Sixth Form Bursary

16-19 Sixth Form Bursary: Important information for all Year 12 and 13 students and their parents/carers

The Sixth Form bursary fund is made available from the government through the Education and Skills Funding Agency to provide students whose access to, or completion of, education is inhibited by financial constraints or barriers. A bursary is money that you, or the school, can use to pay for things like: clothing, books and other equipment for your course and school transport on days you study. You can find more information here 

A copy of our current bursary guidance and application form can be found below

Bursary Application Form

Application Form 23-24


EWS 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide: 2023 to 2024 academic year 

What is a Bursary Fund?

The Sixth Form bursary provides financial support to help students overcome the specific financial barriers to participation. The bursary can be used to provide full or partial support with school related costs such as school transport, clothing for school, books and equipment, etc.

There are 2 types of bursaries, these are defined by The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as:

  • Bursaries for defined vulnerable groups

  • Discretionary bursaries which institutions award to meet individual needs, for example, help with the cost of school transport, course specific books and equipment.

In addition we can use the bursary fund in individual cases of severe hardship, to provide one off food support whilst a student attends their study programme, for a student they consider to be in real need.

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


Eligibility Criteria


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

Further information can be found in section 3.1 of


Students must meet the residency criteria in ESFA funding regulations for post-16 provision.

Other criteria

Full eligibility criteria can be found here in sections 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 of


Level 1 Bursary: Bursaries for defined vulnerable groups of up to £1,200 a year

Eligibility criteria for Level 1 bursaries

Students who meet the criteria, and who have a financial need, can apply for a bursary for vulnerable groups (Level 1 Bursary). This group is eligible for funding up to £1200 providing there is evidence of financial need and the costs are not being met elsewhere.

 The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:

  • In care

  • Care leavers

  • Receiving Income Support (IS), or Universal Credit (UC) because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner

  • Receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or UC in their own right

Further information and definitions can be found in Section 4 here:

Evidence of eligibility for Level 1 bursaries

We are obliged to obtain proof and retain evidence that students meet the criteria for the bursary for vulnerable groups in full. In other words, that they are in receipt of the specified benefits in their own name or that they fully meet the definitions for in care/care leavers.

Evidence could include:

  • For students who are in care or a care leaver, written confirmation of their current or previous looked-after status from the relevant local authority – this is the local authority that looks after them or provides their leaving care services. The evidence could be a letter or an email but must be clearly from the local authority

  • For students in receipt of UC or IS, a copy of their UC or IS award notice. This must clearly state that the claim is in the student’s name/confirm they are entitled to the benefits in their own right. The evidence must not state any conditions that prevent them from participating in further education or training. For students in receipt of UC, institutions must also see a document such as a tenancy agreement in the student’s name, a child benefit receipt, children’s birth certificates, utility bills and so on

  • For students receiving UC/ESA and DLA and PIP, a copy of their UC claim from DWP. Evidence of receipt of DLA or PIP must also be provided

  • UC claimants should be able to print off details of their award from their online account or provide a screenshot to the institution.

  • Students can also contact their UC Work Coach (or relevant Benefit Office if they are receiving getting IS or ESA) and ask them for help in providing evidence of receiving benefits.


Young people eligible for Level 1 bursaries who don’t require bursary funding

In some cases, a young person might meet the eligibility criteria for a bursary for vulnerable groups but their financial needs are already met, they have no relevant costs or do not need the maximum award. In these circumstances, we reserve the right refuse the student’s application.

Further information can be found here:


Level 2 Bursary: Discretionary bursaries to meet individual needs, for example, help with the cost of school transport, course specific books and equipment.

Eligibility criteria for Discretionary bursaries (Level 2 bursaries)

We are able to make discretionary bursary awards to students to help with the cost of school transport, to buy essential books, equipment or specialist clothing (such as protective overalls, for example). 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, distance travelled to school and the number of dependent children in the household. Students can re-apply if their circumstances change and if this happens they will be reassessed for financial support.

Evidence of eligibility

Proof of household income, in original documentary form, such as P60, Self employed income notification, receipt of benefit notification and / or free school meal notification, Universal Credit (UC) award notices when these are provided as evidence of household income. The ESFA states we ask for the 3 most recent monthly award statements. The take-home pay figure in addition to the amount of UC after all deductions will give a total monthly income. Using 3 months statements will act as a guide to the household income for a quarter of a year. We are then able estimate assumed income for a full year.

Evidence to support the amounts being claimed should also be made available such as a bus ticket price list, costings for equipment etc.


What the bursary fund cannot be used for

The bursary fund is not intended to

  • provide learning support and services such as counselling or mentoring

  • support extra-curricular activities where these are not essential to the students’ study programme,

  • support general household incomes

  • purchasing items of clothing outside of the school’s Sixth Form dress code.


Application Process

The application form is available at the end of this guidance. Please submit applications to Zoe Haynes, Sixth Form Administrator by Friday 29th September 2023, along with the required evidence.

The school will then process the application by mid-October 2023 and will advise students, in writing, of the outcome.

Applications will also be considered throughout the academic year if/when the need arises.

Applications are not automatically carried forward year on year, a new application is required each year.


Payment process

Payments are made in-kind. In-kind payments can include travel passes, vouchers or credits for meals, required books and required equipment.

The payment method is at the discretion of the school and may be amended at any time at the discretion of the school.

Where used for re-imbursement students will require their own bank account to receive the cheque or BACS payment. (Our preferred method is a BACS payment) ESFA does not expect bursary payments to be paid into another person’s account, except in exceptional circumstances where a student is unable to administer their own account. If the student cannot manage their own funds, the school will need to consider who will manage the bursary on the student’s behalf.

Students can only spend the bursary payments they have made to them on the support that has been identified as necessary to help them participate in education. This means we can specify students can only use the funds to pay for travel costs and/or a meal during the day, to buy equipment or any other support that has been agreed.


Purchase of equipment

If we purchase books or equipment such as laptops for a student, they are the property of the school and the student must return these at the end of their study programme so they can be used again by another student where appropriate. If keeping equipment on campus is the best way of ensuring this happens, we have the right to set this as a condition.



Student’s continued eligibility to receive the bursary will be reviewed termly. Students must meet the following conditions:

  • Maintain high levels of attendance to lessons (95%) with unauthorised absences not exceeding 5% and comply with the Sixth Form code of conduct.

  • Attend all lessons punctually, a minimum of 95%, including PSHE, Online sessions, Tutor Time and Assemblies.

  • Adhere to dress code expectations.

  • Maintain responsibility for your own learning with the support of your teachers. Completing all work to the required standard by the required deadline by using your time, in school and at home, effectively.

  • Act as a positive role model for younger students and behave in a manner which befits a Sixth Form student, adhering to the school behaviour policy.

  • Inform the bursary administration team of any changes to my (a) course (b) personal circumstances (c) household financial circumstances and (d) mode of transport to school. I understand that my bursary payments will be reviewed and if necessary adjusted in light of these changes in circumstances.

  • Accept that awards are discretionary and the decision will be final.

  • Accept that the bursary may be withdrawn should the above conditions not be met or if the change to my household financial circumstances raises my above the qualifying income for a bursary award.

  • Accept that receipts for all purchases awarded by the Bursary must be provided and that without these an adjustment will be made to future claims.

  • Understand that payments will be made in kind wherever possible.


Payments may be withheld if these criteria are not met. We reserve the right to stop payments where students have been absent for a period of 4 continuous weeks or more (excluding holidays) and where students have made a decision to withdraw from a study programme. We can also take money back from students if they have not spent it for the reasons it was awarded to them. 

In regards to the Level 1 bursary any student who is assessed eligible by the academy, we are required to make an application to the SBSS prior to payment and therefore these payments may be made later than the discretionary payments.


Security of Personal Information

All applications will be made through the Finance Office. All personal information and evidence submitted in support of the application will be stored securely and will remain strictly confidential.



Students have the right to appeal against a decision that the school has made, if they believe it to be unfair and can provide evidence to support this. A copy of the complaints policy is available from  



Parents / carers, together with the student, are required to sign the application form to confirm that the details given are correct and that they will notify the school of any change in circumstances. Parents and students are made aware, that in signing the application form, they understand that monies may be reclaimed and eligibility withdrawn should they knowingly provide information which is discovered to be false. Please be informed that this might result in a referral to the police with the possibility of the student and/or their family facing prosecution.


Contact details

Gavin Martin

Director of Learning- Sixth Form


Full guidance and further information can be found here