Financial Support

For information on benefits and welfare entitlements please contact the Welfare Benefits Department at Medway Council on 01634 333333.

For young people in care

If you are in care you should have regular contact with your social worker and they will work with you (and your carer, Medway Youth Trust advisor and any other key people), to draw up a personal education plan for the future. You will be supported in working through the plan up to 21-years-old (or 24-years-old if in full-time higher education).

Financial support available

16-19 bursary fund

Bursaries of up to £1,200 a year are available for students aged between 16 and 19-years-old who may struggle with the costs of full-time education or training.

The criteria to be eligible for this bursary includes:

• Young people in care;

• Care leavers;

• Young people claiming income support;

• Disabled young people who receive Employment and Support Allowance and Disability, or Living Allowance.

Schools, colleges and training providers are responsible for awarding bursaries to students. They also set when and how bursaries are paid, and conditions, such as attendance, that students need to meet to receive the bursary. Other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider.

To apply for a bursary, please speak to your school. For further information please visit

Free school meals

If you are under 19-years-old and still in full time education, you may be entitled to receive a free school meal if you or your parents or carers receive:

  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related) or
  • Income Support or
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based) or
  • The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit or
  • Support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 or
  • Child Tax Credit, are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and whose annual income (as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) does not exceed £16,190
  • If you are in receipt of any element of working tax credit you are not entitled. Application forms are available from the school or from Medway Council on 01634 331155.

Child benefit

Your parents/carers are currently able to receive child benefit for you up to 19-years-old if you are in full-time education or training. For more information contact the Child Benefit Helpline 08453 021444.

Care to Learn (C2L)

If you are a young parent then you may be able to claim for childcare costs and travel while you continue to learn or return to learning. Young fathers may apply for childcare where they are responsible for caring for the child.

For further information, please visit http://

Travel costs

There is no free transport after the end of compulsory education (year 11)
Travel assistance may be available from the educational provider under their bursary scheme.

There is no free transport for young people entering into Year 12, but discounted rail and bus passes are available through Medway Council. The Medway Youth Pass entitles all young people who live in Medway and hold a valid pass to pay half the adult fare at all times when travelling on any local bus service, up to the end of the academic year after their 18th birthday. The pass costs £5.70.

For more information visit or contact Medway Council’s Student Services Operations Team on 01634 331155.

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