Guidance

16 to 19 education: financial support for students

Guidance for institutions on the financial support young people may be able to access to help them participate in education and training.

16 to 19 financial support

This guidance provides information for institutions about the financial support young people may be able to access to help them participate in education and training. It covers a number of schemes, often described as ‘student support’ schemes:

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund: pays a bursary of up to £1,200 a year to support young people in one of the defined vulnerable groups (those who do not have access to parental support and those receiving certain benefits in their own right) in participating in education. It also enables institutions to make discretionary awards to those young people they assess as facing the greatest financial barriers to participation.

Care to Learn: support with the costs of childcare to ensure that young people who are parents are not prevented from participating in education because of these costs.

Residential Bursary Fund: allocations to specialist institutions to help them contribute to the costs of accommodation for students they assess as facing financial barriers to accessing their specialist provision.

Residential Support Scheme: income-assessed support with the costs of accommodation for students who need to move away from home to participate because their study programme is not available locally to their home address.

Dance and Drama Awards: scholarships offering income-assessed support for tuition fees and living costs at a small number of private dance and drama colleges in England. This award ensures that income is not a barrier to the most talented young people accessing this specialist provision.

16 to 19 Bursary Fund

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund supports the most financially disadvantaged 16- to 19-year-olds and those young people who most need help with the costs of staying in education.

You can find an overview of the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund below. Further information, including details about how to apply is available on GOV.UK.

Who can apply for a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund?

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is distributed in 2 distinct ways:

Central allocation to eligible young people

A yearly bursary of up to £1,200 is available to young people in one of the four defined vulnerable groups, which includes:

  • young people in care
  • care leavers
  • those on Income Support or Universal Credit
  • disabled young people (in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment)

Institutions are responsible for verifying that young people meet the criteria for vulnerable student bursaries.

Institutions must complete a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund vulnerable students funding claim form in order to request funding for vulnerable students.

Discretionary awards made by institutions

Educational institutions are also allocated funding from which they can make discretionary awards to young people. Discretionary awards are for any students who are facing genuine financial barriers to participating. Individual institutions determine eligibility criteria and the frequency and conditions of payments.

Information for institutions

Education Funding Agency (EFA) has published information to help institutions administer the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, which includes:

Annual requirements for institutions

Allocations

All institutions were notified of their 16 to 19 Bursary Fund discretionary allocation in March 2013.

The funding for vulnerable student bursaries is held centrally by the Learner Support Service (LSS). The LSS is an administrative provider that processes applications, makes payments and provides information to institutions and young parents by a helpline. Institutions draw down funding on demand from the LSS.

More information on this can be found in the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide for 2013 to 2014.

Management Information returns

Institutions are asked to submit an annual Information Management return in October each year, to provide information on expenditure and the numbers of students supported by the funding.

Audit requirements for 2013 to 2014

Administration and allocation of bursaries will be subject to the institution’s normal governance and audit regimes. The Bursary Fund is also subject to assurance as part of the normal assurance arrangements for 16 to 19 education and training.

Institutions should take note of audit guidance, which is available in the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide for 2013 to 2014.

Error criteria and fraud reporting threshold for 2013 to 2014 academic year

The error criteria and fraud reporting thresholds below apply to all institutions administering the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund for the 2013 to 2014 academic year.

They are an addition to the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide for 2013 to 2014 and will also be included in the 2014 to 2015 published guidance.

Error criteria

If the criteria below are not met during an external assurance visit, EFA will recover funds.

  1. All individual students applying for a bursary (both a vulnerable student bursary and a discretionary bursary) must be assessed to determine their eligibility. Funds will be recovered if you are not able to demonstrate at audit how your students meet the eligibility criteria of the Bursary Fund. Please read the Bursary Fund information on these pages carefully to ensure you are applying the Bursary Fund eligibility criteria correctly.

  2. Institutions must be able to demonstrate that bursary payments have not been claimed for duplicate students.

Good practice examples for administering the Bursary Fund are available on GOV.UK.

Fraud

Institutions must now report any suspected 16 to 19 bursary frauds over £1,200 to EFA.

EFA has reviewed the advice given to institutions on the threshold for reporting cases of significant fraud. The threshold has now been reduced from £5,000 to £1,200 to reflect the amount of funds that institutions typically pay to students.

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide for 2013 to 2014 is available on GOV.UK. A questions and answers reference document is also available on the National Archives website.

Contacts

You can contact the EFA Bursary Fund team at 1619bursaryfund.EFA@education.gsi.gov.uk.

Care to Learn

Care to Learn supports young parents who want to continue their education and need help with the cost of childcare. The scheme can pay up to £160 a week (or £175 in London boroughs) for each child.

Childcare payments are made directly to the childcare provider and any travel payments are made to the young parent’s education provider.

You can find an overview of Care to Learn below. Further information, including how to apply can be found on GOV.UK.

Information for institutions

Educational institutions and childcare providers with young parents receiving Care to Learn are required to confirm each month that the young parent is still in education and that the child is still attending the childcare provider.

Young parents must apply for Care to Learn for each academic year in which they need support. Institutions are not required to apply for the fund but should be aware of the scheme so that they can provide students who may be eligible with information.

The scheme is administered nationally by the Learner Support Service (LSS) on behalf of EFA. The LSS is an administrative provider that processes applications, makes payments and provides information to institutions and young parents by a helpline.

Order application packs

You can order a small number of application packs from Prolog by calling 0300 790 6235 and quoting the reference number EFA-C2L-2013/14.

Resources for institutions

The Care to Learn guide for the 2013 to 2014 academic year provides further information about the scheme, including the eligibility criteria and administration.

Contact details

Learner Support Service provider helpline: 0300 303 8610

Prolog: 0300 790 6235

Residential support: overview of schemes

There are 2 schemes currently offering support with accommodation costs for students:

The Residential Bursary Fund (RBF) provides financial help for students attending an institution delivering specialist provision. Funding is managed and distributed by individual institutions.

The Residential Support Scheme (RSS) provides financial help for students who need to live away from home to study because the provision they want to attend is not available more locally to their home address. Students must apply for support to the Learner Support Service (LSS), the administrative provider for the scheme.

Residential Bursary Fund

The Residential Bursary Fund (RBF) provides financial help towards the costs of accommodation for young people. They must be attending one of the designated institutions delivering specialist provision. This provision requires the young person to be resident in order to participate because it is not available locally and/or because it requires students to be available at unsociable hours on a regular basis.

RBF is intended to be used to provide a contribution towards residential costs for those young people whom the institution identifies face the most significant financial barriers to participation. It is not intended to provide support to all young people on residentially delivered provision at an institution, nor is it intended to necessarily cover the full costs for each student.

Institutions may determine their own eligibility criteria and process for considering applications for RBF support. Priority must be given to young people facing the most significant financial barriers to participation.

Annual requirements for institutions

Allocations

Details of the allocations for the RBF in 2013 to 2014 were issued to institutions in March 2013.

Management Information returns

Institutions are asked to submit an annual Management Information return each October to provide information on RBF expenditure and the number of students supported.

Organisations who would like more information about the Residential Bursary Fund should contact EFA.

Resources for institutions

The Residential Bursary Fund guide for 2014 to 2015 provides information to institutions who administer the funding, including student eligibility, the management of allocations and management information requirements.

Residential Support Scheme

The Residential Support Scheme (RSS) provides financial support with accommodation costs for students (aged between 16 and 18) who need to live away from home to study because their course is not available locally. Most students applying to the scheme will be about to study for their first full level 2 or level 3 qualification.

Students must meet the eligibility criteria (which includes an income assessment) in order to receive support from the RSS. If they are assessed as eligible, the amount of award they receive will be based on their actual accommodation costs up to a maximum award level.

The scheme is administered nationally by the LSS on behalf of EFA. The LSS is an administrative provider that processes applications, makes payments and provides information to institutions and young people by a helpline.

Resources for institutions

The Residential Support Scheme guide for 2013 to 2014 provides further information about the scheme for institutions, including the full eligibility criteria.

How to obtain an application pack

Institutions can order a small supply of application packs from Prolog by calling 0300 790 6235, and quoting the reference number EFA-RSS-2013/14.

Contact details

Learner Support provider helpline: 0300 303 8610

Prolog: 0300 790 6235

Dance and Drama Award

The Dance and Drama Award (DaDA) scheme supports talented individuals to access high-quality training at some of England’s leading private dance and drama schools. Awards are granted to those students who are assessed by the school at audition as being the most talented and likely to succeed in the industry. The amount of support an individual receives depends on their household income.

You can find an overview of the Dance and Drama Awards below. Further information, including details about how to apply is available on GOV.UK.

Eligibility

Students must be studying for a Trinity College London Level 5 or 6 Diploma at one of the schools participating in the DaDA scheme.

Students must meet the residency criteria, which are that they must:

  • be an EU citizen and have been living in the EU for 3 continuous years immediately before the start of the course
  • have ‘settled status’
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

Students from Northern Ireland and EU countries are not eligible to receive maintenance support, although they are eligible for support towards their school’s fees.

If offered an award, the amount of support for fees and maintenance will be based on an assessment of family income. The income assessment will be undertaken by the appropriate DaDA school, according to national scales.

Continuing students in the 2014 to 2015 academic year

Students who started their courses in the 2012 to 2013 academic year will continue to be supported to the end of their courses under previous DaDA scheme rules, which means they will receive non-income assessed fee support and claim income assessed support for living costs.

Resources for institutions

The DaDA providers scheme guide 2014 to 2015 gives information about student eligibility, the application and assessment process schools should follow and the monitoring arrangements for the scheme.

The DaDA providers Q&A is a reference point for schools that provides further detail on specific points of eligibility, assessment etc.

Contact details

Institutions with any queries about continuing students in the 2013 to 2014 academic year can call the Learner Support Service provider helpline on 0300 303 8610.

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