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16-19 Tuition Fund/Bursary Information

What is the 16-19 Bursary Fund?

A key priority for the Government is to close the gap in attainment between those from less well-off and more affluent backgrounds, and to ensure every young person participates in and benefits from a place in 16 to 19 education or training. The fund is limited and is allocated by the EFA to Schools and Colleges to administer.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund targets support towards the most financially disadvantaged 16 to 19 year olds – those who most need help with the costs of staying on. A 16-19 Bursary will only be awarded to a student who is eligible and facing genuine financial barriers to participation.


Eligible students must be 16 years and over, but under 19 on 31 August 2023 and enrolled on full-time (minimum 12 hours guided study per week) government funded course(s).

Students must meet the residency criteria set out in the EFA Funding Guidance. (A person on 1 September who is settled in the UK, and has been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the three years preceding the 1 September.)

Nishkam School West London will determine the eligibility criteria for discretionary bursaries, and the frequency of and conditions for payments for all awards.

The Bursary award may typically be used for:

  1. Transport costs
  2. Books and Equipment
  3. Hardship Costs
  4. Additional Programme of Study Costs – field trips, study days etc.
  5. Cost of travel to HE interviews
  6. Specialist clothing required for a course
  7. Sixth Form social event participation
  8. Other discretionary areas

There are two types of 16-19 Bursary:

1. 16-19 Vulnerable Student Bursary

Bursaries of £1,200 a year will be awarded to young people in the defined vulnerable groups listed below, if their course lasts for 30 weeks or more (a pro rata amount is payable if the course lasts less than 30 weeks):

  • in care
  • care leavers
  • receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone 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


2. 16-19 Discretionary Bursary

The amount payable is dependent upon individual circumstances, and on the number of applications received by Friday 29th September 2023.

Payments will be made in two instalments, usually paid in October and February. Banding is applied on review of applications, taking into account the two tiers below;

Level 2 – students who have a gross annual household income of up to £16,190 (the threshold for free school meals)

Level 3 – students who have a gross annual household income of between £16,190 and £25,000

Parents/guardians in receipt of any of the following must provide supporting documentary evidence:

  • Income Support (Universal Credit)
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and have an annual taxable income below £16,190
  • The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate

If you are not in receipt of any of the above, but reside in a household which has a total household taxable income of between £16,191 and £25,000 for the tax year 2022-23, you may also apply for the Discretionary Bursary although your payment allocation will be a lower amount.

Household income must be evidenced by providing one or more of the following, by Friday 29th September 2023

  • P60
  • Working Tax Credit Award Certificate
  • Self-Assessment Tax Calculation Form (SA302)


Exceptional help

Under exceptional circumstances, any students who are experiencing short-term financial hardship who are not automatically eligible for an award can also apply for help with one-off course related expenses (proof of income or hardship will be asked for). Applications for additional help will be considered on an individual basis and is dependent upon available funds.

For more information please refer to our Bursary Policy here