The Government is continuing to provide the discretionary Student Financial Support funding (formally known as the Bursary Fund) to help 16 to 19 year-olds continue in full-time education, where they might otherwise struggle for financial reasons. Student Financial Support is intended to help with costs incurred through attendance in education, and may be awarded for the purchase of books, meals, transport, UCAS fees or other expenses incurred, at the discretion of the school.
Are you eligible for Student Financial Support?
In order to qualify for Student Financial Support payments, students need to be resident in England and aged between 16 and 19. If students do not meet these conditions they may be able to apply for Discretionary Learner Support, or Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for students who are resident in Wales (see www.gov.uk).
In order to best ensure fairness and consistency both with other Sixth Form schools within The Learning Trust (TLT) we have decided to apply common eligibility criteria for discretionary awards, these have been mutually agreed and are consistent with past years, consisting of four priority Bands as follows:
You can receive a bursary up to £1200 a year if the following apply:
If you are in care or a care leaver
You receive Income Support or Universal Credit (in your own name)
You receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) (in your own name as well as either Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit in place of ESA)
You receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) (in your own name)
A discretionary payment of up to £600 per year for those students who are in receipt of Free School Meals. For further information on eligibility for Free School Meals please click here
A discretionary payment of up to £300 for students not entitled to Free School Meals but whose household is in receipt of Tax Credits or Universal Credit.
A discretionary payment of up to £200 per year for students from families who require financial support for transport to school and who qualified for transport assistance in year 11 or would qualify under the current local government criteria for those aged up to 16:
The distance to school from home is three or more miles
The student cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school because of motility problems or health and safety issues related to their Special Educational needs or disability
The nature of the route to school is such that the student cannot be expected to walk it
All Student Financial Support award payments will be subject to the student’s satisfactory attendance, behaviour and attainment. 100% attendance will be expected unless acceptable reason(s) are provided for it falling lower. Students whose attendance falls below 95% will not be eligible for the Student Financial Support payment for that week and any subsequent weeks. Student Financial Support payments will be weighted 50% on attendance and 50% on behaviour/attainment (this will be judged based on SSA grades awarded in lessons where a minimum grade 2 will be considered acceptable). Students will be notified of any deductions and the reason(s) behind them and have the right to appeal against them through the usual appeal channels if they feel they have been unfairly treated.
The allocation of funds and decision on how much will be allocated within each band will be decided once all applications have been processed to ensure fairness and equality. Payments in Band 1 only are set and other bands are set as guidance with payments “up to” the maximum amount depending on the number of successful applications as the budget for payment is allocated to the school in advance and is not based on the number of applicants.
Payments will be made in ten monthly instalments (ie for September to June) in arrears by the school and will also be made subject to available funds following the payments to those recipients who qualify for the £1,200 Student Financial Support.
Please note that Year 13 Student Financial Support Fund payments are only payable until the date of the student’s final external examination.
If you believe you qualify for Student Financial Support please complete the Student Financial Support Application Form below and return to the TALS Office no later than 14th September 2020.
The school will endeavour to assess all applications received at the earliest opportunity. Verifying the eligibility of all applicants is an integral feature of the assessment process.
Band 1 Applicants
Will need to obtain original documentation setting out the benefits they receive or written confirmation of their current or previous looked-after status from the Local Authority that looks after them or provides their leaving care needs.
Band 2 Applicants
Verification can be achieved without student involvement as the Local Authority provides the school with confirmation of all students granted Free School Meals.
Band 3 & 4 Applicants
The assessment process is likely to take slightly longer as proof of eligibility will be required. The type of evidence required in order to verify household income and receipt of Tax Credits will include Tax Credit Award Notices, P60s / evidence of self-employed income. Please send copies of this evidence with your application.
Deliberate understatements of income may result in payments being stopped, reclaimed and if necessary reported to the Police as an incidence of fraud.
Band 4 Applicants should also provide details of the method of transport used to get to school and may be required to produce receipts for bus/train travel.
Given the limited nature of Student Financial Support funding provided to the School by the Government, the level of support for Band 3 and 4 can only be finalised and confirmed once the initial Band 1 and 2 award commitments are known.
We will endeavour to support students who are eligible for Student Financial Support with attendance on the school’s transition residential and a visit to the UCAS conference. Details will be included in any letters sent regarding these trips. If you have any queries regarding this process, please contact the finance team or Mrs Prydden.
An application for the 16-19 Student Financial Support 2020-21 can be downloaded below:
Please note that it is essential that any student who is eligible for Student Financial Support to have their own bank account so that payments can be made. It is not within the government’s guidelines to make payments into the bank account of any other person (including parents/carers).