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Investing In Futures Fund

Grants of up to £2,500 are available to help lone parents with dependent children achieve their goals by funding the additional costs associated with further education.

Who can submit a grant application?

Authorised members of staff from further educational colleges that have signed a contract. Only the following Colleges and organisations are eligible to apply:

City & Islington College
Lambeth College
London South Bank Technical College
South Thames Colleges Group
Stanmore College
West London College

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 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 lone 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.

Residency status: Have right of residency in the UK.

Age: Be 18 years of age or more.

Level of study: Be a student currently studying on a course at a partner Further Education College at the following national framework levels: 2*, 3, 4 or 5.

*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.

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)

What items cannot be funded?

We will not fund course fees, costs already incurred, items provided by the college for the course, childcare, study outside the UK, courses that are not Levels 2, 3, 4 or 5, postgraduate study or personal expenditure not directly associated with study such as clothing or household bills.

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?

From £1,000 to a maximum of £2,500. All grants will be paid, by BACS, to the referring college.

How many grants can I apply for?

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

How do I make an application to the Barclays Learning Support 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.
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 Investing in Futures Fund 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.

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 2 working days of the date on which the application is considered.
3. If the grant application is successful a payment will be made by bank transfer before the end of the week during which the application was considered. A remittance advice will be sent to the email address provided in the signed contract.

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