16-19 Bursary Fund

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation so they can remain in education.  Below is a summary of provision, full information should be accessed via the Department for Education website by clicking here.

There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:

  • a vulnerable bursary of up to £1,200 a year for young people in one of the defined vulnerable groups
  • discretionary bursaries which institutions award to meet individual needs, for example, help with the cost of transport, meals, books and equipment

Students who want to apply for support from the bursary fund should contact the Sixth Form office to make an application.

To be eligible for the bursary students must:

  • be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2017 or
  • be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2017 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2017 and continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18 (‘19+ continuers’)
  • meet the residency criteria in EFA 2017 to 2018 academic year funding regulations for post-16 provision
  • be participating in provision that is subject to inspection by a public body which assures quality (such as Ofsted), the provision must also be either
    • funded directly by EFA or by EFA via a local authority
    • otherwise publicly funded and lead to a qualification (up to and including Level 3) accredited by Ofqual or
    • pursuant to Section 96 or the Learning and Skills Act 2000 a 16 to 19 traineeship programme

To be eligible for the vulnerable bursary, students must be in one of the defined vulnerable groups:

  • in care
  • care leavers
  • in receipt of Income Support, or Universal Credit in place of Income Support, in their own right
  • in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit and Disability Living or Personal Independence Payments in their own right

For vulnerable bursaries, institutions draw down funding (by submitting a funding claim) from the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) when they have identified students who meet the vulnerable bursary criteria.

To be eligible for the discretionary bursary, students must be facing financial barriers to participation and need help to stay in education.

Institutions receive discretionary bursary funding allocations from EFA that they manage directly, deciding which students are eligible for help and how much they receive, in line with this guide and their own policies.

In the 2014 to 2015 academic year, additional funding for free meals for post-16 students attending further education funded institutions was introduced to provide parity with those young people attending school sixth-forms. In the 2016 to 2017 academic year, EFA removed the ring fence between the free meals in further education allocation and the discretionary bursaries allocation. This flexibility remains in place for the 2017 to 2018 academic year.