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Bursary Information

Please see the below document regarding Bursary Information for academic year 2023/24

Important - Transport information

If you are looking for a bus pass to be funded by the bursary process, please apply to the relevant transport authority (usually LCC), before their deadline in July. Applications for transport can take up to six weeks. GCSE results and the bursary deadline falls after the transport application date.

It is the responsibility of the parent to apply for the bus pass. Schools are not able to apply for bus passes on students' behalf, due to data protection.

All successful bursary applications can have their bus pass refunded or funded once approved, ready for the start of term.

All receipts for expenditure must be retained by the student and submitted to School, at the end of every month.

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome the specific financial barriers to participation they face so they can remain in education.

There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:

  • bursaries for defined vulnerable groups

  • discretionary bursaries which we can award using our own policies

As per the ESFA, institutions can use their bursary fund in individual cases of severe hardship, to provide  food  support whilst a student attends their study programme

Household Income checking

  • We must ensure that students are eligible for the discretionary bursary in each year they require support. For 2024/25, the bursary fund rule is consistent with that for free meals in further education.
  • Current eligibility for free meals only requires a single check of household income for each phase of education (Primary, Secondary or 16 to 19).
  • In making decisions about bursary awards, we can now exercise discretion as to whether we carry out checks annually or just once at the beginning of a student’s study programme. We carry out annual checks for bursary fund eligibility, so we must ensure a signed and dated (hard copy or electronic) self-declaration form is obtained from the student to confirm that their household circumstances have not changed.

Assess actual financial needs

We must ensure we assess the actual financial needs of individual students in addition to eligibility when awarding bursary funding

No student should automatically be awarded a set amount of funding without an assessment of the level of actual financial need they have.

Essential costs

The bursary fund is intended to help students with the essential costs of participating in their study programme, so to help with the cost of essential books or equipment or with the cost of travelling to school, for example.

The bursary fund is not intended to support costs not related to education (living costs), extra-curricular activities or provide learning support – services that institutions give to students – such as counselling, mentoring or extra tutoring.

Eligibility criteria: all bursaries

Students must meet the age and residency criteria which follow to be eligible for help from the bursary fund.


A student must be aged 16 or over but under 19 on 31 August 2023 to be eligible for help from the bursary fund in the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

Eligibility criteria: discretionary bursaries

We can make discretionary bursary awards to help students with the cost of travel, to buy essential books, equipment, or specialist clothing (such as protective overalls, for example). These are items the student would otherwise need to pay for to participate.

The bursary fund is not intended to provide learning support – services that institutions give to students, for example, counselling or mentoring – to support extra-curricular activities where these are not essential to the students’ study programme or provide living costs support.

We can set their own eligibility criteria for the discretionary bursary but must comply with the eligibility conditions and funding rules set out in this guide.

We must base all decisions about which students receive a discretionary bursary and how much bursary they receive on each student’s individual circumstances and their actual financial need. These will vary from student to student, depending on, for example, eligibility based on household income, and their actual financial needs such as the distance they need to travel to the institution and the requirements of their study programme. We must not make blanket or flat rate/fixed rate payments, without considering the actual needs of each student:

  • to all students
  • to students in particular income bands
  • to students whose families are in receipt of particular benefits

We are able to retain a small emergency fund from our allocation, to support students who face exceptional circumstances during the year due to a change in their situation – if it impacts on their ability to participate in education. Evidence of the student’s eligibility, the individual assessment and the student’s actual participation costs will be held for audit purposes as for any other bursary fund application/award and all bursary expenditure must be in line with the funding rules in the ESFA guide.

Using household income and establishing individual student need

We need to ensure funding reaches those students who are most in need of financial support. This means we must use household income in some way to help establish which students are eligible before confirming the amount of support a student may need. We can decide to use household income in conjunction with other factors, such as distance to travel from the institution and the number of dependent children in the household, as well as the actual participation needs the student has.

Supporting industry placements

A few students may find themselves facing financial difficulties due to incurring extra participation costs, for example, because they need to pay for additional travel to their placement. These students may only need support for a short period of time.

The bursary form is in the process of being updated. Please complete the 23/24 form below and attach relevant evidence of low income. Once applications are approved, receipts for expenditure will need to be submitted to Finance for each claim. Please address applications c/o Finance Department, or alternatively email all application documents to