What You Need to Know
  • You can get financial help to support learning after Year 11, but what’s offered and how it’s provided depends on the route your son or daughter chooses.
  • If your child stays in full-time education after Year 11, you will still get child benefit, up to the age of 19. Full-time courses are run by school sixth forms, colleges and work based learning providers.
  • If your son or daughter starts an Apprenticeship and are employed, you won’t get child benefit, but they will get a wage of at least £2.68 per hour.
  • You can get child tax credit if your child is over 16 and still in full-time education, depending on your household income.
  • Sixth forms, colleges and work based learning providers all have 16-19 Bursary Funds you could apply for depending on individual circumstances. They decide how much you get and when they are paid.
  • Financial support for higher education depends on your household income and comes in two forms – a loan and a grant.
Things to Think About
  • To continue getting child benefit, you’ll need to tell the child benefit office that your child is staying in full-time learning. You’ll get a letter to remind you what you need to do just before the end of Year 11.
  • Make sure you know about all the things you’re entitled to – schools and colleges will explain what’s available. Make sure you attend the relevant open days/evenings.
  • You will apply for some of the financial help available, but sometimes your son or daughter has to apply. This is the case for higher education finance, although they will need your help and support.
  • The prospect that your child might accrue student debt can be quite daunting but higher education is affordable through the student loan system and they don’t start to pay back until they start work. Find out what Martin Lewis the money saving expert has to say about the myths of student loans.
To Do
  • For information about the 16-19 Bursary Fund when you find out about the schools, colleges or work based learning providers your child might go to, and apply as soon as they’re offered a place.
  • Make sure you’ve told the child benefit office if your son or daughter is staying in full-time learning after Year 11.
  • If your child is applying for higher education, don’t wait for a place to be confirmed, tell them to apply for financial support from January before they start in September.