Please find a range of frequently asked questions below.
Learner Bursaries and Financial Support Policy
To view the College's Learner Bursaries and Financial Support Policy, download it from our Student Policies page.
- Where can I find the Financial Support Guidelines
For a copy of the BSDC Financial Support Guidelines 2018-19 (which includes BACS payment dates) please contact our Financial Support Team, or alternatively you can find these on Canvas.
- How and when should I apply for financial support?
Applications are available from Monday 1st August 2019, however any award made between this date and the Monday 2nd September 2019, will remain ‘provisional’ until we receive confirmation of your enrolment and first full week of attendance.
The deadline for applications for 2019-20 April 2020, however, we would encourage learners who may be eligible for support to apply as soon as possible as all applications will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis.
Once all of the funding has been allocated, you will be added to a waiting list. In the event that more funds are made available to the College, we will contact you.
You should hand in your completed application form with all the required supporting evidence to Learner Services at either Burton Town Centre Campus or the Construction Academy in Swadlincote.
Please bring your application and supporting documents into the College in person. This will help us to process your form quickly and give you a chance to ask any questions you may have face to face.
- Do I need to provide anything with my application?
Yes, you should hand in your completed application form with all the required supporting evidence of income to Learner Services at either the Burton Town Centre Campus or the Construction Academy in Swadlincote.
Evidence required to support applications is as follows:
- 2019-20 Tax Credit Annual Review or Award Notice for your household (provisional notices will not be accepted and we require all pages).
- Benefits Agency letter setting out the means tested benefits such as Income Support or Universal Credit, Income-related Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Income-related Job Seekers Allowance to which you and or other members of your household are claiming. This should be dated within three months of your application.
- Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) letter setting out the guarantee element of State Pension Credit to which you and or other members of your household are claiming. This should be dated within three months of your application.
Evidence should be dated within three months of the support application date. Evidence which exceeds this time limit maybe accepted under exceptional circumstances, subject to the provision of supporting evidence that the recipient remains in receipt of the payments. This may be in the form of a bank statement or confirmation letter from the Benefits Agency.
Additional evidence of income may be requested for applications made under exceptional circumstances.
We will wish to see original documents as we cannot accept copies.
- If I submit an application am I guaranteed funding?
No. Eligibility does not guarantee support as funds are limited and all awards are made on an individual needs basis.
- If I don’t meet the eligibility criteria can I still get need help?
Yes. If you feel you still have a need but you or your household does not meet the eligibility criteria, you may apply for funding under ‘Exceptional Circumstances’. You will be required to write and submit a statement, with appropriate and sufficient supporting evidence, with your application. All awards made under exceptional circumstances are made at the discretion of the Learner Services Team Leader.
- How long will it take to assess my application?
Assessment is carried out by the Learner Services Team Leader, Financial Support Coordinator, Officer and Assistants. We endeavour to complete assessments within:
- Peak Enrolment (August, September and October): 10-15 working days from date of Application Acceptance*
- All other times: 3-5 working days from date of Application Acceptance*
* The date of ‘Application Acceptance’ is the point in time at which the application has been received and is complete (no further queries). This differs from the ‘Application Received’ date which is the date the application was received by the Financial Support Team.
- What happens if my application is successful?
If your application is successful you will receive an Award Notification to your College email or via SMS text message. This will confirm the support awarded to you.
- What happens if my application is unsuccessful?
If your application was unsuccessful, due to you not meeting the eligibility requirements, a notification will be sent to your College email.
- How will I get paid?
Where practicable, the College will purchase and provide items on the learner’s behalf. Where payment to the learner is necessary, these will be made by BACS directly to the learner’s bank account. Unfortunately payments cannot be made where the learner is not named on the bank account.
- What do I do if I am unhappy with the outcome of my application?
You have the right to appeal if:
- You believe your application has been assessed incorrectly
- You are not happy with the level of support awarded
- You were found to be not eligible for an award
Your appeal should be made in writing, by completing the Financial Support Appeals Form which is available from Learner Services or online, within 10 working days of receiving either and Award Notification or a letter notifying you that you are not eligible for support. Please address your appeal to:
Financial Support Appeals
Learner Services Team Leader
Learner Voice, Services & Reputation
Burton and South Derbyshire College
The Learner Services Team Leader will consider your appeal and either confirm or amend the initial decision. You will then be advised of the outcome and any action to be taken in writing within 10 working days. The decision of the Learner Services Team Leader will be final.
- Are there any conditions on the funding I am awarded?
Yes. All funding is dependent on you maintaining and average attendance rate of at least 90% and adhering to the College’s learner policies and Respect Agreement.
In the event that your average attendance rate falls below 90%, we would expect strategies for improving your attendance to be discussed and agreed with your Learner Mentor, and goals to improve attendance set. Should you fail to achieve any agreed goals within the specified time period, we reserve the right to suspend any further support due to you until which time the goals have been met and your attendance level improves to an acceptable level.
In the event that your average attendance rate falls below 75%, we reserve the right to suspend your support payments and adjust your award accordingly to reflect your total period of absence and remove your entitlement to any outstanding accumulated payments.
We also reserve the right to suspend or cancel your support, should you:
- Fail to attend College for ten or more consecutive days
- Fail to keep up to date with course work
- Be subject to disciplinary action including suspension
- Withdraw or be withdrawn from College
Any suspended payments will be accumulated and in the event of a residual balance at the end of the academic year, this will be written off.
- What happens if I withdraw early from my course?
If you withdraw from your course, your support will be stopped immediately and you may have to pay back all or some of the monies paid. You will also be liable for any outstanding debts to the College or third parties.
Any kit, uniform and/or equipment provided should be returned to your learner mentor within 5 to 10 working days of your last date of attendance.