The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is to support 16 to 19 year olds who are the most financially disadvantaged and those who most need help with the costs of staying in education.

The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation so they can remain in education.

There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:

  • bursaries for defined vulnerable groups of up to £1,200 a year
  • discretionary bursaries which institutions award to meet individual needs, for example, help with the cost of transport, meals, books and equipment

Bursaries for vulnerable groups

Students in one or more of the groups below can apply for a bursary of up to £1,200.

Please note: Institutions do not receive an allocation of funds for bursaries for vulnerable groups. They draw down the funds by submitting a funding claim form via the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) portal.

The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:

  • 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

Institutions must verify that young people meet the criteria for the bursary for vulnerable groups.

Discretionary Bursary

To be eligible for the discretionary bursary, students must be facing financial barriers to participation and need help to stay in education.

Providers are required to use their discretion to make awards to young people in ways that best fit the needs and circumstances of their students. Bursary awards are to be targeted towards students facing barriers to participation, such as the costs of transport, meals, books and equipment/specialist materials.

  • Students aged between 16 and 19 studying in Post 16 at the Academy will be eligible to apply for bursary awards.
  • The academy is required to define which students should receive support and how much. The academy is required to manage the number and size of discretionary awards ensuring that we stay within budget and that awards made are targeted at those facing the most significant financial barriers to participation.
  • The academy will accept applications for bursary awards from those whose household income are less than £31,000 per year as evidenced by receipt of benefit and/ or P60, Tax Credit Award Notice or evidence of self-employment income.
  • Students previously in receipt of free school meals will also be eligible to apply.
  • Young people with caring responsibilities, for example, caring for a parent or other relative.

Students/parents wishing to apply for a bursary award will need to complete a Bursary

Award Application Form. In many cases goods or services will be ordered and paid for directly by the academy, but in some cases payments may be made directly to the student following the receipt of evidence of goods or services purchased.

The guidance provides some examples of the types of goods and services that may be applied for. These include:

  • School Meals
  • Transport costs to and from academy
  • Books
  • Specialist equipment
  • Cost of specialist materials (Art and Design, Stationery)
  • Interview expenses (transport and accommodation)
  • Cost of field study courses
  • Cost of, or contribution towards transport to and from University Open Days
  • Contribution towards trips and study courses
  • Cost of, or contribution towards, participation in sport or other curricular activities

The fund available is very limited, but we want to enable all of our students to have equal access to all Cowes Enterprise College has to offer.

As a guide we are suggesting the following:

Those with household incomes of less than £21,000 will be High Priority

Those with household incomes of less than £25,000 will be Medium Priority

Those with household incomes of less than £31,000 will be Low Priority


We are required to stay within budget and so there is no guarantee that applications will be met in full or even at all. Where applications are refused there is a right of appeal. An initial appeal should be made in writing to the Principal. Beyond this, there is a right of appeal to the Governors.


ESFA does not expect the bursary to be paid into another person’s account, except in exceptional circumstances where a student is unable to administer their own account. If the student is in one of the vulnerable groups and cannot manage their own funds, the institution will need to consider who is going to manage the bursary on the student’s behalf.

Students aged 16 can open a basic bank account. The basic bank account will allow BACS transfers and allow the student to withdraw money.

Application forms are available from the Admin Office and on the Academy website. All applications will be considered and dealt with in confidence.


Bursary Fund payments will be conditional upon you meeting the college’s criteria on:

  • Attendance (Minimum 95%)
  • Behaviour
  • Progress/attainment on course

Where do I return my form?

Completed application forms and any supporting documentation can be handed in at Reception for the attention of the Business Director. Postal applications should be returned to: Mr Richard Marinelli, Cowes Enterprise College, Crossfield Avenue, Cowes Isle of Wight. PO31 8HB.

Bursary Guidance 2019/20Download
Bursary Application FormDownload