The Bedford Sixth Form 16-19 bursary
Bedford Sixth Form offers a range of financial support through our 16 – 19 bursaries to help young people where household income is less than £37,500. Students must be aged 16 – 18 on 31 August 2023 or aged 19 and on the second year of a two-year course.
If you are aged 19+ and this is the first year of your course please visit our
Support for students aged over 19 page.
List of Eligible Programme Types 2023/24
Your course must be either:
- funded directly by ESFA or by ESFA via a local authority
- funded or co-financed by the European Social Fund
otherwise publicly funded and lead to a qualification (up to and including Level 3)
- accredited by Ofqual or is pursuant to Section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000
- a 16 to 19 traineeship programme
- The Prince’s Trust Team programmes: Non-employed students aged 16 to 19 who are participating in a Prince’s Trust Team Programme are eligible to receive the bursary in the same way as any other student participating in an eligible, publicly funded course.
Students must provide evidence of how they meet the three strands of eligibility for financial support to include age, residency and household income, as well as be studying on a programme that is subject to inspection by a public body such as Ofsted and the course must be funded directly by the ESFA or by the European Social Fund (ESF) – we can establish this fact from our college database.
Non-employed 16-19 students on The Prince’s Trust Team Programme are eligible to receive the bursary in the same way as a student on a publicly funded course. Students on a 16 to 19 traineeship programme are also eligible.
Eligibility for the 16-19 Bursary Fund requires that a student:
- be aged 16 or over at Aug 2023
- be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2023 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2023 and continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18 (‘19+ continuers’)
- meet the residency criteria in ESFA funding regulations for post-16 provision before the start of the course
- meet the low household income threshold as set by The Bedford Sixth Form
Eligibility for the Vulnerable Learner Bursary, students must provide proof of being in one of the following defined vulnerable groups:
- in care (including a young person in foster care arranged by the local authority)
- care leavers
- receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone else 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
Note: As well as the evidence of IS or UC, colleges are required to see a tenancy agreement in the student’s name, a child benefit receipt, children’s birth certificates, utility bills etc. for students who live independently. This evidence must also be provided to qualify for support where applicable to the student.
Exceptions: the following categories are not eligible for the 16-18 Bursary:
- Students aged 19 or over at 31 August 2023 unless
- Students participating through partnership arrangements
- Students on apprenticeship programmes, or any waged training
- Students on higher education programmes
- Students who meet the criteria for the Academic Excellence Bursary (AEB) at the Bedford Sixth Form and the Corby Sixth Form (discretionary bursary only)
Eligibility for the meals bursary
Eligible Students who live in a household in receipt of one of the benefits below are entitled to free college meals on days they attend study or activity that is part of their course (i.e. industry placement).
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC))
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Funds are loaded onto student ID cards daily and this can be used towards the cost of food purchased at The Bedford Sixth Form.
In individual cases of severe hardship, The Bedford Sixth Form can provide food support whilst a student attends their study programme, for a student it considers to be in real need, without undertaking the checks on household income or gathering other evidence that would normally be required.
After you’ve answered the questions in our eligibility checker, if you qualify you will then be able to start your application. You will be required to upload evidence to prove your eligibility so please have this to hand. You will also be able to save your work and come back to complete your application at a later time.
If you are aged 16-18 on 31 August 2023 and a British or European Union resident, the tuition and exam registration fees for your course are FREE. If you are aged 19 to 23 on 31 August 2023 and looking to study your first full Level 3 qualification, the tuition fee will be free. If you are aged 19 or above on 31 August 2023 and already have a Level 3 qualification or if you are aged 24 or over, you will need to pay a fee.
If you are aged 19 or over you can apply for the government’s Advanced Learner Loan, which is a low-interest, repayable loan to pay for tuition fees. The amount is paid directly to The Bedford Sixth Form on your behalf. You’ll only need to start repaying the loan after you’ve completed your course and you’re earning more than £26,275 per year. If you don’t complete your course you will be required to repay the loan amount relative to your attendance. When you stop attending, payments will stop and you’ll only be liable to repay the amount (including any interest accrued on that amount) that’s already been paid to the College.
This is a means-tested bursary of up to £600 depending on where you live to help with the costs of travelling to The Bedford Sixth Form. It is only available if you:
- do not receive subsidised travel through your local authority
- live more than three miles from the campus and
- have a household income of less than £37,500.
You could get up to £1,200 towards your course costs, meals and travel if at least one of the following applies:
- you’re in or have recently left local authority care
- you get Income Support or Universal Credit in your name
- you’re disabled and get both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in your name.
You may be eligible to receive £75 towards the costs of essential course materials (i.e. books, materials, equipment or uniform). To qualify, your household income must be less than £37,500.
If you are either on the Vulnerable Learner Bursary or your parents are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits listed below you can get a meals bursary. You will receive £5.00 per day towards the cost of a meal on the days you are timetabled to attend The Bedford Sixth Form. Funds are loaded onto student ID cards daily and this can be used towards the cost of food purchased at The Bedford Sixth Form.
Qualifying benefits are:
- Income Support Jobseekers Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Please note that funds not used are lost and do not roll over onto the next day.
Any student previously in receipt of Free School Meals can apply for a Meal Bursary
If you had Free Meals at school or College last academic year, then you can continue to receive these, although you may need to provide us with evidence from your previous provider.
Please note you are required to apply for free college meals via the bursary.
16-18 Bursary Policy 2023-2024
If you have a particular disability or mobility problem (including a temporary medical condition), you may be entitled to assistance with travel arrangements even if you live under three miles from The Bedford Sixth Form. Please check your local authority’s transport policy.
Care-to-Learn can help with childcare while you study. You must be aged under 20 at the start of your study programme.
You can find out more at www.gov.uk/care-to-learn
Bedford Sixth form operates a loan laptop scheme for students who have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study.) The laptop remains the property of The Bedford Sixth Form and must be returned when you complete your study programme.
If you are experiencing a sudden change of circumstances which places you in hardship, please speak to your Pastoral Mentor or a member of the Student Services team.