Discretionary Learner Support and Childcare Fund 2020-21

Thurrock Adult Community College wants to make sure learning is available to all. Our limited Discretionary Learner Support Fund (DLSF) and Loans Bursary Fund may be available to support learners who are undergoing financial hardship, which may prevent them from accessing and participating in learning.

Who can apply?

There is no automatic entitlement. Applications are based on your total annual gross household income and eligibility criteria listed in the DLSF policy (see useful links). Learners can apply if:

  • enrolled on an Adult Skills Budget (ASB) funded course at Thurrock Adult Community College
  • are aged 19 or over
  • have been resident in the UK for 3 years before the course start date
  • can commit to overall attendance of no less than 90% with full attendance required for every assessment and exam
  • living in a non-devolved area

Full details available in the DLSF Policy from the useful links section or by emailing our Learner Services team.

What support is available?

The level of support will depend on your circumstances. We may be able to help you with:

  • course tuition fees
  • examination fees
  • essential books and equipment
  • educational visits and placements (where essential for the course)
  • external registration fees
  • childcare fees
  • in exceptional cases, travel to the venue of your course

Childcare costs

We may be able to help with childcare costs (learners over 20 years of age). Any childcare must be with an Ofsted registered provider such as a registered childminder, creche, nursery or preschool. Payment is made directly to the childcare provider. We also have an on-site Preschool, open during the daytime and rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Visits are welcome during opening hours. Please refer to the Government website for information about claiming free childcare. All parents can claim 15 hours per week, and eligible working parents of 3 and 4 year olds will be able to claim up to 30 hours per week. For more details on free childcare available in Thurrock, use this link to visit Thurrock Council's website: https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/childcare

What are the threshold limits?

Subject to eligibility rules set out in the Education Skills Funding Agency's guidance, you can apply to either fund only if your household income is:

  • £22,750.40 or under - households with one adult (those aged 19+)
  • £29,250.50 or under - households with more than one adult (those aged 19+)
  • Click on the DLSF Policy in the useful links for full details of learner and fund contribution rates based on individual circumstances

How do I apply?

In order for us to establish financial hardship and your eligibility to apply to either fund, you must complete the relevant application form and subject with proof of your household income including any benefits. Email the Learner Services team for full details or go to the DLSF Policy.

Money Bag

For more details contact:
Freephone 0800 783 7733 or email