Gumley House School FCJ

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Breaking down barriers

What is the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund?

The Fund is a limited amount of money made available from the government through its funding body, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to provide assistance to students whose access to, or completion of education is inhibited by financial constraints or barriers.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund has two elements the 16-19 Vulnerable Student Bursary and the 16-19 Discretionary Bursary.

16-19 Vulnerable Student Bursary

The bursary for vulnerable groups can pay up to £1,200 per year to a student participating on a study programme that lasts for 30 weeks or more. Students on study programmes of less than 30 weeks should be paid a pro-rata amount.

Who is eligible to apply for the 16-19 Vulnerable Student Bursary?

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 may need a greater level of support to enable them to continue to participate. We are required to ensure students are eligible for the bursary are within the defined vulnerable groups in each year they require support.

  • young people aged 16 and 17 in care;
  • care leavers aged 16, 17 and 18;
  • young people aged 16, 17 and 18 who are in receipt of income support, for example, young people who are living independently of their parents; those whose parents have died and teenage parents;
  • disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance.
  • students should satisfy the residency criteria as set out in the EFA Funding Guidance.
  • students should be participating in provision that is subject to inspection by a public body that assures quality and must also be funded by the EFA.

Who is not eligible for 16-19 Vulnerable Student Bursary?

  • Students under 16 years of age or over 19 years of age at the start of the academic year in which they start their   programme of study
  • Students who do not meet the residency qualifications.
  • Students who do not fulfil any of the criteria described above.

What evidence is needed?

Students will be told what evidence they need to provide examples below give some guidelines:

  • For students who are in care or a care leaver, written confirmation of their current or previous looked-after status from the relevant local authority.
  • For students in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit, a copy of their Income Support or Universal Credit award notice.
  • For students receiving UC/ESA and Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payments, a copy of their UC claim from DWP

Discretionary Bursary

Students could get a discretionary bursary if they need financial help but don’t qualify for a vulnerable student bursary. The school will make discretionary bursary awards to students to help them overcome the individual barriers to participation they face. This means to help with the cost of travel, to buy essential books, equipment or specialist clothing (such as protective overalls for example). The school decides how much they get and what it’s used for. At Gumley House FCJ, the levels for a discretionary bursary are as follows:

Level 1: Household income below £12,000/annum Award: Tiered termly payments up to £1,200 Payments available towards the cost of a bus pass if a student lives over two miles from school, payment for educational visits during the year which are essential to the subject syllabus, a contribution towards exam re-sits, and reimbursement of the cost of visiting university open days or interviews. An allowance is also available towards the cost of school clothing.

Level 2:  Household income between £12,000 - £20,000/annum Award: As in level 1, but smaller contributions towards bus travel and educational visits. Tiered termly payments up to £900

Level 3:  Household income between £20,000 - £25,000/annum Award: Tiered termly payments up to £600 Payments available towards cost of train pass if student lives over two miles from school. Ad hoc payments as deemed suitable by school.

Proof of Income

At least two forms of evidence are required when applying for a discretionary bursary; these could be from the following:

  • a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions showing receipt of benefits
  • a P60
  • a Tax Credit Award Notice
  • evidence of your family’s annual income
  • 3 months’ worth of payslips or bank account statements or Universal Credit Monthly award
  • letter from the Local Authority confirming Free School Meals award
  • self-employment income evidence
  • Students who reside in a household which has a taxable income of less than £18,000 for the tax year previous (evidenced through production of P60, Working Tax Credit Award Certificate) may also apply for the Discretionary Bursary.

Payment of Bursary

Vulnerable Bursary:  To be made in equal half termly payments to students’ account.
Discretionary Bursary: The school will decide how a bursary is paid. It might be:

  • paid in half termly amounts
  • paid in cash, by cheque or through a bank account
  • by providing a student with a travel pass, free meals, books etc. instead of money Sometimes one-off payments are made, at the discretion of the Headteacher, to cover school trips etc. but only where these are a part of the subject syllabus.

Payments can be stopped if a student does not abide by the terms of the Sixth Form contract.

How to Claim

Apply using the application form below, providing evidence as necessary. Mrs Murray also has copies of the application form. The claim should be made by December 2022.


Bursary Fund Decisions
There is a limited amount of funding available; therefore all applications are subject to the availability of funding
Any appeals against decisions can be made to the Headteacher, via the School Business Leader.

Download the Application Form below:

 The 16-19 Bursary Fund is a limited fund and the school will prioritise allocations in the following order.

  1. Students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Vulnerable Students Bursary
  2. Students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Discretionary Bursary
  3. Students who make applications for Additional Help

Initially students who are eligible for any level of funding should complete the application form and hand it to Mrs Murray as soon as possible after admission in September. The closing date for applications will be the third Friday of the autumn term. Students who become eligible during the course of the academic year should contact the School Business Leader so that they can make an application for funding based on their new circumstances.

The school is under no obligation to make payments and failure to comply with the terms of the Attendance Policy and/or the Sixth Form Contract will result in further funding not being available.

Students who are deemed eligible should be aware that to continue to receive their full allocation of bursary/funding throughout the year:

  • They must maintain a minimum of 90% attendance.
  • There must be no unauthorised absences during the school day or persistent lateness.

They must maintain acceptable levels of behaviour, as outlined in the Sixth Form Agreement.

Attendance Requirements

Students will only receive bursary funding if they have secured a minimum of 90% attendance at School including morning and afternoon registration. The only exceptions to this rule include the following:

  • Medical Procedure or illness supported by a Doctor’s Certificate, Hospital letter or letter from parents/carer. • Hospital Appointment (a hospital documentation or note from parent in planner).
  • University Interview (if an authorised absence request has been received).
  • University Open Day (if an authorised absence request has been received).
  • School Trip Excursion.
  • Official School Closure i.e. snow day.
  • Official School Study Leave.

Students will NOT receive bursary funding if they use any of the following as verification of absence:

  • Hair appointment
  • Dentist appointment
  • Any other form of self-certification
  • School exclusion
  • Family holidays
  • Lateness to school affecting lesson attendance

Students who fail to meet the above criteria will be required to meet with the Head of Sixth form and may have further bursary payments suspended.

Distribution of Awards

Gumley House School FCJ will determine the assessment criteria for eligibility for discretionary bursaries, the level of discretionary award allocated and the frequency of payments for all awards. The level of award allocated will be dependent on the needs of an individual student as outlined in their application.

The assessment criteria and award level of the vulnerable student bursary is set by the ESFA.  

For discretionary bursaries Gumley House School will either purchase items on behalf of the student or payments will be made via an expense claim by cheque/cash upon receiving receipts for any school equipment purchased.

Discretionary Bursaries may be allocated in any of the following ways, depending upon needs and circumstances:

Regular payments linked to attendance;

Free/subsidised meals;

Help with transport costs;

Help with kit and equipment;

Help with Educational visits

Or a combination of the above

Gumley House School may reserve 20% of the 16-19 Bursary amount provided. This is to accommodate changes in circumstance and ensure that requests for funding from students following such changes can be accommodated. 

Notification of qualification for the Bursary

Students will receive an email confirming receipt of their application to the ‘16-19 Bursary Fund’ along with the support allocation awarded by the Bursary Fund Committee and, if appropriate, a payment scheme. 


Any student wishing to appeal against the Support Level allocated should do so in writing within 2 weeks of receiving their email notification of Support Allocation. Appeals should be made to the Sixth Form Administrator. It is expected that further evidence to support the funding request will be provided by the student if called upon.

Changes to financial circumstances during the year

A student receiving any support level of the Bursary must immediately inform the School Business Leader of any changes in family circumstance that may affect their ‘Support Level’.

Students not in receipt of any level Bursary who experiences a change in financial circumstances during the academic year which means they meet the eligibility criteria may apply to the School Business Leader for funding at the point of change.