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Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

16-19 Bursary Policy

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome specific financial barriers so they can remain in education. It is there to provide eligible students with discretionary one-off payments or monthly payments to support their studies, for example to buy course books, visit to university open days or to pay for educational trips.

Schools are free to determine the assessment for eligibility for the discretionary bursary and to decide how often payments are made to students. To be eligible the student must be aged 16 to 19 on 31st August of the academic year and registered on a full-time further education course in the academic year. Students must also meet the residency criteria in ESFA funding regulations.

Oasis Academy Lister Park has funding for sixth form students who are in receipt of free school meals, these students will automatically receive a payment. As they are already known to school, they still need to complete an application form but school does not need any additional income checks. The amount of funding each school receives is allocated by the Government.

Each academic year students will be required to complete an application form (the deadline date is set each year, applications received after the deadline will be considered but will not be backdated). As payment eligibility is based on household income parents’/carers’ need to provide appropriate supporting evidence (see application form).

During the claim period if there are any changes to the household income, e.g. loss of a job, becoming a one parent family, etc., then the appropriate evidence must be brought in. Due to this, payments may vary during the course of the academic year as new students claim payments and others stop claiming. Receipts are required to show the payments are being used in relation to educational needs. The amount of the bursary payments received are as ‘a contribution towards’ costs involved. All payments are paid a month in arrears into a bank account which must be in the student’s own name.

Payments are also dependent upon a student following the Sixth Form Code (good attendance and behaviour) and acting as a role model for younger students. All payments are at the discretion of the Sixth Form team.

1.  Background

Academies receive allocations for a 16-18 Bursary fund, under arrangements set out by the Secretary of State under section 14 of the Education Act 2002. The allocation is received through GAG Funding which is devolved through the EFA. The government provides funding to close the gap in attainment between those from poorer and more affluent backgrounds and to ensure every young person participates in and benefits from a place in 16–18 education and training.

1.1 Guaranteed Full Bursary
Bursaries of £1,200 to all young people in the nominated vulnerable group (i.e. in care, care leavers, those in receipt of income support (in their own name).  Please see 3.1.

1.2 Discretionary Bursary
This bursary award is targeted towards young people facing financial barriers to participation, such as the costs of transport, books, equipment, school trips etc.  This bursary is awarded by the school, in line with the guidance in 3.2 below.

2. Communication

Full details of the 16-18 Bursary Fund will be made available to all Post 16 and prospective Post 16 students via the school website, Post 16 assemblies, tutors and notice board.

3. Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a bursary the young person must be over 16 on 1st September and under 19 on 31stAugust in the academic year in which they start their programme of study.

Young people must satisfy the residency criteria as defined in the EFA Funding guidance available on the EFA website. They must be participating in provision that is subject to inspection by a public body that assures quality (Ofsted) and is funded by the EFA or via a local authority. Funded or co-financed by the European Social Fund; or otherwise publicly funded leading to a qualification (up to level 3) that is accredited by Ofqual, the Skills Funding Agency or the Young People’s Learning Agency.

Bursaries will not be paid to young people on higher education courses, young people on waged Apprenticeships or any learning or training undertaken while a wage is being drawn or young people in prison or a young offender institution or who have been released on a temporary licence.

3.1 Vulnerable Young People
Defined vulnerable groups are: young people (16-18) who are looked after (in care); care leavers; young people in receipt of income support (or Universal Credit) in their own name; and disabled young people in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payments).  In 2014/15 funding for students in defined vulnerable groups will be held centrally.  Applications must be made direct to the academy in accordance with 4.1 so that an application can be made to draw down funding.

The academy remains responsible for identifying and evidencing young people who are eligible for a vulnerable student bursary payment.

3.2 Discretionary Bursary
A discretionary bursary may be awarded to young people who meet the following criteria:

  • Pupil premium and Free School Meal pupils

The academy hold the right to review cases on an individual basis and eligibility does not necessarily guarantee you will receive assistance from the Bursary Fund.

4. Assessment and payment of bursaries

4.1 Vulnerable Young People
Payments for vulnerable young people will be paid 3 times throughout the year – a payment of £400 once every term, totally £1,200. Students will be informed by email when they should expect to receive this.

4.2 Discretionary Bursary
Eligibility within the Post 16 cohort will be assessed within the first two weeks of term. Those students eligible for the discretionary bursary will receive an apportioned amount, enabling them to purchase any necessary equipment for participation in Post 16. The amounts allocated will be dependent on the number of student’s eligible.

Following receipt of this bursary, students will be expected to submit receipts evidencing the equipment they have purchased; non submittal of receipts or receipts for purchases which the academy feels are not relevant to the students education may hinder further claims they may make in terms 2 and 3.

In the following 2 terms, students will need to submit claim forms, with the relevant receipts, if they need help with the cost of any further purchases they have had to make in relation to their education. These claims however will be subject to the qualifying conditions as set out in 6 below and will again be apportioned depending on the amount of claims received.

Any monetary payment must be paid by BACS payment direct to the young person’s bank account and will be paid 3 times throughout the year – once every term.

5. Process for Application

In terms 2 and 3, students will need to make a claim for an award of bursary; application forms will be available from the Post 16 administrator. 

Completed applications should be passed back to the Post 16 administrator.

Guidance on deadlines can be found in 5.1 below.

Details of all successful applications will be passed to the Finance department, together with the level and conditions of the bursary awarded.

5.1 Deadlines
Deadlines for application submissions will be specified by the Finance department.

Term 1 - deadline for claim - Friday 20th October 2017

Term 2 – deadline for claim – Friday 16th February 2018

Term 3 – deadline for claim – Friday 25th May 2018

If there are any issues or problems that occur after these deadlines then students need to speak to the Head of 6th Form.

6. Qualifying Conditions

In terms 2 and 3, payments of bursary will be subject to the young person having complied with the following conditions:

  • Qualifying period – satisfy a qualifying period of study i.e. at least 6 weeks
  • Attendance – No unauthorised absence, overall attendance 94% or doctor’s certificate
  • Behaviour – No cause for concern and an attitude grade of A2 or above
  • Appearance – No cause for concern with regards to uniform i.e. no more than 3 warnings
  • Punctuality – No more than 3 late marks in 6 weeks
  • Deadlines – adhere to all deadlines for homework and coursework

The discretionary allowance may be withdrawn if these criteria are not met.

7. Successful applications

Applicants will be notified in writing (email) whether their application has been successful, together with the level of award.  If a young person feels aggrieved about how their application has been handled or if they wish to appeal the decision, they should first speak to the Head of Post 16 who will pass the query onto the relevant person.

8. Retained Contingency

The School will retain a contingency to cover the cost of bursaries awarded throughout the academic year due to changes in the financial or domestic circumstances of individual students.