Financial Support Through the Bursary Fund
What is the Bursary Fund?
You may be aware that the Government has set up a Bursary Fund to help young people facing financial hardship with some of the costs of their learning and enable them to continue in full time education. It is a scheme to help young people facing genuine financial barriers with some of the costs of their learning, i.e. books and equipment.
Who is eligible for the Bursary Fund?
Two types of bursary will be available to young people aged 16-19 who commence their training in the year 2023 – 2024:
1. Discretionary Bursary
Students who need financial support to help them stay in education may be able to claim a smaller discretionary amount to help with costs of transport, equipment or other course related costs. This will be available where the combined household income is less than £22,500 per year. The household income is the gross total income of the adults in the home. This would also include step-parents and partners who provide income to the household. This does not include brothers or sisters who are earning money. To apply you must meet the following criteria:-
- Applicants must be aged 16 or over but under 19 on 31st August 2023. Students aged 19 or over are only eligible to receive a discretionary bursary if they are continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18 (‘19+ continuers’) or have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Evidence of household income below £22,500 must accompany the application prior to assessment.
- Based on the information received and if financial hardship is identified, students will have a financial needs assessment carried out by a member of the Post 16 team to discuss support they might need. Once it has been agreed what support a student will receive, students will need to complete a ‘Student Request for Assistance’ form to claim for this additional support.
2. Vulnerable Bursary
The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:
- in care
- care leavers
- receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner
- receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right
Students will be eligible to receive a bursary up to £1,200 per year. A student must be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2023 to be eligible for help from the bursary fund in the 2023 to 2024 academic year. Students aged 19 or over are not eligible for bursaries for vulnerable groups. Evidence to support the application will be needed such as a letter setting out the benefit to which the young person is entitled or written confirmation of current/previous ‘Looked After’ status from the relevant Local Authority or the Leaving Care Review document. Students eligible for a Vulnerable Bursary will have a financial needs assessment carried out by a member of the Post 16 team to discuss support they might need.
Financial assistance may be awarded on an identified needs basis and at your school’s discretion to cover costs such as books/equipment, transport, meals, exam re-sits and other miscellaneous items associated with being in learning. The fund is administered by the school and the funding arrangements have been agreed locally across schools within the Olympus Academy Trust following guidelines set out by the
Education Funding Agency (EFA). The fund is not expected to contribute to students’ maintenance expenditure beyond the specific costs involved in attending school and should be seen by students as a means to support their education. All payments are made directly to students.
Bursary payments will be made in-kind rather than cash where possible. This helps to ensure that the bursary is spent for the reasons it is awarded. In-kind payments can include travel passes, vouchers or credits for meals, required books and required equipment. Schools’ Bursary Funds are limited and so it is possible that not all requests will be approved.
How do I apply?
A Bursary Application form can be collected from the school Post 16 office or downloaded here. Parents/Carers should complete the application form, indicating which category of fund they wish to apply for.
Receipt of all bursary payments will be conditional upon students meeting agreed standards set by the school relating to attendance, coursework/homework, completion of assignments and standards of behaviour. Every student will need to sign a copy of the Student Agreement in order to acknowledge receipt and confirm acceptance of its conditions. It is a student’s responsibility to check, every week, if there are any issues relating to their attendance. Failure to do so will delay payment and in some cases payment will be withheld.
Institutions are required to take reasonable steps in order to ensure that all claims are valid. In order to do
this we need to see some evidence of student/family income. The easiest way to do this is to let us have a copy of your latest Tax Credit Award Notice that correctly states your total household income for the tax year. This is sent to you if you receive Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit.
Any financial information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be securely stored. Any financial information provided will be destroyed in accordance with local standards of best practice
Any Year 12 or 13 student (aged under 19) who received Bursary funding in the last academic year will need to reapply.
You will be informed in writing of result of your application by the Bursary administration team.
Where can I get further details?
If students or parents/carers want to discuss any aspect of the application procedure please contact Heads of Post 16 directly:
Abbeywood Community School – Gemma Shafto – Gemma.firstname.lastname@example.org
Bradley Stoke Community School – Sadie McCombe – Sadie.email@example.com
Winterbourne Academy – Charlie Peake – Charlie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Complaints and Appeals
Should you not agree with the decision of the Bursary administration team, you can within 28 days submit in writing a request for an appeal.
An internal appeals team made up of members of the Senior Leadership Team, who are not directly associated with the day to day running of the sixth form will review the original application and any additional evidence brought forward. You will be informed in writing of result of your appeal.
Should you not agree with the decision of the Bursary appeal you can, within 28 days, submit in writing a request for a final appeal, in which a review will take place by a panel selected from members of the governing body and Olympus Academy Trust trustees.