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Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School

16-19 Bursary Fund 2016-17

School Policy

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 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. Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School will determine the eligibility criteria for discretionary bursaries, and the frequency of and conditions for payments for all awards. The 16-19 Bursary will only be awarded to a student that is eligible and facing genuine financial barriers to participating.

This policy sets out the arrangements for how Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School will prioritise and administer the 16-19 Bursary Fund in 2016-17.
The named contact at the School for all 16-19 Bursary support/enquiries is Mrs A McDonnell.

1. Bursaries Available

There are two types of Bursary available:

  • Guaranteed Bursary
    A Guaranteed Bursary is available to all young people who meet the general eligibility criteria as set out in this policy and who have been identified as being most in need, as set out in this policy.
  • Discretionary Bursary
    A Discretionary Bursary is available to all young people who meet the general and additional eligibility criteria as set out in this policy.

2. Bursary Amounts

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is a limited fund determined by the EFA.  For 2016/17, the School has been allocated a total 16-19 Bursary Fund of £9537

The School will retain a sum equivalent to 5% of the annual grant to administer the fund and to use as a hardship contingency fund to respond to exceptional or circumstantial in-year change.  The contingency fund will be reviewed in April 2017 and any remaining funds will be distributed to eligible young people or carried forward to the next academic year for distribution.

The Guaranteed Bursary amounts are up to £1,200.
The Discretionary Bursary amounts are up to £550 subject to availability of remaining funds.

The Bursary is to support students with the cost of transport, sixth form dress code, educational books/equipment and educational trips; the school may retain a proportion of the bursary to purchase the resource directly for the student.

3. General Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a 16-19 Bursary in the 2016-2017 academic year, the student must be aged 16 or over and under 19 on 31st August 2016. Students must also satisfy 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.)
Additional Eligibility for Guaranteed Bursary
A Guaranteed Bursary of up to £1,200 is available to all young people who are identified as being:

  • currently or previously looked after (for a period of at least 13 weeks since the age of 14) by the Local Authority, and/or;
  • in receipt of Income Support in their own right, and/or;
  • disabled and in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.

4. Additional Eligibility for Discretionary Bursary

A Discretionary Bursary (Level 1) of up to £550 is available subject to availability of funds, to all young people where:

  • their gross annual household income, as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs, does not exceed £16,190 and/or;
  • where the young person, or a sibling, qualifies for Free School Meals (FSM), and/or;
  • where the young person's parent/guardian/carer(s) are in receipt of one of the following:
     - Income Support
     - Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
     - Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
     - Guarantee element of State Pension Credit.

A Discretionary Bursary (Level 2) of up to £350 is available subject to availability of funds, to all young people where:

  • their gross annual household income, as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs, exceeds £16,190 but does not exceed £20,000.

A Discretionary Bursary (Level 3) of up to £250 is available subject to availability of funds, to all young people where:

  • their gross annual household income, as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs, exceeds £20,000 but does not exceed £25,000.

Household income can be evidenced by receipt of benefit and/or P60, Tax Credit Award Notice or evidence of Self-employment income.
All evidence of household income will be in strict confidence.

5. Contingency Eligibility

Any young person meeting general eligibility requirements and facing financial hardship due to exceptional reason or circumstance change can apply to access the contingency funds on an individual basis by submitting an application in writing.

6. Those Not Eligible

Applications to the 16-19 Bursary Fund are not open to young people aged under 16 or over 19 at 31 August 2016, unless the young person is identified in the categories of the Guaranteed Bursary Group or has other hardships by which the panel may consider allocation of contingency funding.

7. Evidence

All applications to access the 16-19 Bursary Fund must be supported by appropriate evidence.  Copies of evidence shall be retained by the School to provide financial assurance as required.  All evidence will be treated as confidential and destroyed within 1 year of the young person leaving the School.

Acceptable supporting evidence for the Guaranteed Bursary will be either a:

  • Statement from the Local Authority confirming the young person's current or previous looked after status;
  • Recent Entitlement or Award Statement setting out the benefit to which the young person is entitled.

Acceptable supporting evidence for the Discretionary Bursary will be either:

  • Part 1 of the latest Tax Credit Award Notice (TCAN) for the young person's household.  This document from HM Revenue & Customs details entitlement to Tax Credits and the Total Income for the year 6 April 2015 to 5 April 2016.
  • P60 End of Year Certificate for all adults in the young person's household who contribute to household costs.  This certificate is a statement of earnings from an employer.  It must be for the correct adult(s) and for the correct Tax Year (to 5 April 2016).  The income will be shown as Total for year.
  • Self Assessment Tax Calculation (SA302).  This is the equivalent of the P60 for self employed people.  It must be for the correct adult(s) and for the correct Tax Year (to 5 April 2016).  The income will be shown as Total for year.
  • Confirmation from the Local Authority of entitlement to Free School Meals (FSM).

All evidence of household income will be in strict confidence.

8. Payments

Subject to meeting the condition requirements as detailed below, payments will be made in the following instalments:

  • October 2016 (50%)
  • January 2017 (25%)
  • April 2017 (25%)

Payments will be made by cheque. The young person must have a valid account in their name unless there are exceptional reasons which mean an appointee has been named to manage the affairs of the young person.

9. Qualifying Condition Requirements

Eligible young people will need to complete a qualifying learning period of 6 weeks before they are able to receive Bursary payments.  However, any eligible young person can make an application ahead of the six week qualifying period and in a case of extreme hardship, consideration will also be given for payment in advance of the six week period.
All young people in receipt of a Bursary must meet weekly punctuality and attendance targets ensure continued support.  In addition, all young people in receipt of a Bursary must behave appropriately and submit work of an appropriate level and to required deadlines.  If the young person does not meet these conditions, the school reserves the right to withdraw or suspend Bursary payments.  The Head of Sixth Form has responsibility for authorising payments to the young people eligible for payment of the bursary funding.
These conditions will not be additional to those expected of any young person within the School.

10. Application

Applications for a Bursary must be made using the correct Application Form and should be submitted in full by Friday 6th October 2016.  Applications made after this date will be considered as long as sufficient funds are available.  However, once the Bursary Fund has been used, it will not be possible to consider further applications.
Consideration must be given to assisting any young person to make an application where they are unable to do so due to a level of learning difficulty and/or disability.
Consideration must also be given to assisting any young person in making an application where they are not able to provide supporting evidence due to difficulties with engagement or support from their parent/guardian/carer(s).

11. Process

All applications for a Bursary or to access the contingency fund will be assessed by a 16-19 Bursary Application Panel, consisting of:

  • Ms P Wainwright
  • Mr A Caldwell
  • Mrs A McDonnell

The Panel will review the application, supporting evidence and any other personal circumstantial evidence.

12. Appeals

If any young person or their parent/guardian/carer(s) are not satisfied with the outcome of their application, they should write to the Headteacher outlining their reasons why.  The Headteacher will convene a 16-19 Bursary Appeals Panel, consisting of:

  • Headteacher
  • Sixth Form Link Governor

The Panel will consider and respond to appeals within two weeks of receipt.  If the appeal is upheld or partly upheld it will be referred back to the 16-19 Bursary Application Panel with recommendations.  If the appeal is not upheld the appealing party will be signposted to the School's Complaint Procedure.

13. Confidentiality

Applications and supporting evidence will be confidential to the 16-19 Bursary Application Panel and in the event of an appeal, the 16-19 Bursary Appeals Panel.  The applications and supporting evidence will remain confidential during processing, payment and storage.  If it is necessary to obtain additional information to reach a decision, the young person and/or their parent/guardian/carer(s) will be told the reasons why this is necessary prior to sharing any information further.

14. Change of Young Person's Financial Circumstances

Any young person in receipt of a Bursary has a duty to inform the School should if their financial circumstances change, or those of their parent/guardian/carer(s) change (e.g. increase in household income that would affect the young person's entitlement to Free School Meals).  This does not automatically mean any future Bursary payments will be stopped but would result in a convening of the 16-19 Bursary Application Panel to determine whether the payments continue or be stopped and the funds redistributed.

15. Young Person Transferring

Where a young person in receipt of a Bursary transfers out of the School to another education/training provider in-year, the School will liaise with that provider to ensure continuity of Bursary payments to enable the young person to complete the learning aim(s).
Where a young person in receipt of a Bursary transfers in to the School from another education/training provider in-year, the School will liaise with that provider to ensure continuity of Bursary payments to enable the young person to complete the learning aim(s).

16.  Young Person Withdrawing

Where a young person in receipt of a Bursary withdraws from the School, and does not transfer to another education/training provider, Bursary payments made prior to the date of withdrawal will not be recovered but any scheduled payments to be made after the date of withdrawal will not be made.

17. Supporting Documents

In addition to this policy being openly shared with all young people and their parent/guardian/carer(s), the following documents will be used in the 16-19 Bursary process:

  • Application Form
  • Information for young people
  • Information for parent/guardian/carer(s)

18. Further Information

Further national information on the 16-19 Bursary Fund can be found:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-education-financial-support-for-students