16-19 Bursary Fund
Our 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students in the Sixth Form at Maidstone Grammar School overcome specific financial barriers to participation so that they can remain in education. This is a fund which has been allocated directly by the Government for individual Schools to administer and the following details explain how this Fund will be used.
The school aims to follow the guidance set by the Government https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-bursary-fund-guide-2021-to-2022-academic-year:
In order to be eligible for help from the Bursary Fund in the 2021 to 2022 academic year, a student must be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2021 and have the legal right to be resident in the United Kingdom at the start of their study programme.
Students aged 19 or over are only eligible to receive a discretionary bursary if they are continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18 (19+ continuers) or have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
These 2 groups of aged 19+ students can receive a discretionary bursary while they continue to attend education (in the case of a 19+ continuer, this must be the same programme they started before they turned 19), as long as their eligibility continues and their institution considers they need the support to continue their participation.
Students aged 19 or over are not eligible for bursaries for vulnerable groups.
There are 3 Categories for the 16-19 Bursary provided to Sixth Form students at Maidstone Grammar School:
Category 1: Bursaries for Defined Vulnerable Groups
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 in education. However, students in this vulnerable group are not automatically entitled to a bursary if they do not have financial needs and/or their financial needs are covered from other sources.
The Government has identified that the students most in need will fit into the groups identified below and these students may be eligible, if in proven financial need, for a bursary of up to £1,200 per year:
- Students in care or care leavers;
- Students receiving Income Support or Universal Credit (UC) because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them is living with them such as a child or partner;
- Students receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC) in their own right.
Parents/students will need to prove entitlement. This will be in the form of appropriate supporting documentation from the relevant Government Departments such as:
- Students who are in care or care leavers: written confirmation of their current or previous looked-after status from the relevant local authority - this is the local authority that looks after the student or provides their leaving care services. The evidence could be a letter or an email but must be clearly from the local authority;
- Students in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit: a copy of their Income Support or last three Universal Credit monthly award notices. 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 Universal Credit, the school must also see a tenancy agreement in the student’s name, a child benefit receipt, children’s birth certificates, utility bills, etc.;
- Students receiving UC/ESA and Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payments: a copy of the UC claim from the Department of Work and Pensions (UC claimants should be able to print off details of their award from their online account). Evidence of receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment must also be provided.
Students must also satisfy the residency criteria found in the Education and Skills Funding Agency Guidance:
The school may apply to the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) for funding for bursaries for vulnerable groups whenever they identify and verify new students who meet the criteria. The SBSS will undertake checks for applications in this Category.
Those students who do not meet the criteria for Category 1 above may fit the criteria for Category 2 or 3 which may entitle them to a small Bursary to help students with the cost of travel, to buy essential books, equipment or specialist clothing (such as protective overalls, for example). These are items the student would otherwise need to pay for in order to participate. The amount awarded for Category 2 or 3 will be dependent on the number of applications for assistance and the total Bursary fund provided by the Government to the School.
To be able to make application for this funding, students will have to prove that they meet some or all of the following criteria in the form of appropriate supporting documentation:
- evidence of household income, such as P60’s, self-employment accounts, wage slips, a letter from DWP, copies of previous 3 months’ online statements for Universal Credit;
- a note of the student’s individual assessment of actual financial need (required in all cases);
- receipts for purchases made, for example, bus pass, lunch receipts or book receipts;
- confirmation of UK residency conditions (required in all cases);
- eligibility for free school meals in year 11.
That the total family income is less than £23,800 for the last financial tax year.
If the family is experiencing unexpected financial difficulties which could have an impact on the student, you might be eligible for some limited financial assistance. This can be for help with, for example, transport costs, educational trips essential to the student’s study programme, meals, books and equipment.
The Application Process
Application forms can be found on the school website (https://www.mgs.kent.sch.uk/). A hard copy of the application form may also be obtained from the School Finance office.
The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 9th September 2021. However, should your circumstances change later during the academic year, please contact the School Bursar who will be able to determine whether funds could be released for you (the application form would still need to be completed for this process even though the deadline date would have passed).
Decision Making Process
The applications will be individually assessed by a Panel from the school and bursaries awarded on the greatest need. Applicants will be informed in writing of the Panel’s decision by the end of September.
Payment and Conditions of Bursary
Payments will be made as close as possible to the beginning of the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms once the applications have been processed and behaviour/attendance/punctuality have been assessed.
As part of the application process the student will be expected to sign an Attendance, Punctuality and Behaviour Agreement with the School; no bursary will be paid without this form being returned to the school.
The school reserves the right to refuse to award a bursary. The school also reserves the right to make a reduction in any allocation made; for example, if a student in receipt of a bursary is late more than twice in one week without good reason, it may stop an instalment of the bursary.
Please note that a separate application and eligibility criteria evidence will need to be provided for every academic year in which financial support is needed.
At the time of writing this, restrictions are still in place due to the Coronavirus outbreak. You should note that if students are no longer taking part in lessons nor attending school, the Bursary will not be paid as the sole aim of this Bursary Fund is to provide financial support to help students in the Sixth Form at Maidstone Grammar School overcome specific financial barriers to participation so that they can remain in education at the school.
You have the right to appeal and/or complain to the Chair of Governors if you feel that your case has not been given fair consideration. This must be in writing. The final decision rests with the Chair of Governors.
Applications must be made in writing for the attention of the Bursar, Mrs M H Cook, but can be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. These will be treated in the strictest confidence.
IF YOU ARE AWARDED A BURSARY AND YOUR FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE DURING THE YEAR YOU MUST NOTIFY THE MGS BURSARY FINANCE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.