Institutions are permitted to carry unspent bursary funds over to the next academic year. Any funds that are carried forward must continue to be used to support students. They cannot be added to general institution funds.
Where institutions are given a single overall allocation that includes funding for both free meals and the discretionary bursary, they can carry forward funds from both schemes.
The funding may be used for either free meals or discretionary bursary payments in the new academic year.
Institutions must fully utilise any unspent funds for either discretionary bursary or free meals before using their new academic year allocation.
We remind institutions that discretionary bursary and/or free meals funding cannot be carried forward for more than one year.
Institutions must inform us of the total amount of any unspent funds (not previously reported) from any year up to and including the 2017 to 2018 academic year. ESFA will recover the unspent funds.
More details about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund can be found on gov.uk.
If you have a specific query about discretionary bursary, please include any relevant information such as recovery of funds in your query through our enquiry form.