The Student Loans Company (SLC) publish statistics annually on student support payments by academic year: https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx. Early statistics for the academic year 2018/19 show that as at 31 October 2018, 1,500 English domiciled students had been paid a part-time maintenance loan. Information on the total number of part-time students in the academic year 2018/19 is not yet available.
As stated in the government response to the recent consultation on part-time maintenance loans, we would like to extend these new loans to distance learning courses, but we must maintain confidence in the student finance system and ensure that adequate controls are in place to prevent the misuse of public funds.
In light of this, ministers would only extend these loans to distance learners if robust controls are put in place to manage the risks associated with that mode of study. The department is currently considering those controls, and a final decision regarding whether it is feasible to extend maintenance loans to distance learners will be made once this scrutiny is completed.