Background

This policy sets out the arrangements for how Charters School will prioritise and administer the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

The School is committed to ensuring the Fund is used to support financially disadvantaged young people taking up or continuing in their education or training post-16 and achieving their learning aim(s).

The named contact at the School for all 16-19 Bursary support/enquiries is Anna Boxall E: a.boxall@chartersschool.org.uk (Sixth Form Administrator)

Bursaries Available

There are two types of Bursary available:

  1. Guaranteed Vulnerable Bursary
    A Guaranteed Bursary is available to all young people who meet the general eligibility criteria as set out in this policy and who have been identified as being most in need, as set out in this policy.
  2. Discretionary Bursary
    A Discretionary Bursary is available to all young people who meet the general and additional eligibility criteria as set out in this policy.

Bursary Amounts

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is a limited fund determined by the EFA (Education Funding Agency). 

The Guaranteed Bursary amounts are up to £1,200.

The Discretionary Bursary amounts are up to £800 subject to availability of funds and need.

General Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a Bursary, all young people must be aged 16, 17 or 18 at 31/08/12 and meet the EFA residency requirements.

Additional Eligibility for Guaranteed Bursary

A Guaranteed Bursary of up to £1,200 is available to all young people who are identified as being in care; care leavers; young people in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit; and disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments.

Additional Eligibility for Discretionary Bursary

A Discretionary Bursary of up to £800 is available, subject to availability of funds, to all young people where

  • their gross annual household income, as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs, does not exceed £21,000 and/or;
  • where the young person, or a sibling, qualifies for Free School Meals (FSM), and/or;
  • where the young person’s parent/guardian/carer(s) are in receipt of one of the following:
  1. ­ Income Support.
  2. ­ Income Based Jobseekers Allowance.
  3. ­ Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  4. ­ Guarantee element of State Pension Credit.

Contingency Eligibility

Any young person meeting general eligibility requirements and facing financial hardship due to exceptional reason or circumstance change can apply to access the contingency funds on an individual basis by submitting an application in writing.

Those Not Eligible

Applications to the 16-19 Bursary Fund are not open to young people aged under 16 or over 19.

Evidence

All applications to access the 16-19 Bursary Fund must be supported by appropriate evidence. Copies of evidence shall be retained by the School to provide financial assurance as required. 

Acceptable supporting evidence for the Guaranteed Bursary will be either a:

  • Statement from the Local Authority confirming the young person’s current or previous looked after status;
  • Recent Entitlement or Award Statement setting out the benefit to which the young person is entitled.

Acceptable supporting evidence for the Discretionary Bursary will be either:

  • Part 1 of the latest Tax Credit Award Notice (TCAN) for the young person’s household. This document from HM Revenue & Customs details entitlement to Tax Credits and the Total Income for the current year.
  • P60 End of Year Certificate for all adults in the young person’s household who contribute to household costs. This certificate is a statement of earnings from an employer. It must be for the correct adult(s) and for the correct Tax Year. The income will be shown as Total for year.
  • Self Assessment Tax Calculation (SA302). This is the equivalent of the P60 for self employed people. It must be for the correct adult(s) and for the correct Tax Year. The income will be shown as Total for year.
  • Confirmation from the Local Authority of entitlement to Free School Meals (FSM).

Payments

Subject to meeting the condition requirements as detailed below, payments will be made in the following three instalments in:

  • October (50%)
  • January (25%)
  • April (25%)

Payments will be via BACS (Banker's Automated Clearing Services) to a Bank Account in the name of the young person. The young person must have a valid account in their name unless there are exceptional reasons which mean an appointee has been named to manage the affairs of the young person.

Qualifying Condition Requirements

Eligible young people will need to complete a qualifying learning period of 6 weeks before they are able to receive Bursary payments. However, any eligible young person can make an application ahead of the six week qualifying period and in a case of extreme hardship, consideration will also be given for payment in advance of the six week period.

All young people in receipt of a Bursary must meet weekly punctuality and attendance requirements of 90% to ensure continued support. In addition, all young people in receipt of a Bursary must behave appropriately and submit work of an appropriate level and to required deadlines. If the young person does not meet these conditions, the school reserves the right to withdraw or suspend Bursary payments.

These conditions will not be additional to those expected of any young person within the School.

Application

Applications for a Bursary must be made using the correct Application Form and should be submitted in full by October of the Autumn term. Applications made after this date will be considered as long as sufficient funds are available. However, once the Bursary Fund has been used, it will not be possible to consider further applications.

Consideration must be given to assisting any young person to make an application where they are unable to do so due to a level of learning difficulty and/or disability.

Consideration must also be given to assisting any young person in making an application where they are not able to provide supporting evidence due to difficulties with engagement or support from their parent/guardian/carer(s).

Process

All applications for a Bursary or to access the contingency fund will be assessed by a 16-19 Bursary Application Panel, consisting of:

  • School Business Manager
  • Director of Sixth Form
  • Sixth Form Administrator
  • Head of Year

The Panel will review the application, supporting evidence and any other personal circumstantial evidence and young people will be notified of the outcome within a month of receipt.

Appeals

If any young person or their parent/guardian/carer(s) are not satisfied with the outcome of their application, they should write to the Co-Headteachers outlining their reasons why. One Co-Headteacher will convene a 16-19 Bursary Appeals Panel, consisting of:

  • Mr R. Pilgrim Co- Headteacher
  • Sixth Form Link Governor

The Panel will consider and respond to appeals within two weeks of receipt. If the appeal is upheld or partly upheld it will be referred back to the 16-19 Bursary Application Panel with recommendations. If the appeal is not upheld the appealing party will be signposted to the School’s Complaint Procedure.

Confidentiality

Applications and supporting evidence will be confidential to the 16-19 Bursary Application Panel and in the event of an appeal, the 16-19 Bursary Appeals Panel. The applications and supporting evidence will remain confidential during processing, payment and storage. If it is necessary to obtain additional information to reach a decision, the young person and/or their parent/guardian/carer(s) will be told the reasons why this is necessary prior to obtaining further information.

Change of Young Person’s Financial Circumstances

Any young person in receipt of a Bursary has a duty to inform the School should their financial circumstances change, or those of their parent/guardian/carer(s) change (e.g. increase in household income that would affect the young person’s entitlement to Free School Meals). This does not automatically mean any future Bursary payments will be stopped but would result in a convening of the 16-19 Bursary Application Panel to determine whether the payments continue or be stopped and the funds redistributed.

Young Person Transferring

Where a young person in receipt of a Bursary transfers out of the School to another education/training provider in-year, the School will liaise with that provider to ensure continuity of Bursary payments to enable the young person to complete the learning aim(s).

Where a young person in receipt of a Bursary transfers into the School from another education/training provider in-year, the School will liaise with that provider to ensure continuity of Bursary payments to enable the young person to complete the learning aim(s).

Young Person Withdrawing

Where a young person in receipt of a Bursary withdraws from the School, and does not transfer to another education/training provider, Bursary payments made prior to the date of withdrawal will not be recovered but any scheduled payments to be made after the date of withdrawal will not be made.

Supporting Documents

In addition to this policy being openly shared with all young people and their parent/guardian/carer(s), the following documents will be used in the 16-19 Bursary process:

  • Application Form
  • Information for young people

Further Information

These arrangements will be reviewed annually.

Further national information on the 16-19 Bursary Fund can be found on:

The Department for Education website