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Learner Support Fund

The Discretionary Learner Support Fund (DLSF) provides financial support to assist learners aged 19 or above who are experiencing difficulty in meeting the costs associated with their learning.

How the learner support fund works

In 2016/17 WAES faces the challenge of using the fund we have in the fairest way to benefit as many students as possible knowing that we can’t meet everyone’s needs. We have decided the most important thing to do is to ensure that as many students as possible can join a class and take their exam. Therefore:

• The fund will be prioritised to contribute to the cost of tuition fees and exam fees for those in most need (mainly those in receipt of means tested state benefits)

• The process will be completed when you enrol if you are elgible and we will pay the money for tuition and exams on your behalf

• We will only help each student once each academic year (not each term as previously). This means if you enrol on more than one course this academic year you will have to pay the tuition fee and exam fee yourself even if you were supported financially for your first enrolment

What types of costs are supported by the fund at the point of enrolment?

• 30% of tuition fees
• 100% examination fees
• 100% course material fees
• Travel expenses

Who can apply for support?

To be eligible for funds from the DSLF learners must be aged 19 years or older and must be studying a qualification course at WAES. There is no entitlement to the funds - support is discretionary. Learners studying Community Learning, Full Cost or Advanced Loan funded courses are not eligible to apply. Speak to an adviser for more information.

Eligible learners must also be on a low household income or be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

• Jobseekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance
• Universal Credit
• Working Tax Credit
• Child Tax Credit
• Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance
• Carers & Disability Benefit
• Pension Credit
• Income Support
• Other current DWP low-income benefits

Learners with a household income of less than £21,000 must provide their
three most recent pay slips or a valid P60.

Travel expenses reimbursement

The Discretionary Learner Support Fund provides financial support to those incurring travel expenses as part of their study.

The amount reimbursed for travel is based on the learner’s address, the WAES centre of study and the days that study takes place.

Reimbursement of travel payments is set at a maximum of £4.50 per day and £13.50 a week. In some cases additional support may be offered, considered on a case by case basis. Valid travel receipts are required for submission.

To make a claim submit the dedicated form along with receipts by the deadlines listed below for travel expenses incurred to date in that term. Learners may submit claims for travel expenses up to two weeks before the deadlines shown. The form can be collected from a member of staff in the Learner Hub.

Term one: 5 November 2016, 6 January 2017
Term two: 24 February, 22 April
Term three: 10 June, 21 July

How to apply for the Discretionary Learner Support Fund

In most cases the application will be completed at the point of enrolment. Learners are entitled to one application and one course only per year. Other applications will only be accepted at the discretion of the Head of Learner Experience.

As well as showing receipt of benefits or household income listed above, learners must provide a current bank, building society or Post Office statement. The statement must be within three months of the application date. Mini statements are not accepted. Learners are expected to commit to 100% attendance of lessons on the course.

Further information and useful contacts

If you require advice about other sources of financial help please speak to a Learner Experience Officer.

Futher information is available from www.dfes.gov.uk, www.lsc.gov.uk,

Information about studying and financial help is available from www.support4learning.co.uk

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