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16-19 Bursary Fund

Department for Education written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Conservative, Harlow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when considering a payment through the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, whether the personal circumstances of a student undergoing financial hardship should be taken into account by a sixth form college.

Photo of David Laws David Laws The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, The Minister for Schools

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund supports the most financially disadvantaged 16- to 19-year-olds and those young people who most need help with the costs of staying in education. Schools, colleges and providers are allocated funding from which they can make discretionary awards to young people who are facing genuine financial barriers to participating in education.

In the annually updated guide published by the Education Funding Agency, institutions are advised that they should assess each student’s individual circumstances when deciding whether to award a discretionary bursary. The Government believes that institutions are best placed to decide which students face financial barriers to effective participation in education and institutions are free to determine the eligibility criteria they apply for discretionary bursary awards as well as the frequency and conditions of payments.

If a student in financial difficulties believes that their personal circumstances have not been taken into account and as a result they are facing hardship, I would urge them to ask their institution to look again at their claim.

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