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National Policy for FE Student Support Bursaries 2024-25



  1. The following policy documents set out the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) national policy for FE student support bursaries for Academic Year (AY) 2024-25. They stipulate the conditions of use of Further Education (FE) bursary funds allocated to colleges by SFC, and set out the rates for calculation for Academic Year (AY) 2024-25. This policy continues to support the strategic priorities and outcomes of the SFC and the Scottish Government.
  1. Student support funds are cash-limited. Students who are eligible for support from this funding are not automatically entitled to this support.
  2. In balancing our priorities, we have adjusted the student support budget for AY 2024-25 to better reflect actual demand and recent trends in spend. This is detailed in the College Final Funding Allocation 2024-25 announcement. Colleges should continue to assess applications for student support in line with the FE Bursaries Policy guidance, with particular reference to the Award Assessment and Advisors’ Notes. We will, as in previous years, conduct an In Year Redistribution (IYR) exercise with colleges, providing the opportunity to relinquish funds that are not required or to request additional funds.

Updates for AY 2024-25

  1. A summary of the updates to the relevant sections and paragraphs of the policy guidance are set out in the Annex to this announcement. The main change is in respect of Care-Experienced Bursary Signatories.
  2. We have expanded the list of authorised signatories listed in Section D of the SFC Care-Experience Form. The expanded provision of authorised signatories now includes the following five professional categories: careers advisors, widening participation officers, representative/employee from an advocacy group, a member of the Children’s Panel, and a child contact centre representative. Further information is detailed in the Care Experienced Form.

Status of Policy

  1. These documents aim to provide a standard foundation on which college staff can assess student funding awards and decisions. Where there is a need to provide additional or exceptional guidance, we will continue to circulate this information directly to our established student support sector contacts.

Further Information

  1. Please contact the Student Support team, email:

Richard Maconachie FCCA
Director of Finance

Annex A

Summary of updates to FE Student Support Bursary Policy Guidance for AY 2024-25

Award Assessment

Subject Paragraph(s) Summary
Study Expenses Allowance (Study Costs) 78-81
  • The guidance has been updated to reflect the post-Covid environment.
  • Colleges are reminded that their spend on Study Expenses Allowance should be in line with the sector average of between 5-6% of their total Student Support spend.
Digital Poverty Funding 83
  • There is detail on the Scottish Government not including a specific provision for digital poverty funding in their budget for FY 2024-25.
  • Colleges are reminded that Student Support funds should not be used as a substitute for the end of the specific Digital Poverty Funding.
Additional Support Needs for Learning Allowance (ASNLA) 96
  • The guidance details that ASNLA should not be used to replace funding previously allocated by the Scottish Government for Mental Health Counsellors between AY 2019-20 and AY 2022-23.
Study Expenses Allowance Table – Average Sector Spend Annex B
  • There is an updated table detailed the average sector spend on Study Expense Allowance between AY 2016-17 and AY 2022-23.

Advisors’ Notes

Subject Paragraph(s) Summary
National Allowance for Foster and Kinship Carers 26
  • There is updated information on the Scottish Government’s National Allowance for Foster and Kinship Carers, the Scottish Recommended Allowance (SRA).
Definition of Estrangement 44
  • There is an updated definition of estrangement. This definition aims to provide more clarity and consistency, aligning with Scottish Government and Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

Care-Experienced Form

Subject Paragraph(s) Summary
Extending the definition of an approved ‘Professional Person’ Section D
  • We have extended the definition of ‘professional person’ who is eligible to sign the Care-Experienced Form to include the following professional categories: Carers Advisor; Widening Participation Officer; Representative/Employee of an Advocacy Group; Member of the Children’s Panel; Child Contact Centre Representative.

FE Discretionary Funding

Subject Paragraph(s) Summary
Eligibility of young asylum seekers, and children of asylum seekers, to access FEDF 10
  • Young asylum seekers, and children of asylum seekers, can access FE Discretionary Funding if they are studying a full-time or part-time FE course.
Corporate Parenting Duties 19
  • This details information regarding colleges Corporate Parenting Duties as detailed in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Fund Management & Audit Information

Subject Paragraph(s) Summary
Submitting a case for review to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) 91
  • If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of a college’s Appeal Panel, in relation to their FE Bursary Award, they can escalate their case to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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