Guidance

16 to 19 education: financial support for students

Advice 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 advice 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.

The Student Bursary Support Service

The Student Bursary Support Service previously known as the Learner Support Service will administer three schemes.

  • Care to Learn, which provides financial support towards childcare and travel costs to young parents who want to continue or return to learning;
  • the Bursary Fund for vulnerable students, which helps the most financially disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds meet the costs of education or training; and
  • Professional and Career Development Loans, which provide adults with commercial lending from Barclays Bank or the Co-operative Bank.

From May 2015 providers and institutions will be able to submit 2015 to 2016 applications via a new online digital portal.

The new online service will:

  • be more efficient
  • speed up applications and response times
  • make it easier for childcare providers, educational institutions and students to provide the right information in good time
  • increase accuracy and eliminate unnecessary errors
  • improve access
  • enable tracking of each individual’s application.

Futher information about the Student Bursary Support Service is available on the Student Bursary Support Service webpage.

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 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 receiving Universal Credit in place of Income Support
  • 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.

Funding claims for vulnerable student payments in the 2015 to 2016 academic year will be made online via the SBSS portal.

Institutions must complete a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund vulnerable students funding claim form in order to request funding for vulnerable students for the 2014 to 2015 academic year.

Do not use the 2014 to 2015 form to make claims for the 2015 to 2016 academic year.

Discretionary awards made by institutions

Institutions are 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 in education. Institutions can determine the 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:

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 Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) previously known as Learner Support Service on behalf of the EFA. The SBSS is an administrative provider that processes applications, makes payments and provides information to institutions and young parents by a helpline.

Resources for institutions

The Care to Learn guide for the 2015 to 2016 academic year provides further information about the scheme, including the eligibility criteria and administration.

Contact details

Student Bursary Support Service provider helpline: 0300 303 8610

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 substantial qualification within their study programme is not available within daily travelling distance. Students should contact the student support officer at their chosen institution to apply.

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 2015 to 2016 has been issued to institutions.

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 2015 to 2016 provides information to institutions who administer the funding, including student eligibility, the management of allocations and management information requirements.

Residential Support Scheme

RSS is intended to help support students aged 16 to 18 with the costs of living away from home to participate in a study programme because the substantial qualification within the study programme is not available within daily travelling distance of their home. Most students applying to the scheme will be about to study for their first full level 2 or level 3 substantial 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 by the institution, the amount of award they receive will be based on their actual accommodation costs up to a maximum award level.

2015 to 2016 academic year

From the 2015 to 2016 academic year, RSS will no longer be operated on a nationally managed applications model; instead institutions with a history of students receiving RSS support will be given RSS allocations from which they can support eligible students with residential costs.

The change to the delivery model will make additional funding of around £300,000 (the cost of administering the scheme nationally) available to support eligible residential students.

The change is expected to speed up the decision making process for students. Under the nationally managed model, missing information regularly has to be obtained from students and information on the application forms has to be queried, usually by post. Applications submitted by students directly to their institution will make it easier for queries to be sorted out face to face, resulting in quicker eligibility decisions for students.

We are also changing the way local availability of provision is verified. This will change from institutions being required to check with each student’s home local authority to a check with a single point of contact in the EFA. The verification check has caused difficulties for some institutions in the past and the change will reduce work for institutions and speed up the process.

Institutions already assess whether students meet residency conditions on enrolment, assess household income (for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund) and make arrangements for students’ rental costs to be paid under the nationally managed model. RSS will build on existing knowledge and integrate into existing process. Institutions will be able to use up to 5% of their allocation for administrative costs. Most institutions have relatively few RSS supported students – over 30 of the 40 or so institutions with students accessing RSS have fewer than 5 each.

Allocations have been generated for institutions with RSS supported students in the 2014 to 2015 academic year. Allocations will be based on whichever is the highest value of RSS awards in the 2012 to 2013, 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015 academic years.

Resources for institutions

The guide provides further information about the scheme who administer RSS, including the full eligibility criteria.

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 living costs (maintenance) support, although they are eligible for support towards their fees.

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

Resources for institutions

The DaDA providers scheme guide 2015 to 2016 gives information about student eligibility, the application and assessment process schools should follow and the monitoring arrangements for the scheme.

Contact details

Students needing help and advice should contact their DaDA school.