What is the 16 to 19 School Bursary Fund?
The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial help to young people aged 16 to 19 who face financial barriers to participating in education or training, provided they meet agreed standards of attendance, behaviour and progress.
In North Tyneside, all secondary schools with a sixth form have agreed a joint scheme called the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund for North Tyneside Schools’. The scheme is being administered on behalf of schools by North Tyneside Council and is dependent on funding received from the Government.
Other post-16 providers in North Tyneside and the surrounding area are operating their own bursary schemes and will be able to give you further information on their arrangements.
Receipt of bursary funding does not affect other means-tested benefits paid to families.
Who is eligible for the bursary scheme?
To be eligible, you must:
- Attend a participating school/Local Authority provider in North Tyneside which is part of the scheme (see page 3 for a list)
- Be starting Year 12, 13 or 14 in September 2023
- Be aged between 16 and 18 on 31 August 2023
In addition, there are eligibility criteria for the different levels of bursary available. You only need to meet one of the criteria below to be eligible:
You must be:
- In care
- Left care having been in care for a minimum of 3 months from the age of 14
- In receipt of Income Support (or Universal Credit)
- In receipt of both Employment and Support Allowance (or Universal Credit) and Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
Bursary – Discretionary
Typically, for access to a Discretionary Bursary, we would ask for some evidence of need, which can include the examples below:
- Eligible for Free School Meals
- A family in receipt of Tax/Universal Credit
- Families with low household income*
In addition, we will consider students experiencing hardship, severe need or an emergency. Typically, circumstances could include:
- Recent parental unemployment
- Severe financial hardship
- Other circumstances will be considered (please tell us)
*Household income is worked out using your earnings/income plus any Tax/Universal Credits you receive
This is a flexible fund to respond to hardship and to address barriers that might be preventing you complete your sixth form course. The typical criteria to help us to assess your application includes:
- Your particular circumstances and why you need a discretionary bursary
- What you will use the discretionary bursary for i.e. a detailed account of how you will spend the money
- Your household income
- The number of dependent children/young people in your household
Receipt of other support funds, such as allowances or bursaries, will be taken into account in determining any Discretionary Bursary payments. As the Bursary Fund is dependent on Government funding, the availability of the Discretionary Bursary is subject to affordability and priority will be given to young people from households with low income.
Household income for discretionary bursaries includes:
- Tax/Universal Credits
- Rental income
- Share dividends
- Interest on savings
How much is the bursary?
For students eligible for:
Bursary – £1200 for the full academic year
Bursary – Discretionary amount varies depending on need
Is my school part of the scheme?
The following schools / Local Authority providers are all part of this scheme.
- Beacon Hill School
- Burnside College
- Churchill Community College
- George Stephenson High School
- Longbenton High School
- Monkseaton High School
- St Thomas More Catholic High School
- Whitley Bay High School
- Woodlawn School
What can I use the bursary for?
The bursary is to help with costs related to your studies, for example transport, books and equipment, and other costs associated with your course.
Are there any conditions attached to the scheme?
- Yes. Your school/provider will expect you to demonstrate good attendance, behaviour and progress. They will discuss the standards that they consider acceptable. Continued receipt of your bursary award will be conditional on you meeting these standards (see also section 10 ‘How will you pay me?’).
- Sending in your signed bank form declaration, expenditure table and receipts as proof of expenditure. A form and help sheet will be sent with your award notice letter – which will detail further on how to supply this evidence.
Apply for the bursary
When do I need to apply by and how will I hear the outcome?
The first application deadline for the first round of payments is 19 September 2023.
We will accept applications after this date but this will mean a delay in your payments. Any late applications or transfers from other Bursary Schemes may only be eligible for payments from the date on which the application is received. Applications received after February half term 2024 may not be accepted – These applications will be looked on an individual basis.
We will write to tell you the outcome of your application.
We will also contact you if we need more information from you to process your application. If you supply all of the information requested your payment will be assessed and, if eligible, there will be no delay in your payments. If we have to request further information it will delay payment.
What should I do if I’m not happy with your decision?
If you think we have incorrectly assessed your eligibility, please contact us on 0191 643 2288 to discuss your application.
How will you pay me?
Bursary payments are ordinarily made in 6 instalments covering each half term providing you meet the conditions detailed in point 6 above. If your school advises or you have a particular request or need for more regular payments, this will be considered.
All payments will be made into your own bank account by a process called BACS transfer. Please note that BACS payments can take up to 3 days to transfer to your account.
It is essential that you have a bank account in your name as payments can only be made into your own account via a bank transfer. Cash payments will not be made in any circumstance. Some of your bursary may be paid in kind. Books and equipment purchased on your behalf through the Bursary Fund will need to be handed back to the school at the end of your course.
It is important that you make sure that your bank or building society is able to accept BACS transfer before you provide your bank account details. Post Office accounts and some Credit Unions do not accept BACS payments.
When will my payments start?
Once your application is approved, we will send you a letter confirming the dates when you will be paid.
Instalment payments will only be made after your school confirms you have met the required standards of attendance, behaviour, and progress. Payments will be stopped if you do not maintain these standards and/or do not provide evidence of expenditure.
How long will I receive payments for?
As long as your school confirms that you are meeting the required standards of attendance, behaviour and progress, payments will continue for the duration of the academic year 2023/2024 (the Bursary scheme considers the academic year to consist of a minimum of 30 weeks; courses that last for less than thirty weeks will result in a pro-rata payment)
There is no guarantee that you will receive funding next year even if you are eligible this year. You must re-apply for 2024/25. All awards will depend on the funding received from the Government. A new application must be made each year.
What happens if my financial or living circumstances change?
If you have a change of circumstances, you must let us know immediately in writing.
If you change your bank account details, you must also write to us immediately. We will need to check your signature against your original application so we can only accept changes to banking details received by post.
If you transfer to another school within the North Tyneside scheme, you must let us know in writing.
If you leave school before completing your course, your payments will be stopped.
If you transfer to another school or post-16 provider which isn’t in our scheme you will need to ask them about their own Bursary Fund. Please be aware that their terms and conditions and payments may be different.
Who do I contact if I have any questions?
If you have any questions about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund for North Tyneside Schools’, you should in the first instance speak to your Head of Sixth Form in the school.
Support, help, and advice is also available from Connexions North Tyneside and the North Tyneside Student Support Helpline (0191 643 2288)