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  • You may qualify for financial aid
    Financial support is available

To ensure that all children resident in the City of London get the best possible start in life, there are various grants and other forms of financial support available to parents.

Free school meals

​Paying for school meals can be very expensive for some families; however parents who get certain government benefits and/or Tax Credits can get help by applying for free school meals.

Parents do not have to pay for school lunches if they receive any of the following:

  • income support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

From September 2104 all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to free school meals. You still need to complete an application form though, as this ensures that the school receives the funding to pay for your child's meals.

How do I apply?

An application should be made direct to the local authority where the school your child attends is located. Children who go to school at Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School should apply to the City of London Corporation. You can apply for free school meals online.

Contact

For further information call 020 7332 1002, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or email fyi@cityoflondon.gov.uk

School travel allowance

​Transport for London (TFL) provides free travel on buses, tubes, trams, DLR and London Overground for children aged five to ten and free bus and tram young people aged 11 to 18 in full time education.

To find out more go to the TFL webpages for under 18s. You may be entitled to help get additional help from the City with your child’s school train journey costs. If your child is aged between 11 and 18, living within the City and attending full time education at:

  • a maintained school
  • any public sector sixth form school or college
  • any other school or college that receives funding from the Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA)

The City of London may fund free train travel if you or your child is:

  • living in the City of London
  • is aged 11 to 18
  • is in full time education (minimum 12 guided learning hours per week)
  • their bus ride to school or college is longer than an hour
  • it was not possible to find suitable education/course closer to your home

Download Home to school transport policy (175KB) 

Download Post 16 transport policy (96KB) 

School clothing grant

The City of London Corporation's School Clothing Grant Policy provides financial assistance with the cost of school clothing and footwear for families on low incomes living in the City.

Who is eligible for a clothing grant?

The grant is a one-off payment which is available to parents whose children qualify for free school meals and:

  1. Have a child transferring from a primary to a publicly funded secondary school where there is an agreed school uniform, and or;
  2. Have a child due to start reception class from September in a publicly funded primary school where there is an agreed school uniform.
  3. The applicant for the clothing grant must be resident in the City of London at the time of application to be eligible.

How much is the grant?

A maximum grant of £135 for families whose children are transferring to secondary school.

A maximum grant of £30 for families whose children will be starting reception class in September.

Do I need to provide proof of eligibility?

After you have completed the application form your details will be checked against the Department for Education's Free School Meals Eligibility checking website. If you are receiving one of the qualifying benefits, your details will be matched on the database. If your details do not match the database, this means that you may not be entitled to free school meals, therefore not entitled to clothing grants.

If your details cannot be matched on the website but you think you are eligible, you will need to send a copy of an official letter or award notification confirming the qualifying criteria that applies to you.

Is there a deadline for the application?

Yes, applications must be made by the end of the July before the September in which your child will be transferring from primary to secondary school or will be attending primary reception class.

Who do I contact for an application form?

The City of London will automatically send application forms to families who have gone through the primary and secondary admissions process. If you do not receive a form by June, please contact the Education and Early Years Service.

If you do not live in the City of London area, you must contact your home local authority to find out about their school clothing grant policy.

Contact

For further information call 020 7332 1002, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or email fyi@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Bursary fund for 16-19s in education

​If you're aged between 16 and 19 and think you might struggle with the costs for full-time education or training, you may be eligible for a bursary.

Students in the following groups may receive the maximum bursary of £1,200 a year:

  • young people in care
  • care leavers
  • young people claiming income support in their own name
  • disabled young people who receive both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance in their own name

To receive the maximum bursary your course must last for 30 weeks or more. If your course is shorter than 30 weeks, you may receive less.

Other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider.

Unlike the EMA, schools, colleges and training providers will be responsible for awarding bursaries to students. With the exception of the £1,200 bursaries for students most in need, they decide on the amount. They will also decide when bursaries are paid, and will set conditions that students should meet to receive a bursary, for example, linked to behaviour or attendance.

How to apply for a bursary

Speak to your school, college, Academy or training provider about how to apply for a bursary.

They each have their own applications process. If you're in one of the groups above, they may ask you to provide evidence of your status. If you're not in one of the groups above and are applying for a discretionary bursary, they may ask you to provide evidence of household income.

Useful websites

Student finance

16-19 Bursary Fund

Student loans

Students on higher education courses may be able to get loans to help with both tuition fees and living costs.

Full time student loans

Students doing a full-time higher education course may be able to take out:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan to cover tuition fees
  • a Maintenance Loan to help with accommodation and other living costs

Part time student loans

Students doing a part-time higher education course may be able to take out:

  • Professional Career Development Loan - a tuition fee loan from September 2012

Who is eligible for student loans and finance?

Student finance isn't available to everyone, there are certain criteria you need to meet to be eligible. Some of these conditions are personal, such as your age and where you live, while others are to do with your course and place of study. These include:

  • where you live
  • your university or college
  • your course
  • whether you’ve studied before; your age

To find out if you qualify go to the Student finance page on the GOV UK website.

How to apply?

Full time students can apply for loans by going online at Student finance on GOV UK.

Part time students can apply for loans by downloading the part-time application form for 2012/13 and sending it to Student Finance England after you enrol on your course. Your university or college needs to stamp and sign your form first.

Students doing a full-time higher education course can take out a Tuition Fee Loan to cover tuition fees and a Maintenance Loan to help with accommodation and other living costs.

Other Grants and Bursaries

You may be entitled to claim other financial support by checking the Student finance calculator.

Contact

Student Finance England
0845 300 50 90
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5.30pm

City Educational Trust Fund

To find out more about the City Educational Trust Fund and the Combined Education Charity, visit the Central Grants Programme webpage.


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