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16-19 Bursary Fund

What is Student Financial Support?

Student Financial Support is a government scheme to support young people facing financial hardship to continue in full time higher education. To qualify for student financial support you must be aged between 16-18 years on 31 August and meet the residency conditions.  There are lots of ways the fund can support you at St Peter’s. There are two types of student financial support options that students can access:

Vulnerable bursary

Up to £1,200 per academic year for those most in need of financial support, for young people in care; care leavers; receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit; receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own name as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit.

You will need to provide evidence of eligibility in order to receive a weekly payment throughout the academic year, this will be paid directly into the young person’s bank account.

Discretionary bursary

This is for students who are in receipt of free school meals, or where the total household income is £30,000 or less. Discretionary payments will be made ‘in kind’.

We encourage all students where the household income is less than £16,190 to apply for free school meals - please see back page for information on how to apply.

If you already receive free school meals you won’t need to provide further evidence (this will already have been checked by BCP Council) as you will automatically be considered eligible for the discretionary bursary whilst in receipt of free school meals.

Proof of household income will be required for all other applications, for example; Parent/Carer’s P60 if they are in employment, Evidence of self-employment income (SA302), Tax Credit awards, Universal Credit.

How the fund works

St Peter’s receives a grant from the government to pay Student Financial Support. As the amount of funding available is set each year we aim to make maximum use of it by helping the maximum number of students. Please note the assistance you receive may vary annually and applications are not guaranteed, especially later in the year.

In year applications may be considered if there are specific financial issues that arise throughout your time in the Sixth Form – Have your parents recently separated or divorced? Are one or both of your parents deceased? Are one or both of your parents now disabled? Have you recently become eligible to receive free school meals? In these circumstances Student Finance will commence from date of approval.

How can Student Financial Support help me?

One of the biggest priorities is supporting you with getting to and from school each day, but here are some ways in which the fund could also help you…

  • Providing course-related books and revision guides or essential stationery, like paper, pens, files or memory sticks.
  • Ensuring you can take part in educational course-related trips and helping you get to and from university open days.
  • If you are studying music at St Peter’s the fund can support you with peri music lessons, or if your course requires specific clothing it can help with that too.
  • A one off payment of £100 to help towards the Sixth Form dress code.


Fund requirements

Financial support is paid to enable you to study at St Peter’s School and will only be paid if your attendance (a minimum of 95% registered attendance in lessons, tutor time and assembly) and behaviour meet the required standard. Financial support is aimed at students whose families have a gross annual income of less than £30,000.

All absences must be notified by telephone to the absence line or by email on each day of an absence and supported by a note from your Parent/Carer on return. For planned absences such as medical appointments or university visits, please complete and submit a ‘green notice of absence’ form in the Sixth Form office prior to the event.                    

How to apply for student financial support

Please use the button below to apply for Student Financial Support. You will need to complete and submit an application during the first few weeks of your course (check the date on this years application form for the specific deadline). Remember you will need to supply all the supporting documents required too.

Student Financial applications are made annually at the start of each Academic Year, therefore if you applied for Student Finance in Year 12 you will need to re-apply in Year 13.

If your application is successful you must inform the Sixth Form Administrator if there are any changes to your family circumstances that could affect the level of support you receive.

Free school meals – who qualifies?

You might be able to get free school meals if your family receive any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  •  Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  •  Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit. You must also have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018, your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get) If your child is eligible for and gets free school meals at any time before 31 March 2023, they remain eligible until this date.

Free school meals – How do I apply?

To apply for free school meals see here  They’ll tell you whether you are eligible for free school meals within a week. They’ll also send St Peter’s a report to let us know your children has qualified for free school meals.

Alternatively, or to request further information, please contact Free School Meals Team, Customer Services, BCP Council Civic Centre, Bournemouth, BH2 6DY, 01202 123 222 or email

If your child is eligible for free school meals they will access meals the same way as other students, via the cashless system. The daily allowance provided to those eligible is £2.30, parents may top this up using the ParentPay system if required.