A group of 16-18 year old students during a lesson

At BSDC, we offer two bursaries for those aged 16 to 18 years of age which are designed to help learners from low income families to meet some of the costs incurred as a result of studying.  Support is available per academic year. If you are on a two year course it is important to note that you will need to make a new application each year of study.

Please apply online for financial support via the following links:

16-18 Financial Support Application Form

Free/Discretionary Meals Application Form

  • Enhanced Bursary

    The Enhanced Bursary is available to those identified as vulnerable leaners. The priority groups, as defined by the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), for support are:

    • Young people in care
    • Young people leaving care
    • Young people in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit in their own right
    • Young people in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments AND Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit

    Learners in these priority groups who believe that they qualify for the Enhanced Bursary are required to provide evidence of their care status or benefits as above to support their application. For example:

    • For learners who are in care or a care leaver, written confirmation of their current or previous looked after status from the relevant local authority - this is the local authority that looks after them or provides their leaving care services. The evidence could be a letter or an email but must be clearly from the local authority.
    • For learners in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit, a copy of their income support or universal credit award notice. This must clearly state that the claim is in the learner’s name/confirm they are entitled to the benefits in their own right. The evidence must not state any conditions that prevent them from participating in further education or training. For learners in receipt of Universal Credit, institutions must also see a tenancy agreement in the learner’s name, a child benefit receipt, children’s birth certificates, utility bills etc.
    • For learners receiving Universal Credit (UC)/Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP), a copy of their UC claim from DWP (UC claimants should be able to print off details of their award from their online account). Evidence of receipt of disability living allowance or personal independence payment, must also be provided.

    Applicants are also required to declare if they are:

    • Attending a specialist residential provision where all costs are covered.
    • Taking a distance learning course and there are no costs, such as transport or meals.
    • Under local authority care and their costs are covered.

    Under these circumstances an applicant may not be eligible for an award.

  • Discretionary Bursary

    The Discretionary Bursary is available to learners aged 16 to 18 years of age as of the 31st August who meet Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) criteria for post-16 provision.  The priority groups for support are:

    • Young people living with parent(s) or guardian(s) with a household income of less than £17,417 gross per year (before deductions) or are solely dependent on savings.
    • Young people living with parent(s) or guardian(s) who are in receipt of one or more of the following means test benefits:
    1. Universal Credit
    2. Working Tax Credits
    3. Working Tax Credit run-on which is paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
    4. Income Support
    5. Job Seekers Allowance
    6. Employment Support Allowance
    7. Housing Benefit
    • Young people living with parent(s) or guardian(s) who are in receipt of the guaranteed element of a state pension.
    • Young people aged 19 or over and continuing on the same study programme which they started when aged 16 to 18 (19+ continuers)
    • Young people aged 19 to 25 years with a current Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) whose studies are continuing to be funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
    • Young people eligible for support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

    Applications will only be considered for assistance with:

    • Travel (travel contributions, concessionary bus passes or Cycle2College scheme) for those living more than 3 miles from their main campus.
    • Equipment, uniform, work wear (including shoes and boots) - for information on the kit and uniform requirements for your chosen subject, please visit our website page for details and order forms.
    • Art and design materials.
    • Printing and copying. 
    • Trips and visits.
    • Text books and or revision guides.
  • Free Meals at College

    If you are aged 16, 17 or 18 years of age as of the 31st August, you may be eligible to receive free College meals.

    If you are aged 19 and continuing on a study programme which you began aged 16 to 18 (referred to as ‘19+ continuers’) or aged 19 to 25 years and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), you may be eligible to continue to receive free college meals as long as your eligibility continues.

    Free college meals are targeted at disadvantaged learners.  Guidance defines ‘disadvantaged’ as learners in receipt of, or residing with parents or carers, who are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
    • 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 (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

    Please note that Working Tax Credit is not a qualifying benefit for free meals, and a parent or learner in receipt of Working Tax Credits is not entitled to a free college meal.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    If I had free meals at school does this automatically continue at College?

    A learner is only eligible to receive a free meal when they, or a responsible adult on their behalf, has made a successful application to the college.  Free meals will commence from the date of award.

    Do I have to apply every year?

    Returning learners must apply again for each academic year.

    How will I receive my free meal?

    Successful applicants will receive vouchers to spend in the College Food Hub to the value of £3 per day. 

    Is there anything I cannot use my free meal voucher on?

    The daily allowance will exclude the purchase of certain items, including drinks, confectionery and crisps.  

    What days will I receive a free meal?

    Free meals will only be provided on the days where learner is timetabled in college for a minimum of 5 hours.  For example, if a learner attends for 5 days a week, 9am to 3pm, for part of their course, the college will provide 5 free meals. If a learner has 2 days a week when they only attend from 9am to 10am, then the college does not have to provide meals on those days.  

    What happens if I am on a trip or on work placement?

    Learners who are off-site on work placement or work experience as part of their study programme whose host organisation is unable or unwilling to provide a meal and who have no access to a suitable food outlet that will accept a voucher will be deemed exceptional cases and as such will receive a cash payment of £3 per day by BACS. Examples include work placements in rural areas or on industrial sites.

    Who is not eligible for free meals?

    The following groups of learners are not eligible for free college meals:

    • Learners aged between 14 and 16 (these students are already covered by free school meals (FSM) provision)
    • Learners aged 19 or over at the start of their study programme, unless they have an EHCP or are a 19+ continuer
    • Apprentices, including those with an EHCP
  • Discretionary Free Meals at College

    If you are aged 16, 17 or 18 years of age as of the 31st August and not eligible to receive free College meals, you may be eligible to apply for Discretionary Free Meals. Please contact us for further advice.

    Support is discretionary and subject to the availability of funds - support cannot and is not guaranteed.  

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    When will my meals start?

    A learner is only eligible to receive a discretionary free meal when they, or a responsible adult on their behalf, has made a successful application to the college.  Discretionary free meals will commence from the date of award.

    How will I receive my meal?

    Successful applicants will receive vouchers to spend in the College Food Hub to the value of £3 per day. 

    Is there anything I cannot use my meal voucher on?

    The daily allowance will exclude the purchase of certain items including drinks, confectionery and crisps.  

    What days will I receive a discretionary free meal?

    Discretionary free meals will only be provided on the days where learner is timetabled in college for a minimum of 5 hours. For example, if a learner attends for 5 days a week, 9am to 3pm, for part of their course, the college will provide 5 meals. If a learner has 2 days a week when they only attend from 9am to 10am, then the college will not provide meals on those days.  

    What happens if I am on a trip or on work placement?

    Learners who are off-site on work placement or work experience as part of their study programme whose host organisation is unable or unwilling to provide a meal and who have no access to a suitable food outlet that will accept a voucher will be deemed exceptional cases and as such will receive a cash payment of £3 per day by BACS. Examples include work placements in rural areas or on industrial sites.

  • Get in touch

    Email us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     

    Call us: 01283 494757 or 01283 494472

    Visit us: Chat to our Financial Support Coordinator in the Learner Hub at our Burton town centre campus or our Learner Services Team at Stephen Burke Construction Academy.

    Opening hours: You can drop-in to speak to one of our advisors Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 1.00pm. Appointments are available on a Monday to Thursday between 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Fridays are strictly by appointment only. To make an appointment please call or email.

Contact Details

Contact Details


Burton and South Derbyshire College
Tel: 01283 494400

Town Centre Campus


Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

Stephen Burke Construction Academy


Construction Academy, 21 Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 OBB