There are certain categories of student that are not able to claim student support funds. These are:

  • Benefit claimants who have to carry out training (whether on a full-time or part-time basis) such claimants have their travel and childcare costs met by Jobcentre Plus if this is relevant. Jobcentre Plus advisers will also decide whether to pay these expenses for people who access skills training on a voluntary basis.  They will therefore not be eligible for these payments under the DLSF
  • Learners who are not considered to be part of the home population – to qualify there is normally a need to have been resident in this country or the EEA for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Learners  who have not met the attendance criteria as laid out in the Learner Rights & Responsibilities Policy and Admission Policy and/or are not making satisfactory progress
  • Learners on a Higher Education course
  • Apprenticeship Learners
  • Learners on a recreational programme or non-Government funded courses
  • Learners who are 19 and over who are studying a level 3 or above course and not claiming first level 3 entitlement remission.


An eligible student is a student who is enrolled with Petroc on a part time or full time course who is not classed as ineligible (see above) and who meets one of the following criteria listed below and on the next page:

(1)      In receipt of one of the means tested benefits listed below (or be a dependent partner of a person receiving one of the benefits below and included in that benefit award).

  • Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income Related)
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income Based)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Universal Credit (subject to status)
  • Working Tax Credit (with an annual income for the previous year showing on the award of under £16,190.00)


(2)     On a low income. A low income is defined as:

  • Single learners with a gross annual income of no more than £13,000.00
  • Lone parents or couples with a gross annual income of no more than £18,000.00 (plus an additional £1,500 for each dependent child aged under 19 and in full time education)


Note: when calculating gross annual income ignore any Disability Living Allowance. All other income is taken into account (for both the student and their partner if applicable) including the following types of income:

Earnings and any other taxable income

For self-employed learners or their dependents, the gross earnings will be calculated from audited accounts and any essential business expenses will be deducted.


The Learner Support Fund is a finite amount of money and will be issued on a first come first served basis. All applications will be means tested against the criteria above and a decision on entitlement will not be made until we have received a fully completed form and supporting evidence of benefits/income. Part of the decision making process will be to ensure that there are remaining funds to allocate.



  • Registration and examination fees

 Learners will be expected to pay 40% of registration and examination fees.  The Learner Support Fund will cover the remaining 60% of the fees


  • Tuition Fees

 Learners who do not satisfy the criteria for full fee remission will be expected to pay 40% of the tuition fees.  The Learner Support Fund will cover the remaining 60% of the fees. 


  • Transport

 Learners can apply for help with a bus pass

  • Bus pass

The cost of a bus pass will be covered for adult Learners who live more than 3 miles from College. Please contact the Guidance Centre to apply for a Bus Pass.

  • Learners with disabilities

Transport costs for Learners with disabilities who cannot access public transport can be applied for up to a maximum of £560


  • Equipment, Books, Studio Fees, DBS & Materials Fee

 The course tutor must supply the Guidance Centre at Barnstaple or Tiverton with a detailed breakdown of equipment and general course costs.  Under these circumstances support can be given up to 80% of the *full cost of equipment once it has been established that the student has at least met the attendance criteria as laid out by the Learners Rights & Responsibilities and Admission Policy.

* In some cases the full cost of equipment may be capped


  • Specialist equipment for learners with disabilities

There is no ceiling in this category but an assessment will be made based on individual needs.  Any equipment purchased under this category will be for the exclusive use of the student during their time at college. On completion of the course the equipment will remain with the college.


  • Educational Visits/Trips

50% of the cost of trips organised as part of the student’s programme can be covered up to a maximum of £50 in total.
The learner is required to provide evidence of the trip to the Guidance Centre once they have paid their deposit.


  • Residential

50% of the cost of a residential organised as part of the student’s programme can be covered up to a maximum of £100 in total.
The learner is required to provide evidence of the trip to the Guidance Centre once they have paid their deposit.


Childcare Support

 The maximum childcare support is £150 per week for the first child and £75 per week for each additional child.  For part-time learners the maximum amount will be pro-rata based on the hours of attendance. Learners will be required to pay a 10% contribution towards the cost of the childcare.

Childcare support can be used to support the costs of any form of formal registered childcare.  This includes nursery, crèche, and child minder or out of school hours place. Childcare costs cannot be paid to people who are not registered e.g. to friends or relatives
All childcare costs will be paid to the registered person/organisation.
Childcare payments will normally only be made during term time, to cover sessions when the student is attending their course


Learners who are suffering severe financial hardship may be able to access help via the Student Support Team.  If you require their assistance please contact them on 01271 852468 at Barnstaple or 01884 235350 at Tiverton.


All Learner Support funds are given on the understanding that a student:

  • Has met the attendance criteria as laid out by the Learners Rights & Responsibilities Policy and Admission Policy and
  • Is making good progress and
  • Completes the course and
  • There are funds available in the fund.

If any of the above criteria is not met then the student will be liable to pay back any awards made to them from the Learner Support Fund.

Learners will not usually be eligible for more than £500 from the Learner Support fund in any one academic year (excluding money for childcare and transport).

All allocations are made subject to funds being available; as this is a finite fund there may be occasions when applications are reduced to allow fair allocations of the funds.

Learner Support funds will be made available for special circumstances when accompanied by a letter of support from the Student Support Team. This will be based on meeting the needs of learners, who without this special support would be unable to continue their course of studies.


Appeals Procedure

Learners have the right to appeal against any decision made in connection with their Learner Support Fund application.


Learners wishing to appeal should put the details of their concern in writing. The appeals panel will be convened within 5 working days from the following personnel: a member of the Senior Management Team and a member of the Student Support Team. The result of this appeal will be given in writing within 10 working days of the receipt of the student’s appeal letter.

Need further assistance?

Please get in touch with the Guidance Centre:

Upcoming Events


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HE Graduation 2016

This year's graduation ceremony will be taking place on Saturday 8 October 2016 at the Queens Theatre, Barnstaple.