Brent Start Adult Education Service Discretionary Learner Support Fund (DLSF) is available to support learners who are suffering from extreme hardship. This fund is used to support students on a low income with assistance with any associated costs with their study, while studying at Brent Start .
These costs could include support with essential course materials, external childcare, and exam related fees. There is no entitlement to the funds - support is discretionary and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
- Only eligible learners can be supported through this fund
- Brent Start has available a limited allocation in regard to DLSF Funds
- Reduced awards may be issued to learners if demand exceeds the available funds
- When the fund is fully committed no further applications or award allocations will be made
- Discretionary Learner Support Funds is only available to learners studying for a qualification. Brent Start Community Learning, Level 3 courses and ‘Full Cost’ provision is not covered by this fund
- This support will only accept applications for financial support or childcare using the Brent Start application form, childcare support is limited and the amount paid will be agreed in advance.
Who can apply
Any Learner who applies to the Discretionary Learner Support Fund must meet the criteria that has been set through the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).
To be eligible for support from the DLSF, learners must:
- Be aged 19 or over on 31 August 2021
- Be eligible for Adult Education Budget (AEB) Education and Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) /Greater London Authority (GLA) funding (London postcodes valid only)
- Be enrolled on an AEB ESFA/GLA funded course (London postcodes only)
- Have lived in the UK or within the EU for the last 3 years, and are eligible to receive public fundsBe working and earning below £21,157
Eligible learners must also be on a low household income or be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Jobseekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- Other current DWP low-income benefits Other current DWP low-income benefits
Learners with a household income of less than £21,157 must provide their three most recent pay slips or a valid P60.
Have shown full commitment to their programme of study with attendance of at least 85% and a satisfactory progress (tutor reference)
DLSF (financial support)
Brent Start will make a contribution towards course registration and examination costs
Learners may apply for support with essential additional equipment or resources needed to study, any support issued for equipment must be essential for course achievement.
Discretionary Childcare Support - for learners aged 20 and over
Learners may apply for assistance with the cost of childcare for the hours that they are timetabled to attend their Brent Start course or work placement only
Learners must use an Ofsted a registered childcare provider, or approved out-of-hours school club, or similar. Please note we only use childcare providers already listed and registered with Brent Council. All paperwork must be completed before any payment can take place.
The Learner Services Manager and Finance Officer will liaise with external providers and Brent Council Finance regarding POs and payments.
If further childcare support is needed, this needs to be agreed by the Learner Services Manger. Issues or concerns regarding payment to external providers will be investigated by Learner Services Manager.
- Learners must submit a completed DLSF application form.
- Learners will demonstrate they are earning less than £21,157 will be requested to provide a one month payslips, or contract of employment. The most recent evidence must be provided and must be dated no more than 30 days before the date of their DLSF application.
- Payments will be made to the childcare provider
- Brent Start may require additional evidence if it is felt that the current evidence provided does no clearly match the set criteria of application.
- Learners need to be aware that all DLSF evidence must be seen by the administrator who is managing the DLSF.
How to apply for the Discretionary Learner Support Fund
In most cases the application will be completed at the point of enrolment. Learners are entitled to one application and one course only per year. Other applications will only be accepted at the discretion of the Senior Management Team.
Brent Start takes fraud seriously and will take action if it is found that a claim through the DLSF has been made fraudulently and will take appropriate action to recover funds if necessary.