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Information regarding financial support available to help students overcome specific barriers to participation, so they can remain in education.

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund was introduced in the 2011 to 2012 academic year. It is money the government has given to local authorities, schools, colleges and other education and training providers (institutions) to support disadvantaged students. Its purpose is to provide financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation, so they can remain in education.


There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:


  • a vulnerable bursary for young people in one of the defined vulnerable groups

  • discretionary bursaries that institutions award to meet individual needs. For example, transport, meals, books and equipment.


‚ÄčBoth require the student's attendance to be above 95%.


Vulnerable bursaries (level 1)


Students in one or more of the groups below need more support and can apply for a vulnerable bursary.


The eligible groups are students who are:



Please note that to qualify as eligible for a vulnerable student payment the young person does not have to live independently of their parents; they can claim ESA or UC in their own right. Parents should note that they will not be able to claim Child Benefit for them if the young person’s claim for ESA succeeds.


Discretionary bursaries (level 2)


Discretionary bursaries are awards made by institutions to individual students. They are targeted to help overcome the individual barriers to participation that a student faces. The discretionary bursary is payable to students who are eligible for free school meals.


Students can apply for funds for specific educational purposes or learning resources as well as educational trips, curriculum enrichment and other activities.


Each claim will be assessed on an individual basis.