The Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) today began notifying schools and colleges of the allocations they will receive under the new £180 million 16-19 bursary scheme.
The scheme will help 16- to 19-year-olds continue in full-time education, where they might otherwise struggle for financial reasons. It is made up of two parts - a bursary of £1200 a year to the most vulnerable young people and a discretionary fund for schools and colleges to distribute.
Alongside the letters, the YPLA today published a guide for schools and colleges setting out arrangements for the scheme.
A report on the eight-week consultation, which helped shape the new scheme, and the Government’s response to the report are also published today.
Around 12,000 16- to 19-year-olds will be given bursaries of £1200 a year. This group is made up of children in care, care leavers, those on income support and those in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. This is more than they would have received through the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
Schools and colleges can distribute the rest of the money to support any student who faces genuine financial barriers to participation, such as costs of transport, food or equipment. They will have the freedom to decide the scale and frequency of bursary payments. We expect schools and colleges to make receipt of the bursary conditional on students meeting agreed standards, for example behaviour or attendance.
There will also be additional transitional arrangements to help those who are part-way through their studies and are currently receiving the EMA. This will be worth £194.2 million for the 2011/12 academic year. The transitional arrangements consist of two parts:
- All students who first successfully applied for EMA in 2009/10 will continue to receive payments at the same level until the end of the 2011/12 academic year.
- Young people now in their first year of post-16 study who are in receipt of the maximum weekly EMA payment of £30, will be eligible for £20 for each week they are in education or training until the end of the 2011/12 academic year.
In addition to the support that is available directly to young people through the 16-19 bursary scheme, all families of 16- to 19-year-olds who are in full-time, non-advanced, education such as A Levels or BTECs are entitled to £20.30 child benefit a week for their eldest child and £13.40 a week for each other child. Young people may also be entitled to other benefits such as Care to Learn, income support or housing benefit.