At South Craven School, we provide 16-19 bursaries for students to ensure they have access to their studies, where they would otherwise be unable to do so for financial reasons.  

We are committed to closing the attainment gap between students from poorer and more affluent backgrounds, ensuring that every student participates in, and benefits from, a place in 16-19 education and training.

South Craven School receives a government grant to fund the 16-19 bursary.  This fund is to help students overcome barriers to learning in the Sixth Form by assisting with costs such as transport, meals, books and equipment.  5% of the funds received will be retained by the school to cover administrative costs.

As the funding is limited it may not be possible to support every application, so priority will be given to those students from families with the lowest household income and/or highest need.

There are two types of bursaries available: discretionary and vulnerable.  Each bursary is allocated based on students meeting the eligibility criteria.  The government sets out specific criteria for the vulnerable bursary which entitles students to the funding, whilst the eligibility criteria for the discretionary bursary is determined by the school.  In both cases, the school is responsible for determining whether a student’s application has been successful.

We are dedicated to:

  • Distributing 16-19 bursaries via a fair and equal process that is transparent, accountable and easily understood.
  • Ensuring that information regarding the application, award and administration of 16-19 bursaries is available to all.
  • Widening access to, and participation in, sixth form education.
  • Ensuring all students who are eligible for funding have access to it.


Students who are aged 16 or over and under 19 years old on 31 August will qualify for bursaries.  Students aged under 16 will only receive bursaries in exceptional circumstances.

Students aged 19 or over are not eligible for the vulnerable groups’ bursary, although the school may decide the student is eligible for a discretionary bursary.

Where a student’s circumstances change, they can apply more than once.  In this case, the student will be reassessed to determine if there are any exceptional circumstances to consider.

All students will be assessed individually for either bursary.  Evidence must be provided to support applications – a full list of supporting evidence is outlined in the 16-19 Bursary Application Form.

Vulnerable Bursaries

To be eligible for a vulnerable bursary, students must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be in care
  • Be a care leaver
  • Be receiving Income Support or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves and/or someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner
  • Be receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right, as well as Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit in their own right

Any student who meets one of these criteria can apply for a vulnerable bursary of up to £1,200: this may be reduced where the school deems it appropriate to do so, for example, if a student is undertaking a part-time course.  Alternatively, the school may decide to allocate more than £1,200 if a student needs extra help to remain in education.

The school is responsible for determining whether a student is eligible for a vulnerable bursary.  If a student meets one of the above criteria, but the school believes a bursary is not required as they do not have any financial need and do not need further support, it may be decided not to distribute a bursary to this student.

This may include, for example, where:

  • A student is in LA care and education costs are covered in full by the LA.
  • A student is financially supported by their partner.

Discretionary Bursaries

The value of discretionary bursary awards will be determined by the number of students who apply – this will not be known until the end of September.  The school will allocate discretionary bursaries based on those who are most in need of financial support. The eligibility criteria for a discretionary bursary includes the following:

  • Students living in a low-income household (outlined below)
  • Students who are from a single-parent family or have one or more dependent siblings in their family
  • Students who have additional responsibilities, such as being a young carer or parent

Discretionary bursaries may be awarded for students from low-income households.  The level awarded will be dependent on the following criteria:

Level 1 Eligible for Free School Meals below £16,190 Click here to see if you are eligible
Level 2 Household Income is below £20,817  
Level 3 Household income is below £25,521  

Students must complete the application form and provide the necessary supporting documentation.  All applications should be submitted by 30 September of each academic year.  The school understands, however, that needs may arise throughout the academic year.  As such, a cut-off date for applications is not implemented, but wherever possible, applications should be submitted by 30 September.

Applying for a Bursary

Assessing Bursary Applications

Bursary applications will be assessed in the strictest confidence by the Sixth Form Support Managers and the Finance Officers.

Students will have a Sixth Form Financial Assessment Interview with the Sixth Form Support Manager to ascertain their financial needs. 

The assessed application will be approved by the Head of Year 12 or the Head of Year 13, as appropriate and the Director of Sixth Form.  Students will be advised, in writing, of the outcome of the assessment and the detail of the award.

Conditions for Receiving the Bursary

All students must meet the agreed standards in the Sixth Form Learner Agreement.  Students must continue to meet these criteria after receiving the bursary.

Payments may be withheld where students do not abide by the following conditions:

  • Students must abide by the school’s Behaviour Policy
  • The incorrect completion of the monthly claim form

Payments will be stopped where:

  • A student is absent for a period of four continuous weeks or more, excluding timetabled school holiday times, or if there is evidence that the student does not intend to return.
  • A student withdraws themselves from a study programme.

Paying the Bursary

Some payments may be paid in-kind rather than by BACS, e.g. credits for meals.  Any BACS payments will be made on a monthly basis.

Payments will be made by BACS transfer to the student’s account only. If students do not have a bank account, they will need to open one.

Using the Bursary

Students will receive help based on their areas of need.  

The following priority areas will be considered:

  • Meal credits
  • Travel to school, e.g. bus passes and travel cards
  • Equipment costs, e.g. books, stationery, or equipment
  • Any other educational support, e.g. attendance at university open days and interviews

Students may be allocated a higher amount of funding at the beginning of their course to address the priority areas.  If students or their parents/carers have any queries about payments they should contact the Sixth Form Team on 01535 639727 or email sixthform@southcraven.org

Application Forms

Concerns and Complaints

If students disagree with the outcome of their application, they should follow the school’s Concerns and Complaints Policy and Procedures which is available on the school website.