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Covid Update

On Tuesday 29 March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, set out the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England from Friday 1 April.

Updated guidance advises:

  • Adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and no longer have a high temperature.
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can return to college when they no longer have a high temperature, and are well enough to attend.
  • Adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice is 3 days.

For education and childcare settings from Friday 1 April:

  • Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children’s social care settings. Therefore, we will no longer be able to order test kits .


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Funding Options and Applications

16 -18 Funding

This area provides information on the funding options available, and links to application pages for those aged 16-18, those who are 19 but on a second year of a course they started when they were in the 16-18 age bracket, and anyone with an approved Education and Health Care Plan, (EHCP), who will be aged under 25 on the 31st August 2020. Learners who are travelling from Wales will need to apply for the Welsh Education Maintenance Allowance, (EMA). If not eligible for this scheme then they can apply for the 16-18 Bursary.

Return to Main Financial Support Page

Welsh Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Am I Eligible?

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is for 16 to 18 year olds living in Wales, who want to continue their education after school leaving age. If you’re eligible, you could get £30 a week, paid every two weeks.

Your household income must be below a certain level for you to get EMA. There are two different levels depending on your family circumstances:

  • Household income must be £20,817 or less if you’re the only young person in the household.
  • Household income must be £23,077 or less if there is more than one young person in the household (this includes you).

As this is an external scheme, applications are only available via Student Finance Wales, who have full control over the outcome of your application.

Click here for further information or to apply.

Q. I am not attending college. Will I still get my Welsh EMA?

To get EMA payments, you must have your attendance confirmed by your school or college. This applies to pupils not attending school due to expulsion, suspension, illness or other reasons. The school or college is responsible for this decision. You should contact your school or college with any questions about attendance. You can do this by email at [email protected] or in person by visiting the team at your campus.

Q. When do I get my Welsh EMA payments?

You can start getting EMA payments as soon as you start your course(s), as long as you apply on time, agree to and sign the EMA Agreement with the MMS Team and meet the attendance requirements.

16–18 Bursary

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible, learners must:
  • be aged over 16 and under 19 on the 31 August on the year of study, or be 25 and under with an approved Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP);
  • have settled status, have been an ordinary resident in UK for at least 3 years prior to the start date of the course, or are in one of the exception groups (contact [email protected] if unsure).
  • be studying an approved further education course (e.g. not an apprenticeship or any waged training); and
  • be able to demonstrate a total household income of under £30,000 per financial year through parent(s)/guardian(s) employment and/or state benefits.
  • Learners who live in Wales, and who are eligible, should apply for EMA. If not eligible, or if further support is required, a 16-19 bursary application can be submitted.

Being a recipient of one of our bursary schemes will have no effect on your eligibility for state benefits.

What Will I Get?

If awarded, your bursary will be based on your individual needs and will be constructed of 2 potential elements:

  • Support towards the cost of materials/ equipment: A one off payment to be paid directly into your designated bank account, or, if applicable, paid directly to the Department.
  • Support towards travel: If you live 2 miles or more from the College site you are attending. Support may be in the form of a termly bus pass or be paid into your account on a monthly basis*.

*Please be aware that any monthly monetary awards will be paid based on attendance (90%).

Click below to see eligibility for FCM:

Free College Meals Scheme

Q. How long does it take to process my bursary application?

Depending on when you apply, we will try and write to you within four weeks of receiving your application.

Q. How and when will I be paid if I am awarded a bursary?

You will be paid by BACS direct to your bank account, or to a nominated person's bank account. Payment dates can depend. Payments will be made monthly from October to June where a cash payment has been awarded.

Q. Can my bursary be paid to someone else's account?

Yes, if there is a justifiable reason that you are unable to have your own bank account. Otherwise, you will be expected to have a bank account open when you apply for the bursary.

Q. My bank details have changed since I submitted my bursary application. What should I do?

If your bank details change, you must visit PayMyStudent and update your details as soon as possible. Failure to do so could cause delays to you receiving your award. Please contact us at [email protected].

Q. I applied for my bursary, but what if I change my course?

Please notify us if you change your course; we may need to adjust any course fee awards.

Q. What if I withdraw after applying for a bursary?

If you withdraw from your course, all bursary payments will stop and you may be liable to pay material fees or return some or all of your bursary award.

Q. Why haven't I received my bursary payment?

You may not have received your bursary payment if your attendance is below 90%. You can review your account on PayMyStudent to see why your bursary has not been paid. If you believe the attendance record is incorrect, please speak to a member of your department. Alternatively, we could hold incorrect bank details for you; to check this, please visit the team or email [email protected]. Payments are also based on students meeting the College's Behaviour Policy requirements.

Q. What if my attendance falls below the required limit?

Speak to your tutor or staff member. If reasons are genuine and they feel your bursary can be paid then ask them to email MMS.

Q. Why has my application been declined?

If your household income is over our upper income threshold then this could be the reason for the decline. If you have not uploaded all of your supporting evidence to PayMyStudent your application will have been declined.

Q. What if I apply late or supply evidence late?

Your bursary will be awarded from the month following your application/submission of evidence and may not be backdated.

Vulnerable Young Person Bursary

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible you must:
  • be in one or more of the vulnerable groups listed below
  • be aged under 19
  • be participating in an approved further education study programme.
The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:
  • in care
  • care leavers
  • receiving Income Support (IS), or Universal Credit (UC) because they are financially supporting themselves or someone who is dependent on them and living with t hem such as a child or partner
  • receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (DLA) or UC in their own right.

*Please note that all Q&A in 16-18 Bursary above, also apply to the VYP Bursary.

What Will I Get?

If you meet the criteria for a VYP Bursary, dependent upon your circumstances and needs you may get:
  • an award of up to £1,200 a year or,
  • if you are studying on a programme that is less than 30 weeks, a pro-rata amount.
  • If you have material/ equipment costs, either a one off payment will be paid directly into your designated bank account, or if applicable we will pay the Department directly. The remainder of the award will be paid on a monthly basis.

    *Please be aware that any monthly monetary awards will be paid based on attendance (70%).

Free College Meals

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for this scheme you:
  • must be aged 16-18 or
  • aged 19 –25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • You or a parent/guardian must be in receipt of an approved state benefit.

Click here for details of acceptable benefits

What Will I Get?

If awarded Free College Meals, (FCM,) for each day they are timetabled to attend College, learners can access up to £4.00 to spend in the College onsite canteens and coffee shops.

To access the money learners can download the UPay App on their phones and pay using the QR code, or use their College ID cards to make their purchases. Please note that any money not spent at the end of each day will disappear (it will not roll over to the next day).

If the learner is attending a College site with no canteen facilities, or a work placement forms a part of their course, then alternative arrangements will be made. If the learner has any dietary requirements that are not being met by the College menus then they can speak to the canteen staff who will arrange to offer a suitable alternative.

Q. How do I apply for Free College Meals (FCM)?

When you complete the financial support questionnaire form, when asked if you would like to apply for FCM say ‘yes’.

Q. How do I access my FCM Payments? (Including using the app)

To access this money you can now download an app on your phone and use the QR code to pay, or you can scan your student ID badge to pay. Please be aware however, that if you change your card, you will have to let MMS know and wait for your new card to be registered before you can use it.

  1. Click Here to Download the Upay App
    1. Please be aware that you may need to connect to the college Wi-Fi if your own signal is not very strong.
    2. Follow instructions to register on the App.
    3. The Affiliate ID is: SGSCOL
    4. Your Student IO is: Your student number shown on all official college documents as ‘Student Ref’
Download Upay User Guide

Q. What happens if we go back into lockdown?

In the event of another lockdown we will pay the money directly into the designated account on a weekly basis. Any changes will be advised via text and TEAMs messages.

Support for
Young Parents

Am I Eligible?

To qualify you must:
  • be a parent under 20 at the start of your course
  • be the main carer for your child
  • live in England
  • be a British citizen or have the legal right to live and study in England
  • your childcare provider must be either; registered with Ofsted, registered with a childminder agency or a school.

Please Note: You will not be eligible for Care to Learn funding if you are an apprentice who gets a salary.

As this is an external scheme, applications are only available via Gov.uk, who have full control over the outcome of your application. Click here for further information or to apply.

What Will I Get?

The Care to Learn scheme can support with childcare costs whilst you study at SGS College. You could get up to £160 per child per week. Care to Learn can help with the cost of:

  • your childcare, including deposit and registration fee
  • a childcare taster session for up to 5 days
  • keeping your childcare place over the summer holiday
  • taking your child to their childcare provider
Covid Update