16-19 Funding

Find out when you qualify for funding for students aged between 16 and 19.

GCSE English and Maths

From August 2014, all students who meet the following criteria are required to study these subjects as part of their study programme in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic years.

  • Aged 16 to 18.
  • Starting a new study programme of 150 hours or more.
  • Don't hold a grade A*-C for their GCSE or equivalent qualification in Maths and/or in English.

In addition, from August 2015, to qualify for funding, all full-time students* starting their study programme and who have a grade D for their GCSE or equivalent qualification in Maths and/or English, must be enrolled on a GCSE or approved IGCSE qualification, rather than an approved stepping stone qualification.

(*those on a study programme of at least 540 planned hours if ages 16 to 17 or at least 450 hours if age 18)

Below is a summary of what qualifications students on new study programmes can and must be studying in both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 academic years.

The student

2014 to 2015 Academic Year

2015 to 2016 Academic Year

No GCSE grade A*-C studying 150 hours or more

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Either GCSE or stepping stone

No GCSE grade A*-C and studying less than 150 hours

Condition of funding does not apply

Condition of funding does not apply

Full time student (540 hours or more and age 16 to 17, or 450 hours or more and age 18+) with GCSE grade D

Either GCSE or stepping stone

GCSE only

Student aged 16 to 17 with GCSE grade D studying between 150 hours and 539 hours

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Either GCSE or stepping stone

GCSE grade E or below studying between150 hours and 539 hours

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Overseas qualification GCSE grade A*-C equivalent

Exemption applies

Exemption applies

Full time with overseas qualification equivalent to GCSE D equivalent from 2015 to 2016

GCSE or stepping stone

GCSE ONLY

Part time with overseas qualification equivalent to GCSE D

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Full time student with overseas qualification equivalent to grade E or below

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Student with statement of SEN /LDA/EHCP and institution assessment that confirms they are not able to study either GCSE or stepping stone qualifications

Exemption applies

Exemption applies

Student with statement of SEN/LDA/EHCP with no assessment

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Either GCSE or stepping stone

Equivalent qualifications

Have a look at the list of qualifications deemed to be equivalent for the purpose of prior attainment. 

You can also read information from the DfE on the Maths and English condition of funding

A-level funding

The Education Funding Agency has set the full time funding rate at equivalent to 600 hours per year (ie 1,200 hours over the duration of a two-year A-level course). A single AS counts as 150 hours, so an overall A-level in a given subject is 300 hours over the two-year period.

There is flexibility in the allocation of hours over a two-year course. For example, a student could do 660 hours in Year 12 (four AS plus 60 hours) and 540 (three AS plus 90 hours) in Year 13. This would mean slightly more additional non-qualification activities in year 2 whilst meeting the overall total of 1,200 hours. 

Stretching bright students

The introduction of study programmes in academic year 2013 to 2014 funded full-time programmes at an average of 600 hours. At that time ministers recognised that there were a small number of study programmes that were necessarily much larger than 600 hours, in order to prepare students for work or some university courses. Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills and Equalities made an announcement on large programmes in July 2014. This set out the policy for a large programme uplift for the start of academic year 2016 to 2017. 

The large programme uplift only applies to 16 and 17 year olds studying on large programmes that meet the size and achievement criteria.

Large A-level programmes will attract an uplift. A2 qualifications and the new two- year linear A-levels, available for teaching from academic year 2015 to 2016, will attract an uplift.

AS levels do not count towards the large programme uplift. A2 levels or linear A-levels in General Studies and Critical Thinking are also not included.

Students who achieve four full A2 or linear A-level qualifications at grade B or better, in each A-level, will qualify for an uplift of 10% to the full time national funding rate for the academic year in which the allocation is made.

Students who achieve five full A2 or linear A-level qualifications at grade B or better, in each A-level, will qualify for an uplift of 20% to the full time national funding rate for the academic year in which the allocation is made.

A student who is enrolled on a study programme of five full A-levels but only achieved grade B or better in four of them will attract the 10% uplift.

Summary of requirements

Uplift %

Applies to

10%

the base funding rate per student where the student passes 4 A2 or full linear A-levels (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or above

20%

the base funding rate per student where the student passes 5 A2 or full linear A- levels (other than General Studies and Critical Thinking) at grade B or above

20%

to the base funding rate per student for the full level 3 International Baccalaureate Diploma where the student achieves 28 points or above

10%

the base funding rate per student for large TechBacc programmes that are the equivalent of four A-levels in size, where the student passes all of the qualifications, and include a level 3 maths qualification and extended project ie, either of the following:

a) A-level Maths and a Tech level that is a minimum of 900 GLH or

b) AS/Core Maths and a Tech level that is a minimum of 1050 GLH

20%

the base funding rate per student for large TechBacc programmes that are the size of the full level 3 International Baccalaureate, where the student passes all of the qualifications, and include a level 3 maths qualification and extended project, ie either of the following:

a) A level Maths and a Tech level that is a minimum of 1020 GLH

b) AS/Core Maths and a Tech level that is a minimum of 1170 GLH

Read about funding for stretching bright students.