students receiving UC/ESA and DLA and PIP, a copy of the UC notice and evidence of the DLA and PIP in their own right.
Bursary funds awarded to a student should not form part of the UC assessment undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions(DWP). How DWP treat any funding for education depends on whether the student is undertaking advanced full-time education. It is unlikely that 16-18 year olds will be in advanced full-time education as they are generally on study programmes at level 3 or below.
LEVEL TWO – DISCRETIONARY BURSARY AWARD
Discretionary bursary awards are to help students with the cost of educational visits, university open days and to buy essential books and equipment. The bursary is not intended to provide counselling or mentoring or to support extra curricular activities which are not essential to the students study programme.
Students in the categories below are able to make an application for a level two award:
- Students in receipt of Free School Meals
- Students whose parents/carers are in receipt of means tested benefits
- Households with an annual combined income of less than £25, 000
- Students with a specific financial need who do not fall into one of the other categories. Support received may be ‘in kind’ rather than an actual payment being made
Whilst all students can make an application for a bursary award under this category, priority will be given to those who have not previously received an award or are most in need of financial support.
LEVEL THREE – DISCRETIONARY TRANSPORT GRANT
This grant can be claimed in isolation or in addition to the Level Two Discretionary Bursary Award.
The discretionary transport grants are to help students with the cost of travel from home to school. Students in the categories below are able to make an application for a level three award:
- Households with an annual combined income of less than £25, 000 and home to School transport costs in excess of £12.50 per week
- Students whose parents /carers are in receipt of means tested benefits and home to school transport costs are in excess of £12.50 per week.
Where possible, a contingency fund will be kept to allow for applications arising from changes in students’ circumstances during the year.
Please provide the following evidence if you are applying for a level two or level three award:
- Tax Credit Award Notice
- Entitlement/Award letter from DWP of Job Centre Plus showing evidence of benefits received
- Family P60
- Self-employment income evidence
- Other means tested certification
- Universal Credit award notice
- Free School meal certification
If you are experiencing exceptional circumstances or are unsure whether you are eligible to submit an application, please contact the Sixth Form Office to discuss this.
As the bursary fund is a limited resource within the school, all applications will be reviewed and prioritised according to the three categories set out above. All applications must be submitted on the correct application form and returned to the Sixth Form Office. No other application will be considered.
All applications will be reviewed and considered by members of the 6th Form management team and the School Business Manager, referred to on documentation as the Bursary Panel. Any applications which cannot be agreed will be referred to the Head teacher for a final decision.
Students and their parents/carers should understand that the available fund is limited. Students will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application.
If you wish to apply for a 16-19 bursary award, you will need to do the following:
- Check that you meet the eligibility criteria outlined and complete an application form accordingly
- Attach the required evidence as indicated below and on the application form
- Submit your completed and signed form to the Sixth Form Office as soon as possible
Any student in receipt of a bursary award will be expected to maintain satisfactory attendance throughout the year, in all subjects. A minimum attendance of 90% is expected, with no unauthorised absences during the school day. In addition, all students are expected to behave appropriately at all times, within the school and when representing the school externally, and demonstrate commitment to their course. If a student receiving a bursary fund award does not adhere to these requirements, the school may discontinue any future payments.
Any student in receipt of the bursary fund who leaves the school before completing their course is required to repay any unspent bursary fund and, where applicable, return any course equipment, books etc. so these can be used by other learners in the future.
Should any student in receipt of the bursary fund experience a change in circumstances which would lead to them no longer being eligible for an award, they must disclose this to the Sixth Form Office as soon as possible.
The application form requires all applicants to agree to these conditions.
As the bursary fund is a limited resource within the school, all applications will be reviewed and prioritised according to the three categories set out above. All applications must be submitted on the application form accompanying this policy and returned to the Sixth Form Office. No other application will be considered.
You are required to have your own bank account as payments will only be made by BACS payment. Payments will not be made in cash, however payments in kind will be made where appropriate, where the school purchases the required item/equipment on your behalf. Payments will be made:
- Autumn term 40%
- Spring term 30%
- Summer term 30%
Payments of a bursary awards will be made as required, at any time of year, as these awards are more likely to be for one off costs such as course equipment, course related trips etc. These payments are likely to made 'in kind', so the school pays for these items directly rather than making an actual payment to the applicant.
Where an application is found to have been made on the basis of false information, payment of the bursary fund will be discontinued. The individual concerned may be subject to disciplinary action and referral to the police with the possibility of the student and / or family facing prosecution. The school may seek to recover any funds or goods obtained through the bursary fund.
COMPLAINTS OR APPEALS PROCEDURE
If you feel that you have not been treated in line with ESFA guidelines, please appeal in writing following the School’s Complaints procedure. A copy can be found on the school website.
IF YOU NEED ANY FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE BURSARY SCHEME, PLEASE ASK A MEMBER OF THE SIXTH FORM MANAGEMENT TEAM
Or, visit the website: www.direct.gov.uk/16-19bursary
For further information please contact the Sixth Form office.