16-19 Bursary Fund
I am writing to clarify the position with regard to financial support for Post 16 learners whose families are experiencing financial hardship.
For the 2011-12 academic year EMA will only be payable to Year 13 pupils who in the 2010-11 academic year received the maximum amount (i.e. £30 per week). Those students will receive £20 a week in 2011-12 subject to satisfactory behaviour and attendance. Claims and payments will continue to be made as previously.
A 16-19 Bursary Fund is available from September 2011 to help students continue with and complete their course where they would otherwise be prohibited from doing so on financial grounds.
There are two levels of awards. Young learners who are looked after, in receipt of income support (not their parents) or in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance make up the priority group and are eligible to receive a bursary of £1,200 a year.
Awards are also available for other young people facing financial barriers to participation in sixth form studies. Priority will be given to those students from families with the lowest household income and/or the highest demonstrated need. Governors recently agreed that entitlement to free school meals will be used as the measure to determine what qualifies as a low income.
Please be aware that the funding available to school is limited therefore it will not be possible to support every application. All awards will be subject to satisfactory behaviour and attendance.
If you feel that your child may qualify for an award because you/they satisfy one of the criteria outlined in this letter, details of the school’s 16-19 Bursary Fund Policy including a financial assessment form and an application form can be found on our website (tgsonline.co.uk).
If you require further information please contact myself or Mrs Wilkinson (Sixth Form Administrator) at your convenience.
Mr J A McGinnis CIPFA
Business and Facilities Manager
16-19 Bursary Fund Policy
The 16-19 Bursary Fund exists to help students continue with and complete their course where they would otherwise be prohibited from doing so on financial grounds. This funding replaces both the Education Maintenance Allowance and the Discretionary Learner Support Funding for September 2011 onward.
The Bursary is intended to help with the hardship needs of individual students. Its intent is to “enable” a learner to continue with his or her education and should not be viewed as an incentive to attract young people into learning. Generally, awards from the Bursary will be used towards essential course related costs such as books, equipment, travel, field trips, visits and other costs associated with living and learning. Thornton Grammar School will seek to ensure that the funds available are:
Distributed fairly through a process which is transparent and easily understood. Information about the process for application and consideration is available from the Sixth Form Administrator in the Sixth Form Office.
- Assessed and allocated to each individual’s need, taking into account the financial circumstances of the applicant and the intended use of the award.
- Used to widen access to, and participation in, sixth form education.
16-19 Bursary Funding and the guidance concerning the administrative arrangements, priority groups for support and monitoring arrangements is issued by the Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA). This gives a broad overview of the Fund and instructs schools on the appropriate use of the funding.
Please note: there is a limited amount of funding which means that it will not be possible to support every application and priority will be given to those students from the families with the lowest household income and/or highest demonstrated need.
The 16-19 Bursary Fund has two elements:
1. Priority Groups
The following students will be eligible to receive a bursary of £1,200 per year, if agreed standards of behaviour and attendance are met:
young people who are looked after children in the care of the Local Authority or foster parents. care leavers.
those young people who receive Income Support.
- disabled young people in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.
Expected standards of attendance and behaviour are as outlined in the Sixth Form Student Handbook. Other than in exceptional circumstances to continue to receive the awards students must attain 90% attendance or above.
2. Bursaries for other Young People
These awards will be targeted towards young people facing financial barriers to participation in sixth form studies. Priority will be given to those young people from the families with the lowest household income. The governors of Thornton Grammar school have determined that a pupil’s entitlement to free school meals will be used as the measure to decide what qualifies as a low income. Agreed standards of behaviour and attendance should be met.
Students from the Priority Group may also apply for additional assistance from the Bursary Fund. However, receipt of Priority Group funding will be taken into consideration in assessing any further awards.
Step 1: Completed financial assessment forms should be returned to the Sixth Form office for confirmation of eligibility. If you or your sibling(s) are in receipt of free school meals you do not need to provide further financial information in the financial assessment section.
Once confirmation of financial eligibility is received,
Step 2: application forms for the Bursary Fund should be completed and returned to the Sixth Form office. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Step 3: Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications in writing.
Students in the priority groups will receive direct payments.
- Successful applicants will either have the books, equipment or other costs provided by the school or direct payment will be made to the applicant. Unsuccessful applicants will have the right of appeal.
Thornton Grammar School’s Bursary Board will consist of the Business and Facilities Manager, the Director of Sixth Form studies and one governor representative.
Except in emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances, students will normally have to apply up to three times a year to the Fund. To receive an award, applicants must have submitted a completed form accompanied by an evidence of benefits required by the last day of each half term.
Bursary awards are made for specified course related costs and/or other costs viewed as presenting a barrier to the individual learner’s participation in education. The amount of each award will be assessed and disbursed on an individual, case by case basis as detailed in the individual’s application form.
The School may offer bursaries in the form of non-cash “in kind” payments where appropriate, such as travel vouchers or meal vouchers, attendance on course related school trips etc. Any equipment purchased by the school for use by an individual learner remains the property of the school and must be returned upon completion of or withdrawal from the course.
The school may also offer an award in the form of a short-term interest free loan to help a learner bridge a temporary financial hardship where this is deemed appropriate and agreed by the learner. In this case, the school will draw up an agreement with the learner clearly stating the use of and the conditions surrounding the reimbursement arrangements which the learner should sign indicating that they understand the conditions of the loan. The student should be able to provide evidence that the award has been used as intended.
Awards will be made to a maximum of £350 per term except in the most exceptional of cases.
In all relevant cases original receipts must be provided prior to receipt of payment.
Secure records will be kept of all awards, receipts and payments for audit purposes for a period of six years in accordance with statutory financial regulations.
In line with the “something for something” ethos, receipt of bursary payments are conditional upon a student meeting attendance and behaviour standards which are agreed in advance and set out above.
Attendance and behaviour requirements can be found in the Sixth Form Handbook. Where the learner does not meet the agreed attendance or behaviour standards, which will be monitored on a weekly basis, the school will make every effort to advise the learner and help resolve any issues but retains the right to rescind or suspend bursary payment(s).
Should learners disagree with the outcome of either their application for a bursary award or, where a payment has been withheld due to attendance/behaviour, they must follow the procedure outlined below.
Stage 1: Appeals made to the Director of Sixth Form Studies. This will simply be to clarify the award/refusal of award or eradicate errors of fact.
- Stage 2: Written appeal to the Headteacher.
Stage 3: Written appeal to a panel consisting of three governors at which both the applicant and the school have the right to be represented.
Your letter of appeal should include your name and form and the reasons for your appeal. Any additional information you wish to provide that you feel is relevant to your application can be attached.
Appeals must be made in writing within 10 working days after notification.
Written confirmation of the outcome of the appeal will be sent out within 10 working days of the appeal being considered.
Review of Policy
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis, taking into account the views of the school, young people and their parents and guidance from the Department for Education and the Young People’s Learning Agency.