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The Education (Student Support) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005

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Assistance for part-time courses

37.—(1) For the purposes of this regulation, the assistance available is—

(a)a grant in respect of fees not exceeding the lesser of the following amounts—

(i)the basic grant, and

(ii)the “actual fees”, being the amount of fees charged in respect of an academic year of the designated part-time course; and

(b)a grant not exceeding £250 for books, travel and other expenditure in connection with the designated part-time course.

(2) The basic grant varies according to the intensity of study.

(3) The intensity of study is calculated as follows and expressed as a percentage—

where

  • FT is the number of academic years ordinarily required to complete a course which is the full-time equivalent of the designated part-time course

  • PT is the number of academic years ordinarily required to complete the designated part-time course.

(4) The “basic grant” is—

(a)£590 where the intensity of study is less than 60 per cent. (“level 1”);

(b)£710 where the intensity of study is 60 per cent. or more but less than 75 per cent. (“level 2”);

(c)£885 where the intensity of study is 75 per cent. or more (“level 3”).

(5) Subject to paragraphs (6) and (7), the amount of assistance payable in respect of an academic year is as follows—

(a)the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1) is payable if at the date of his application, the eligible part-time student or his partner is entitled—

(i)under Part VII of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 to income support or housing benefit; or

(ii)under Part 1 of the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995(1) to income-based jobseekers allowance or under arrangements made under section 1 of the Employment and Training Act (Northern Ireland) 1950(2) to new deal allowance;

(b)where the relevant income is less than £14,970, the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1) is payable;

(c)where the relevant income is £14,970, the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(b) is payable together with £50 less than the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(a);

(d)where the relevant income exceeds £14,970 but is less than £19,625, the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(b) is payable and the amount of assistance payable under paragraph (1)(a) is the amount determined in accordance with paragraph (6);

(e)where the relevant income is £19,625, the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(b) is payable and the amount of assistance payable under paragraph (1)(a) is £50;

(f)where the relevant income exceeds £19,625 but is less than £20,100, the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(b) is payable and no assistance is payable under paragraph (1)(a);

(g)where the relevant income is £20,100 or more but less than £22,000, no assistance is available under paragraph (1)(a) and the amount of assistance payable under paragraph (1)(b) is the amount left after deducting from the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(b) £1 for every complete £9.50 by which the relevant income exceeds £20,100;

(h)where the relevant income is £22,000, no assistance is payable under paragraph (1)(a) and the amount of assistance payable under paragraph (1)(b) is £50;

(i)where the relevant income exceeds £22,000, no assistance is payable under paragraph (1).

(6) Where paragraph (5)(d) applies, the amount of assistance payable under paragraph (1)(a) shall be determined by deducting from the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(a) one of the following amounts—

(a)£50 plus a further £1 for each complete £9·50, £7·63 or £5·93 by which the relevant income exceeds £14,970 according to whether the intensity of study is level 1, 2 or 3, respectively; or

(b)where the basic grant is greater than the actual fees, an amount equal to that left after deducting from the amount calculated under sub-paragraph (a) the difference between the basic grant and the actual fees (unless the amount is a negative number in which case the maximum amount of assistance available under paragraph (1)(a) is payable).

(7) Where under regulation 41 a student receives assistance in relation to more than one designated part-time course in an academic year, the maximum amount of assistance under paragraph (1)(a) for that year is the amount of the basic grant for the course with the highest intensity of study that the student undertakes in that academic year.

(8) For the purposes of this regulation—

(a)“child” in relation to an eligible part-time student includes any child of his partner and any child for whom he has parental responsibility;

(b)“current financial year” means the financial year which includes the first day of the academic year in respect of which a person is being assessed for assistance;

(c)“dependent” means wholly or mainly financially dependent;

(d)“financial year” means the period of twelve months for which the income of the eligible part-time student is computed for the purposes of the income tax legislation which applies to it;

(e)“income” means gross income from all sources excluding any tax credits awarded in accordance with any claims under section 3 of the Tax Credits Act 2002;

(f)subject to sub-paragraph (g), “partner” means any of the following—

(i)the spouse of an eligible part-time student;

(ii)the civil partner of an eligible part-time student;

(iii)a woman ordinarily living with a male eligible part-time student as if she were his wife where an eligible part-time student is aged 25 or over on the first day of the academic year in respect of which he is being assessed for assistance and where he began the designated part-time course before 1st September 2005;

(iv)a man ordinarily living with a female eligible part-time student as if he were her husband where an eligible part-time student is aged 25 or over on the first day of the academic year in respect of which she is being assessed for assistance and where she began the designated part-time course before 1st September 2005;

(v)a person ordinarily living with an eligible part-time student as if he were his spouse or civil partner where an eligible part-time student begins the designated part-time course on or after 1st September 2005;

(g)a person who would otherwise be a partner under sub-paragraph (f) shall not be treated as a partner if—

(i)in the opinion of the Department, that person and the eligible part-time student have ceased ordinarily to live together; or

(ii)the person is ordinarily living outside the United Kingdom and is not maintained by the eligible part-time student;

(h)“preceding financial year” means the financial year immediately preceding the current financial year;

(i)“relevant income” has the meaning given in paragraph (9); and

(j)where this regulation refers to a date before, on or after which an eligible part-time student began the designated part-time course and the student’s status as an eligible part-time student has been transferred to the designated part-time course as a result of one or more transfers of that status by the Department from a part-time course (the “initial course”) in connection with which the Department determined the student to be an eligible part-time student in accordance with regulations made under Article 3 of the Order, the eligible student shall be treated as if he began the present designated part-time course on the date on which he began the initial course.

(9) For the purposes of this regulation—

(a)subject to sub-paragraph (b), an eligible part-time student’s relevant income is equal to his financial resources in the preceding financial year less—

(i)£2,000 in respect of his partner;

(ii)£2,000 in respect of the only or eldest child who is dependent on the student or his partner; and

(iii)£1,000 in respect of each other child who is dependent on the student or his partner;

(b)where the Department is satisfied that an eligible part-time student’s financial resources in the preceding financial year are greater than his financial resources in the current financial year and that the difference between the two amounts is £1,000 or more, it may assess that student’s financial resources under sub-paragraph (a) by reference to those resources in the current financial year;

(c)an eligible part-time student’s financial resources in a financial year means the aggregate of his income for that year together with the aggregate of the income for that year of any person who at the date of the application for support is the student’s partner.

(1)

S.I. 1995/2705 (N.I. 15) Schedules 2 and 3; see also Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/3147 (N.I. 11)), Schedule 8 Part IV

(2)

1950 c. 29 (N.I.) Section 1(1) was substituted and sub-sections 1(A), 1(B) and 1(C) inserted by Article 3 of the Employment and Training (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 (S.I. 1988/1087 (N.I. 10))

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