If you are aged under 19 on the first day of your course, full time courses are free.


The Learner Support Fund helps those students who would otherwise be unable to participate in Further Education. Priority groups are learners who are economically or socially disadvantaged.

Young people aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2021 may be entitled to a £1200 bursary (dependent on circumstances and performance) if they are:

  • In care
    • Leaving care
    • In receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit in their own right
  • 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

We can also help young people who were in receipt of free meals at school and young people where household income falls below £32,600 (most other Colleges fix this at around £20,000).

For young learners where the household income falls below £32,600 we can provide financial support towards College trips and activities, equipment, uniform and books (dependent on course requirements).

Free meals

We offer free meals to students who are from low income households. Eligible students will receive credit on their ID cards to spend at the catering facilities in college at the daily meal rate of £2.70 for each day that they are timetabled to be in college.

To apply for free meals students must be:

Aged between 16 and 18 years on 31 August 2021, or aged over 19 and continuing on the same study programme (19+ continuers) they started before they turned 19, or who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Students are eligible for a free meal where they meet the criteria and satisfy the residency criteria set out in the EFA ‘Funding regulation’ guidance for the 2021 to 2022 academic year.

Eligibility: Students being in receipt of, or having parents who are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC))
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa

How to Apply:

Students need to complete the combined 16 to 18 Free Meals and Discretionary Learner Support Fund (DLSF) application form available from Reception and Welfare department. They will be entitled to additional assistance from the Learner Support Fund if they qualify for Free Meals. We would encourage all students to apply early.

For all enquiries about the Learner Support Fund contact the Welfare Department via freephone 0800 622006 or email [email protected]

Build Your Prospectus Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Call Us