16-19 Bursary Fund

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is money set aside by the government to help young people stay in further education or training.

If you’re aged 16 to 19 and in full or part-time further education or training, you can apply for a bursary to help with your education costs during the school year. These costs could include essentials such as meals and transport to school. It could also include things like books, clothing, equipment, essential trips, residentials and educational visits.

As there's only a limited amount of funding, we have to make sure it goes to the young people who need it most. This means to those from families with low household incomes. The bursary is shared based on certain criteria, which could be based on:

  • your family’s income
  • parental benefits
  • whether you’ve previously been entitled to free school meals

When you apply for a bursary, you or your parents will be asked to provide evidence of your financial factors. This will help us decide the type and value of the bursary you'll receive.


We assess each application and will allocate funding in the priority order below. The value of the package of support we offer will depend on your needs and the number of people who apply. Where we can only meet part of your costs due to lack of funding, you or your parents/guardians may have to make up any balance.

Priority group 1

Vulnerable students who:

  • are in care or have recently left care
  • receive Income Support in your own name
  • are disabled and receive both Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in your own name

Evidence you need to provide

You need to send us documents to prove that you fall within one of the above categories. This can include:

  • a letter confirming the benefit you get
  • a letter from the council which confirms that you are, or have recently been, in care. (You can ask your social worker for this or contact the Future Directions team.)

What you'll receive

You could receive a bursary up to the value of £1200.

Priority group 2

  • Year 12 students who were entitled to receive a free school meal during their year 11 at school.
  • Student's whose household income is below the free school meals threshold of £16,200.

Evidence you need to provide

If you state you received free school meals in year 11, we'll carry out an eligibility check through our benefits service. You might not need to provide any more evidence of your family’s household income.  

What you'll receive

You could receive:

  • money off transport costs
  • support with meals (determined by your attendance)
  • the cost of essential books, materials or equipment needed for your course
  • the full cost of essential course trips
  • possible support for other non essential course trips (at the discretion of us and your provider)
  • the cost of fees to re-sit exams (only in certain cases) and university visits (travel costs only)

Priority group 3

  • Students whose household income is £21,000 or below. 

Evidence you need to provide

You'll be asked to show why you need financial assistance. You'll need to provide documents which shows evidence of family household income, such as:

  • tax credit award notification
  • benefit entitlement
  • P60
  • evidence of self employment income

What you'll receive

This will vary according to your needs. It will also be subject to if any money is left after the needs of priority groups 1 and 2 have been met.

Priority group 4

All students who do not fall into priority groups 1 to 3 but have:

  • an extreme financial problem; and
  • a specific, short-term education or independent living cost which they cannot meet

Evidence you need to provide

Relevant details which shows that your financial problem is extreme and short-term. Your college will advise you about the types of evidence they will accept from you.

What you'll receive

Applications will be considered at our discretion. The type of support and financial assistance will vary according to your needs and the availability of funds. This may include:

  • trip costs
  • materials, books or equipment costs

How to apply for the bursary

You can apply at any time, not just at the beginning of your course. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can start to receive support.

Step 1: Pick up an application form from your school or college.

Step 2: Complete the form, making sure you highlight what you're applying for.

Step 3: Send your form and evidence of your income to: 14-19 Services, Growth and Sustainability Directorate, PO Box 634, Barnsley, S70 9GG. Good quality photocopies of your evidence is acceptable.

What happens next

We'll assess your claim and write to tell you if your application has been successful or not. If it is, we'll send you details of the support we can offer and make you aware of any special conditions attached to the financial assistance we award you.

If we refuse your application, you can appeal against our decision by writing to us. You need to tell us the reason for your appeal and include any supporting documents or information. We'll deal with your appeal according to our bursary appeals procedure and let you know the outcome.

How the fund is paid

This will depend on your school, college or training provider. It might be paid into your bank account, in lump sums or in instalments during your course. You may also be given a cheque or cash.

It might also be paid to you 'in kind'. This means that instead of receiving money, you could get a public transport travel pass, free meals or course equipment.

Whichever way you're paid, your school, college or training provider should provide evidence that you're getting the amount you've been promised.

Conditions of the bursary

Any financial support we provide will be conditional on you meeting 100% authorised attendance levels in all your subjects and making satisfactory progress on your course. We'll withdraw the funding if, at any time, we're not happy with your attendance or behaviour.