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Barclays Learning Support Grants

Grants of up to £1,000 are available to help individuals with dependent children achieve their goals by funding the additional costs associated with volunteering, further education and training. Up to £500 of any grant given can be allocated to basic household needs.

An increasing number of families are facing financial challenges, more than ever before.  For families on low income, these increasing costs at home present a significant barrier to pursuing their career goals or even starting or staying in education.

We recognise that funding the costs of education or training puts pressure on household budgets and choices will often have to be made between immediate needs (food and heating) and improving future prospects.

The Barclays Learning Support Grants programme addresses families’ basic needs – giving them the space to think about their future, whilst also helping to unlock their potential through further education.  This programme will help adults across the UK to begin their studies, as well as supporting existing students to continue and complete their studies.

Who can submit a grant application?

Authorised members of staff from further educational colleges and adult education institutions that have signed a contract, or Family Action’s services and partner organisations delivering Barclays LifeSkills. Only the following Colleges and organisations are eligible to apply:

  • Ayrshire College
  • Belfast Metropolitan College
  • Coventry College
  • East Coast College
  • Family Action Lifeskills Central
  • Family Action Lifeskills North
  • Family Action Lifeskills South
  • Gower College, Swansea
  • Hartlepool College of Further Education
  • Stanmore College
  • The City of Liverpool College

If you are a student studying at one of the above colleges, please contact the college student support/welfare department to have an application submitted on your behalf, if you meet the eligibility criteria.  If you are participating in one of Family Action’s LifeSkills programmes please contact your support worker to discuss submitting an application.

Prior to submitting an application on behalf of an applicant, you need to ensure they understand how the data will be used and to obtain their consent to their data being processed by Family Action, for the purposes of making an application for a grant from the fund.  For full details, please refer to the Terms and Conditions attached to the online application form.

Who cannot submit a grant application?

Students cannot submit an application on their own behalf.

We do not accept applications from members of the public.

We do not accept applications from any college or organisation other than the ones listed above.

Which Students at Further Education Colleges/Adult Education Institutions are eligible for a grant?

We will consider applications for students who meet all the following criteria:

Family status: Be a parent/carer with legal responsibility for a child/ children aged under 18.

Income: Be in receipt of one or more of the means-tested benefits listed below OR have a household income of £30,000.00 or less.

  • Income-based JSA
  • Income-related ESA
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Support

Please note: we will require evidence of means-tested benefits received such as a universal credit statement, showing the name of the applicant and details of benefits received that is less than 3 months old OR an Application Registration Card (ARC).

Residency status: Have right of residency in the UK.

Level of study: Be a student currently studying on a course at a partner Further Education College or Adult Education Institution at the following national framework levels:
• England, Northern Ireland and Wales: Levels 2* and 3
• Scotland: Levels 5 and 6

Goals: Be retraining following a period of unemployment OR pursuing education/training with a view to future employment.

*Please note if the student is studying a GCSE they should have a predicted grade of 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 or 4
to achieve a Level 2 qualification.

Which Participants in Family Action's LifeSkills Programme are eligible for a grant?

LifeSkills: Have participated or are participating in Family Action’s LifeSkills programme

Income: Be in receipt of one or more of the means-tested benefits listed below OR have a household income of £30,000.00 or less.

  • Income-based JSA
  • Income-related ESA
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Support

Residency status: Have right of residency in the UK.

What items can be funded?

The “additional” costs directly associated with a course of study as follows:
• Laptop/computer/tablet (that includes Microsoft software package)
• Smartphone
• Broadband OR Smartphone Data
• Computer software (special needs or disability only, e.g. to assist those with visual impairment)
• Books required for the course of study
• Equipment required for the course, that is not provided by the place of study
• Travel
• Exam fees
• Food allowance (£3.50 p.d.maximum)
• Contribution to basic household needs (food, gas, electric, oil) of up to £500 dependant on the size of the household

In addition to the items above, participants of Family Action’s LifeSkills programme can also apply for the following:
• Course fees, e.g. short course to obtain a food and hygiene certificate.
• Clothing for interviews or work placements.
• Childcare
• Other (to be specified)

What items cannot be funded?

We will not fund full or part-time further or higher education course fees, costs already incurred, items provided by the place of study for the course, childcare (except applicants referred through the LifeSkills programme), courses outside the UK. We will only fund items listed above.

Note: If the applicant is looking to fund personal needs not associated with this programme please look here and review the eligibility criteria for “welfare grants” to see if we can assist.

How much can be applied for?

The maximum grant will be £1,000.

Enquiries and contact details

Email:             [email protected]

Post:               With regret we are unable to acknowledge or respond to postal enquiries unless an email address is provided.

Phone:           07816 408119 on Tuesday to Friday from 1pm to 3pm. Calls will not be taken outside these hours however you can always email us.

NOTE:  The grants service is open between 9.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m from Tuesday to Friday. The grants service is closed on Mondays