Research has indicated that almost two-thirds of those aged 16 years old do not know government funding is available for sixth-formers who need financial support.
The survey asked more than 3,500 students in an attempt to discover how effective the government’s bursary funding has been so far. The government-funded researchers found that only 36 per cent of students had heard of the bursary, before they finished year 11.
For those who received bursary funding, 35 per cent said it was not a large enough amount to make a difference to their lives. However, 28 per cent said that without the funding, they would not have been able to remain in education due to the costs.
Bursary funding replaced the old Education Maintenance Allowance, and provides support to students who are disadvantaged financially and therefore may be unable to afford training or further education after they turn 16.
“It’s always the case that, when you replace a universal grant with one that is means-tested, there’s lower take-up. The young people who need it the most are the least likely to have the means and resources to find out about it,” said Mary Bousted, of the ATL teaching union.
Students called for more promoting of the bursary to be done during year 10 and year 11, before they have made their decisions about post-16 education.