16-19 Bursary Fund


The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation so they can remain in education.

There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:

- Bursaries for defined vulnerable groups
- Discretionary bursaries which institutions award using policies they set, in line with national funding rules.

Both types of bursary funding are designed to help students overcome the individual financial barriers to participation that they face, and institutions must ensure the funds go to those who genuinely need them.

Students who meet the criteria, and who have a financial need, can apply for a bursary for vulnerable groups. The defined groups reflect that these students are unlikely to be receiving financial assistance from parents or carers, so may need a greater level of support to enable them to continue to participate.

​The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:

· In care

· Care leavers

· Receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit 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 or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right.

Institutions do not receive an allocation of funds for bursaries for vulnerable groups. They draw down the funds by submitting a funding claim form through the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) portal.

Institutions must verify that young people meet the criteria for the bursary for vulnerable groups and assess how much bursary they need before submitting a funding claim.

Institutions may decide that although a young person may be eligible for a bursary because they are in one or more of the defined vulnerable groups, they do not have any actual financial need. This might be because their financial needs are already met and/or because they have no relevant costs. Institutions can refuse a student’s application on this basis. Similarly, students should only receive the amount they actually need to participate and institutions should not automatically award students £1,200 if they do not need the full amount.

Funding claims for bursaries for vulnerable groups in the 2020 to 2021 academic year are available online from 1 September 2020 via the SBSS portal.

The school contact regarding this matter is Helen Duffy.