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Financial Support for students aged 16-19

The government give schools additional money to support students aged 16 to 19 who need help with their education-related costs, such as meals, books, equipment, and travel costs to school.

What do we offer?

There are three types of financial support we can offer to eligible students:

  • Free school meals
  • Vulnerable bursaries
  • Discretionary Bursaries

Free School Meals

You will qualify for free school meals if your household is in receipt of one or more types of benefits.
To find out more and apply please visit: Cheshire West & Chester website

What are Bursaries?

A bursary is money that the school will allocate to you to help with your education-related costs such as books, equipment, essential trips, and travel costs. Wherever possible, the school will purchase the items on your behalf. If this is not possible, you will be asked to provide receipts and the school will reimburse you by BACS payment into your bank account.

There are two categories of 16-19 bursary available:

Vulnerable Bursary 

Students who are in the following groups may be entitled to a bursary of up to £1,200 depending on their circumstances and benefits:

  • Students in Local Authority care or who have recently left Local Authority care
  • Students claiming Income Support or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves and/or someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner
  • Students who receive Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right

Discretionary Bursary 

The school can also award discretionary bursaries to other students who are facing genuine financial difficulties. We will base all decisions on each individual’s circumstances, the costs they need help with, and the funding available. The criteria we will consider includes the following:

  • Students living in a low-income household (where total income including benefits is less than £26,000)
  • Students who are from a single-parent family or have one or more dependent siblings in their family
  • Students who have additional responsibilities, such as being a young carer or parent
  • Students who travel further than 3 miles to Queen's Park High School
  • The level of educational costs the student needs help with e.g. the cost of equipment/clothing required by their course(s)

Applications from households with a net income exceeding £26,000 are not normally considered. However, if any student is facing financial hardship due to exceptional circumstances that will impact their ability to participate in education, they should submit an application together with a supporting statement, evidence of household income, and any evidence of the serious financial difficulties being experienced.

Further information

If you think you may be eligible to apply for a bursary, please read the 16-19 Bursary Fund Statement which can be downloaded below. This gives full details about the eligibility criteria and the evidence needed to support your application.

How to Apply

To apply for a 16-19 bursary you will need to complete the online application form and submit the supporting evidence to the finance team.

Please see the ‘Supporting Evidence’ section of the 16-19 Bursary Statement for details of what is required. All applications and supporting evidence should be submitted by Friday 22nd September 2023. This will enable us to assess the overall demand and distribute discretionary awards correctly and fairly. However, we do understand that needs may arise throughout the academic year, and we will still consider applications after this date where appropriate.

To access the online 16-19 Bursary application form, please click the link below:

Please note that all applications will be dealt with in confidence.

Students who received a bursary in Year 12

Normally a new bursary application must be made each academic year, however, for the academic year 2023-24, the government has stated that students who received a bursary in Year 12 whose circumstances have not changed, can complete a declaration rather than a new application.

Please click below to complete the declaration:

If a student’s circumstances have changed since they submitted their application in Year 12, then they will need to submit a new application form and supporting evidence.

If you have any questions, please email the Finance Team at

Students living in Wales

The 16-19 Bursary Fund applies to students who are resident in England only. Students who live in Wales can apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

Please go to

Please note that an application for bursary funding does not mean automatic entitlement and all assistance is subject to the availability of funds.