League Football Education’s Bursary Policy

League Football Education (LFE) offers a range of financial support through our 16-19 Financial Support Fund to young people who need assistance to stay in education. Below is an overview of the support available:

Eligibility Criteria:

Age Requirements: You must be aged 16-18 on 31 August 2024, aged 19 and in the second year of a 2-year course or 19-25 with an Educational Health Care plan (EHCP)

Students need to meet one or more of the following:

  • Eligible for Free College Meals.
  • From families receiving benefits or with a gross annual income of £28,000 or less.
  • Young Carers for their own child or a close family member.

Whilst on the LFE CT Study programme, Child Benefit continues to be paid to your parents/carers until you reach the age of 19, or in some cases 20.

All applications should be made through your HM Revenue and Customs Child Benefit Office, details of which can be found online.

You may be asked to provide evidence that you are in full-time education. If so, please contact the lead tutor at your club who will arrange for this to be provided.

Discretionary Bursary:

  • Available to learners who meet the above criteria but do not qualify for vulnerable bursary.


  • Purchase a subsidised bus pass.
  • Contribution towards train fares or bus passes.


  • Financial contribution towards essential course related equipment, with the amount depending on household income and availability of funds.

Vulnerable Student Bursary:

  • Provides in-kind support plus a small weekly payment during term time, subject to attendance:
  • Up to £1,200 for students who:
    • Are in or have recently left local authority care.
    • Receive Universal Credit or Income Support in their own name.
    • Receive Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance, or Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments in their own name.

Eligible students receive £2.53 per day

  • 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 (UC) with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 for each year (after tax and not including any benefits they get).
  • A student is only eligible to receive a free meal when they, or a responsible adult on their behalf, have made a successful application to League Football Education.
  • It is important that institutions ensure they understand that a parent or student must be in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits set out above to be eligible.
  • Working Tax Credit is not a qualifying benefit for free meals, and a parent or student in receipt of Working Tax Credits is not entitled to a free meal (this is a common question sent to ESFA). Qualifying benefits do include the Working Tax Credit run-on which is paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.
  • From 1 April 2018, any student who is in receipt of, or has parents who are in receipt of, UC must have a net earned annual income of no more than £7,400 to be eligible for free meals.

Application Window 1 – New and returning students bursary application window.

16th September 2024 – Friday 4th of October 2024 @ 4:00pm – Bursaries will be back dated to the start of term.

Application Window 25th October 2024 – 20th June 2025 @ 4:00pm – Bursaries will only be backdated to the date the bursary application was submitted.

1. Application

  • Using League Football Educations Bursary Application Form
  • Enter you’re your personal and financial details.
  • Sign and date the form.

2. Submit Your Application:

  • Ensure all details are correct, read all the information on each page.
  • Answer the eligibility questions.
  • Provide all relevant financial evidence to a member of your Club Community Organisation (CCO) tutor team.
  • Provide bank details to your Community Trust.
  • Review and submit your application.
  • The complete application and evidence must be submitted to the Club Community Organisation (CCO) who will pass it on to LFE’s Bursary Team.
  • A member of the Bursary Team will process the application and contact the Community Trust with the outcome. Money will then be paid to the Community Trust who will distribute funds.

3. LFE will process the application within 10 working days liaise with the CCO to provide the required support for successful applicants.


Appeals Procedure for League Football Education Students Bursary Applications

Notification of Decision

The applicant receives a formal notification of the bursary application decision, including reasons for any denial or partial award.

Grounds for Appeal

The applicant determines if they have valid grounds for an appeal. Valid grounds may include:

  • Procedural errors (e.g., application was not processed correctly).
  • New, significant information not available at the time of application.
  • Perceived unfair treatment or bias in the decision-making process.

4. Initial Consultation

The applicant contacts the bursary office for an initial consultation to discuss the decision and understand the appeal process. This step is to clarify any misunderstandings and ensure all information was accurately presented.

5. Submission of Appeal

The applicant prepares and submits a formal written appeal. The appeal should include:

  • A clear statement of the grounds for appeal.
  • Relevant supporting documents (e.g., new evidence, procedural error details).
  • A personal statement explaining why the bursary decision should be reconsidered.

The appeal is submitted to the bursary application team within a specified timeframe (typically within 14-30 days of the decision notification).

6. Acknowledgment of Appeal

The bursary team acknowledges receipt of the appeal and provides an estimated timeline for the review process.

7. Review Process

The appeals committee conducts a thorough review of the appeal, which may include:

  • Verification of the original application and decision process.
  • Review of new evidence or information provided.
  • Interviews with the applicant or relevant staff if necessary.

8. Decision

The appeals committee makes a decision based on the review. Possible outcomes include:

  • Upholding the original decision.
  • Modifying the decision (e.g., awarding a full or partial bursary).
  • Reversing the decision and granting the bursary.

The decision is documented, and a formal notification is sent to the applicant detailing the outcome and reasons.

9. Final Review

If the applicant is dissatisfied with the appeals decision, they may request a final review by a higher authority (The CCO Manager and members of the MIS Team). This step may have additional criteria and a stricter timeframe for submission.

10. Resolution and Feedback

The final decision is communicated to the applicant. If the appeal is successful, the bursary is awarded or adjusted accordingly.

The applicant is invited to provide feedback on the appeals process to help improve future procedures.

11. Documentation and Records

All documentation related to the appeal, including decisions and communications, is securely stored in the applicant’s file for future reference and compliance purposes.

You should use this checklist when assessing student applications for support from the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

Eligibility: All Bursaries

  • Student meets the age criteria.
  • Eligible education provision.
  • Student meets the residency criteria for post-16 provision.
  • Evidence of eligibility has been retained.

Bursary for defined vulnerable groups

  • Student falls within one of the defined vulnerable groups for example, in receipt of the specified benefits in their own right or in care/care leaver.
  • Financial needs assessment carried out to confirm actual financial need and amount of support required. No student should automatically receive £1,200.
  • Appropriate evidence seen and copies retained to confirm student’s eligibility.
  • Support awarded in kind (bus pass, meal vouchers, books or equipment purchased on student’s behalf). Receipts should be retained.
  • Award letter issued to student confirming the amount of support, what support will be made in-kind and payment conditions.

Discretionary bursary

  • Evidence to confirm the student meets the institution’s bursary fund criteria, including household income and statement of actual participation costs.
  • Evidence of income and overall eligibility obtained, and copies retained.
  • Assessment of student’s actual financial needs carried out. Block, blanket or flat rate payments are not permitted – the bursary award should reflect the actual costs the student has.
  • Support awarded in kind (bus pass, meal vouchers, books or equipment purchased on student’s behalf). Receipts should be retained.
  • Award letter issued to student confirming the amount of support, what support will be made in-kind and payment conditions.