Ensure Your School Meets ESFA Audits on Post-16 Bursary Funding

Lucy Brook

Published in Applicaa | May 24, 2022

bursary16+ digital bursary management

Through feedback from the schools we work with, we have gained a strong understanding of the process involved in administering post-16 bursaries for 6th Form students in maintained sector schools. Many schools informed us that the process is time-consuming and carries a significant amount of administration and paperwork. This essential financial support for students enables them to access additional finance to put towards expenses such as school travel and equipment. The impact on the school support team is trying to ensure accurate management of the bursaries, along with timely access for students has led many schools to look for a digital solution. Armed with this feedback from our customer schools, Applicaa has created Bursary16+, the complete online management tool for the administration of post-16 bursaries.

Does your school need help with the following?

  • Managing applications for post-16 bursaries
  • Checking eligibility
  • Processing multiple receipts
  • Authorisation of bursary payments
  • Communicating with the finance team
  • Keeping track of payments
  • Managing the remaining budget
  • This can all be a huge task!

ESFA Guidance on Awarding Bursaries

In addition to the cumbersome work mentioned above, there is another clear reason to adopt Bursary16+ in your school, ESFA changes. As stated on the Government’s website on this page https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-bursary-fund-guide-2021-to-2022-academic-year,

“Institutions must ensure they assess the actual financial needs of individual students when awarding bursary funding. ESFA audit and assurance work and ongoing monitoring/feedback activity by DfE continues to find institutions making flat rate/fixed rate payments to students without considering individual student financial needs. Both types of bursary funding are designed to help students overcome the individual financial barriers to participation that they face, and institutions must ensure the funds go to those who genuinely need them. No student should automatically be awarded a set amount of funding without an assessment of the level of financial need they have”.

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Simple to use a yet powerful digital tool, the Bursary16+ system is very easy to adopt and there are step-by-step guides on how to set up the system to cater to your school’s requirements and to meet the ESFA guidance above. In addition, every school that signs up for an Applicaa product is assigned a Customer Success Manager to help you every step of the way and to ensure every school gets the best out of our digital platforms. The Bursary16+ system was piloted by Solihull Sixth Form College to ensure that it worked within a school setting before we launched it to other schools. Michelle, who ran the Solihull Sixth Form pilot, explains more.  “The bursary system has been invaluable in managing post-16 bursary applications and gathering confidential evidence. A profile is created for each student to manage their bursary application and confidential evidence. This holds data, evidence, bursary allocations, and all the expenses so we can work so much more efficiently. The communication tools available mean we can tailor personal messages or group emails. There is so much the system offers, including reporting. My school awards 800 bursaries and having the support of Bursary16+ has been the best investment, a brilliant tool for supporting our vulnerable students more effectively.” ~ Michelle Burke, Solihull Sixth Form College. The system has a data dashboard that shows the number of requests in each of the categories below for a simple view of progress at each stage.

  • In Progress
  • Submitted
  • Awarded
  • Awaiting additional information
  • Validated

For each individual student, you can see at a glance how much they have spent per item and on what, with a total expenditure figure at the end. We are confident that this powerful and effective digital solution meets the needs of schools in relation to simplifying the management of post-16 bursaries and ensuring that your students can access funding easily as and when they need it. If you would like to know more please visit www.applicaa.com/bursary16plus

Lucy Brook

Hello, my name is Lucy, I look after marketing and operations for Applicaa and have worked in education sector marketing since 2012. I have three senior school-age children and have experienced the application process to a variety of different schools over the years including in the UK and the USA and across different stages from nursery to sixth form and different types of schools including state, grammar, and independent.