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About Family Action’s Educational Grants Programme

Family Action distributes grants to parents or carers who are looking to unlock their educational potential by participating in further education.

Many individuals face challenges during their time at college which may mean they’re unable to complete their studies and pursue their future career goals. For others, their life situation may change meaning they need to re-train to gain employment that suits their family life.

Family Action’s Educational Grants Programme helps individuals 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 (usually student advisers or welfare advisers) from a publicly funded Further Education College on behalf of their students.  Students cannot apply for themselves.

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 on-line 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.

Which colleges are eligible to submit applications?

Only Further Education Colleges that meet the criteria below will be able to register and apply for grants on behalf of their students

  • Be a publicly funded institution offering further education courses (including pre-access and access courses).
  • Have email addresses that include the domain name “”
  • Be able to process grants payments (made by BACS to the college) from Family Action on behalf of their students.*
  • Have student/welfare advisers able to apply for grants on behalf of their students.
  • Be able to assist Family Action in evaluating educational grants including submitting survey feedback for successful grants.

*We require appropriate evidence of the college bank account, e.g. a bank statement, before we can make grants payments.  Satisfactory evidence will only be required once; thereafter all grants payments will be made into the same account.

Who is 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 be an Asylum Seeker in receipt of an Application Registration Card (ARC).

  • 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 or be an asylum seeker (overseas students are ineligible for grants from Family Action).

Level of study: Be studying on a further education course in England, Wales or Northern Ireland which is Level 3 or below, including pre-access and access OR be studying on a further education course in Scotland which is Level 6 or below, including pre-access and access.

Place of study: Be studying at a publicly funded Further Education College in the UK

What items can be funded?

Basic laptops/tablets, basic smartphones, books required for the course, equipment required for the course (not provided by the college) and travel to and from college.

What items cannot be funded?

We will not fund anything other than the above items which includes course fees, costs already incurred, items provided by the college for the course, childcare, study outside the UK, online courses, higher education courses, postgraduate study or personal expenditure not directly associated with study such as clothing or household bills.

How much can be applied for?

The average grant is likely to be in the region of £250 to a maximum of £300.

How many grants can I apply for?

We are only able to consider one application per student in any 12 month period.

The number of grants we will make to each college will be limited to 30 per college between 1st September and 30th June each year.

When can I apply for a grant?

Applications can be submitted from 1st September to 30th June each year subject to sufficient funding being available.  If funds are not available the on-line application process will be closed and information will be posted on our website at

How do I make an application to the Educational Grants programme for the first time?

  1. Press CTRL and click on this link:
  2. Enter your email address and click on the link to continue. Please note:  You will not be able to submit an application unless your email address has the domain name “”
  3. If you are new to the system, the system will ask you a few basic questions about you before creating your account. It will then email you a temporary password.
  4. Click on the link provided in the email and follow the instructions to set up your account password.
  5. Click “Create a new Education application” and complete the application form.
  6. The application is saved automatically as you move from one page to another. If you wish to save your application form and return to it later click the save button on the last screen completed.
  7. Click “Submit” to send your application to Family Action. Note:  After you click “submit” you will not be able to make changes as you will no longer be able to access the application.

NOTE:  Once you have a password it can be used for all applications.  If you forget your password just follow the instructions on the screen to create a new password.

How do I return to an incomplete application or make another application?

  1. Press CTRL and click on the link provided above.
  2. Enter your email address and click on the link.
  3. When prompted, enter your password and click on the link.
  4. Either click on “create a new application” OR select an incomplete application by clicking on the application number to continue.

Will I be required to submit any documentation with the application form?

Yes, 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).

What do I do if I have problems with completing the application form, submitting the application or have questions about the grants programme?

Email the Grants Service at [email protected] detailing your problem and using screen grabs to illustrate your problem, if appropriate.  The grants service will get back to you as quickly as possible. We review all emails and if our automated response does not answer your questions we will reply individually and telephone if necessary if a contact number is provided.

We are only able to offer limited telephone support so in the first instance please email your enquiry to [email protected]. Our telephone helpline is currently open between 1pm to 3pm from Tuesday to Friday. Calls will not be taken outside these hours however you can always email us. 

What happens after I have submitted the application form?

  1. You will immediately receive an automated email providing you with a unique reference number for the application submitted (please quote this number in any future correspondence) and the latest date on which the application will be considered (usually within 5 working days of receipt).
  2. You will be informed of our decision, by email, within 3 working days of the date on which the application is considered.

If your application is successful how will the award be made?

If the grant application is successful a payment will be made by BACs, to the college bank account, before the end of the week following the date on which the application was considered.  A remittance advice will be sent to the email address provided on the application form.

How do I appeal an unsuccessful application?

The majority of unsuccessful applications are because the applicant does not meet our eligibility criteria so it is very important to check these before taking the time to submit an application.

If your grant application is unsuccessful and you would like us to review our decision we are happy to do so on receipt of an email detailing the reasons why you feel a review is required.  In your email please provide the unique reference number of the application in the subject line of the email and send it to [email protected]

We will respond to each review request individually as soon as we can which will usually be within 7 working days.

Please note we will only enter into correspondence with the college that submitted the application. 

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.