Sixth Form Bursary

The Sixth Form Bursary Fund is money that the government has given to schools to give to disadvantaged students. Its purpose is to provide financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation, so they can remain in education.

The government identify two different types of bursary:

• A vulnerable bursary for young people in one of the defined vulnerable groups
• A discretionary bursary that KGGS are able to award to meet individual needs

Vulnerable bursaries

Eligible groups identified by the government include students who are:

• in care*
• care leavers**
• receiving income support or universal credit in their own right
• receiving Employment Support Allowance or Personal Independence Payments

*in care means children looked after by a local authority on a voluntary basis (section 20 of the Children Act 1989) or under a care order (section 31 of the Children Act 1989). Section 22 of the Children Act defines that term ‘looked after child’.

**care leavers means young people aged 16 and 17 who were previously looked after for a period of 13 weeks consecutively (or periods amounting to 13 weeks), which began after the age of 14 and ended after the age of 16. Or a young person who is aged 18 or above who was looked after prior to becoming 18 for a period of 13 weeks consecutively (or periods of 13 weeks), which began after the age of 14 and ended after the age of 16.

In legal terms these children are called relevant children or former relevant children.

The government state that young people in these groups are eligible of a bursary of up to £1,200 but that they would not usually expect the award to be less than £1,200. Students may be paid more than £1,200 if they need extra help to remain in education. KGGS will pay a monthly bursary, into these students’ bank accounts, to meet the costs of accessing post-16 education. In addition, if they are entitled to free school meals, this entitlement will continue. Any additional costs such as the cost of educational trips may also be claimed from the discretionary bursary.

In general, students eligible for this bursary will be identified through the work the school does with the local authority. KGGS will require proof that a student is eligible. This proof could be for example:

• a letter from DWP saying which benefit the young person is entitled to.
• for students who are in care or a care leaver, written confirmation of the young person’s current or previous looked-after status from the local authority.

Discretionary bursaries

These are awards made to individual students. They are targeted on overcoming the individual barriers to participation that a student faces. They can be for whatever amount is deemed necessary to do this.

Students must apply for an award and there are three opportunities to do so in September, January and April each year. Each student will be assessed individually and awarded a bursary based on their actual financial need. As the assessment must be documented, students applying must present evidence with their claims.

KGGS can take into account any unearned income such as shares/investments, savings and rental income when assessing whether students should receive a discretionary bursary.

Students can apply more than once if their circumstances change. If this happens they are reassessed.

KGGS have decided on three key groups who are eligible for a bursary award:

Group 1 – Students who have qualified for Free School Meals in year 7-11. For these students, prior documentation and evidence will be used to evidence eligibility and no evidence with the application is required.

Bursary allowance: Monthly payments of up to £30 per week per term will be made directly into the student’s bank account. This is to cover the costs of day to day education such as travel costs, books, equipment, stationary, university open days, clothing, examination re-sits etc. Any students who have previously had access to free school meals will also continue with this. Any additional expenses such as school trips can also be claimed and these claims will be dealt with on an individual basis dependent on the nature of the expense and the funding available.

Group 2- Students living in a household where there is a total income of less than £30,000 pa. In this case, evidence of salary will be required, (such as a P60 or 3-6 months’ worth of bank statements). Evidence of any benefits received into the household will also be required.

Bursary allowance: Monthly payments of up to £30 per week per term will be made directly into the student’s bank account. This is to cover the costs of day to day education such as travel costs, books, equipment, stationary, university open days, clothing, examination re-sits etc. Any students who have previously had access to free school meals will also continue with this. Any additional expenses such as school trips can also be claimed on an individual basis dependent on the nature of the expense and the funding available.

Group 3- Students in exceptional circumstances. Examples of exceptional circumstances may include a student’s role as a care-giver for relatives, or if a student is in a family where there are a lot of other children. In this case the threshold of £30,000 may be increased to take account of the additional financial burden on the family.

Bursary allowance: Payments to this group will be determined by individual student needs.

Students will only be eligible to make a claim through one of the three groups above.

Additional support for curriculum participation in high cost courses:

Students eligible for bursary support and embarking on courses with high associated costs e.g. Art or Design Technology may receive additional payments from the bursary to support their programme of study.

Conditions

All bursary payments may be withheld should the conditions below not be met:

• At least 85% attendance at school
• Complete compliance with the terms of the Sixth Form Contract.
• All progress effort grades achieved to be better than grade 4

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I apply for?

The bursary could help you with any education-related costs that may arise during the school year, including essentials such as books, formal dress; educational visits clothing or equipment for your course, and in some cases transport to and from school.

Can the school tell me what to spend my bursary on?

Yes. Your bursary is to help pay for things you really need to stay on at school. We can insist that your bursary is spent on items you really need to study your courses.

Can my school stop my payments if I don’t attend or if I misbehave?

Yes. We can certainly set conditions on your bursary. These are rules that you will need to stick to, such as attending classes regularly or behaving well. If you do not stick to these conditions, we can stop payments.

If I can’t attend because of illness or an authorised absence will I still receive my bursary?

If you are ill or have been allowed an authorised absence, it will normally not affect your payment, but this is at the school’s discretion. It is important to note though, that these payments are designed to ensure students are able to access education.

Once I have received a bursary payment- do I need to apply again?

If you are in group 2 you need to apply for a discretionary bursary at the start of each year of your sixth form study.

All awards are reviewed in September, January and April and regular weekly payments may be adjusted as the numbers of students claiming may change.

If you have additional items to claim for, or your circumstances or household income changes during the year you must inform the school.

If at any point during your studies, a lack of funding prevents you from completing them you should inform the school.

Generally it would be expected that your entitlement is agreed for the full academic year and payments will simply continue, however you will be informed if the amount is to be adjusted.

Will I get the same amount each year?

The fund will be used by the school to try to support students in their studies across the whole sixth form. It is a fixed amount of money and the amount you receive will be governed by the amount the school has, the number of applicants, and the needs of those students applying.

Will everyone know that I am getting a bursary?

No. We will make sure that you are not singled out in any way and that your application is handled confidentially.

Should I keep receipts?

Yes, if you are not receiving a monthly payment, or if you are receiving a monthly payment but need to claim for an additional expense. When you claim for a specific expense we will need evidence of what you have paid.

Can a bursary payment for a student be made into anyone else’s bank account?

Not normally, no. Therefore it is important that a student claiming a bursary has a bank account.

How do I know if I am eligible for a Group 3 Special Circumstances payment?

If you believe you may be eligible, please contact the Sixth Form Administrator, Support and Guidance Mentor or the Director of Sixth Form to discuss a bursary payment.

What if I have to pay a large amount for my bus pass for the full year in September?

If you have purchased a bus pass and then are found to be eligible for a bursary, the amount will be reimbursed to your account and will then be deducted from any award you receive. For example, if you are assessed as being entitled to receive a monthly payment of £20 per week during term time, but your bus pass is £500 paid in September, you will receive the £500 as soon as your claim is agreed. This amount will then be deducted from your annual payment. Based on a 38 week year: 38 weeks at £40 = £760, less bus pass £500 = £260. This would result in each week’s payment being £6.84.

Who do I see for help and advice or an application form?

See the Sixth Form Administrator, Support and Guidance Mentor or the Director of Sixth Form.

Allocation of Funds 2015-16

47 Year 12 and 13 students received a regular weekly payment from the bursary fund. An additional 3 students were assisted through a one-off payment linked to exceptional circumstances. These payments were used by the students to enable them to continue in education and payment for items such as:

  • home to school transport
  • curriculum related field trips and exchanges
  • help with transport costs to university open days and work experience
  • practical course material for Art and Design
  • revision guides, text books
  • formal wear for school
  • access fees for university taster days
  • essential stationery and school equipment such as bags and shoes
  • university application fees
  • assisting with school meal costs
  • examination fees for retakes and post-examination script returns.

The total amount of funding allocated to students this year was £26,837.87.