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The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008

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Interpretation

131.—(1) In this Chapter—

“academic year” means the period of 12 months beginning on 1st January, 1st April, 1st July or 1st September according to whether the course in question begins in the winter, the spring, the summer or the autumn respectively but if students are required to begin attending the course during August or September and to continue attending through the autumn, the academic year of the course is to be considered to begin in the autumn rather than the summer;

“access funds” means—

(a)

grants made under Article 30 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1993(1), or grants, loans or other payments made under Article 5 of the Further Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1997(2) in each case being grants, or grants, loans or other payments, as the case may be, made for the purpose of assisting students in financial difficulties;

(b)

grants made under section 68 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992(3) for the purpose of providing funds on a discretionary basis to be paid to students;

(c)

grants made under sections 73(a) and (c) and 74(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980(4);

(d)

discretionary payments, known as “learner support funds”, which are made available to students in further education by institutions out of funds provided by the Learning and Skills Council for England under sections 5, 6 and 9 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000(5); or

(e)

Financial Contingency Funds made available by the Welsh Ministers;

“contribution” means any contribution in respect of the income of a student or of any other person which the Department, the Scottish Ministers or an education authority takes into account in ascertaining the amount of the student’s grant or student loan, or any sums, which in determining the amount of a student’s allowance or bursary in Scotland under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, the Scottish Ministers or education authority take into account being sums which the Scottish Ministers or the education authority consider that the holder of the allowance or bursary, the holder’s parents and the holder’s spouse or civil partner can reasonably be expected to contribute towards the holder’s expenses;

“course of advanced education” means—

(a)

a course leading to a postgraduate degree or comparable qualification, a first degree or comparable qualification, a diploma of higher education or a higher national diploma; or

(b)

any other course which is of a standard above advanced GNVQ, or equivalent, including a course which is of a standard above a general certificate of education (advanced level), a Scottish national qualification (higher or advanced higher);

“covenant income” means the income payable to a student under a Deed of Covenant by a person whose income is, or is likely to be, taken into account in assessing the student’s grant or award;

“education authority” means a government department, an education and library board established under Article 3 of the Education and Libraries Order(6), a local education authority as defined in section 212(1) of the Education Act 2002(7), an education authority as defined in section 123 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973(8), any body which is a research council for the purposes of the Science and Technology Act 1965(9) or any analogous government department, authority, board or body, of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or any other country outside the United Kingdom;

“full-time student” means a person who is not a qualifying young person or child within the meaning of section 138 of the Contributions and Benefits Act(10) (child and qualifying young person) and who is—

(a)

aged less than 19 and is attending or undertaking a full-time course of advanced education;

(b)

aged 19 or over but under pensionable age and is attending or undertaking a full-time course of study at an educational establishment; or

(c)

on a sandwich course;

“grant” (except in the definition of “access funds”) means any kind of educational grant or award and includes any scholarship, studentship, exhibition, allowance or bursary but does not include a payment from access funds or any payment to which paragraph 13 of Schedule 8 or paragraph 48 of Schedule 9 applies;

“grant income” means—

(a)

any income by way of a grant;

(b)

in the case of a student, other than one to whom paragraph (c) refers, any contribution which has been assessed whether or not it has been paid;

(c)

in the case of a student who is a lone parent or is a person to whom Part 4 applies, any contribution which has been assessed and which has been paid,

and any such contribution which is paid by way of a covenant is to be treated as part of the student’s grant income;

“period of experience” means a period of work experience which forms part of a sandwich course;

“period of study” means—

(a)

in the case of a course of study for one year or less, the period beginning with the start of the course and ending with the last day of the course;

(b)

in the case of a course of study for more than one year, in the first or, as the case may be, any subsequent year of the course, other than the final year of the course, the period beginning with the start of the course or, as the case may be, that year’s start and ending with either—

(i)

the day before the start of the next year of the course in a case where the student’s grant or loan is assessed at a rate appropriate to the student’s studying throughout the year or, if the claimant does not have a grant or loan, where a loan would have been assessed at such a rate had the claimant had one, or

(ii)

in any other case the day before the start of the normal summer vacation appropriate to the student’s course;

(c)

in the final year of a course of study of more than one year, the period beginning with that year’s start and ending with the last day of the course;

“sandwich course” has the meaning given by regulation 2(8) of the Education (Student Support) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007(11), regulation 2(9) of the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2008(12) or regulation 4(2) of the Education (Student Loans) (Scotland) Regulations 2007(13);

“standard maintenance grant” means—

(a)

except where paragraph (b) or (c) applies, in the case of a student attending or undertaking a course of study at the University of London or an establishment within the area comprising the City of London and the Metropolitan Police District, the amount specified for the time being in paragraph 2(2)(a) of Schedule 6 to the Students Awards Regulations(14) for such a student;

(b)

except where paragraph (c) applies, in the case of a student residing at the student’s parent’s home, the amount specified in paragraph 3 of Schedule 6 to the Students Awards Regulations;

(c)

in the case of a student receiving an allowance or bursary under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, the amount of money specified for the relevant year appropriate for the student set out in the Student Support in Scotland Guide issued by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland, or its nearest equivalent in the case of a bursary provided by a college of further education or a local education authority;

(d)

in any other case, the amount specified in paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 6 to the Students Awards Regulations other than in head (a) or (b) of that sub-paragraph;

“student” means a person, other than a person in receipt of a training allowance, who is attending or undertaking a course of study at an educational establishment;

“student loan” means a loan towards a student’s maintenance pursuant to any regulations made under Article 3 of the Education (Student Support) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998(15), section 22 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998(16) or sections 73(f), 73B and 74 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980(17) and is to include, in Scotland, amounts paid under regulation 4(1)(c) of the Students’ Allowances (Scotland) Regulations 2007(18).

(2) For the purposes of the definition of “full-time student” in paragraph (1), a person is to be regarded as attending or, as the case may be, undertaking a full-time course of study, a full-time course of advanced education or as being on a sandwich course—

(a)subject to paragraph (3), in the case of a person attending or undertaking a part of a modular course which would be a full-time course of study for the purposes of this Part, for the period beginning on the day on which that part of the course starts and ending—

(i)on the last day on which the claimant is registered with the educational establishment as attending or undertaking that part as a full-time course of study, or

(ii)on such earlier date (if any) as the claimant finally abandons the course or is dismissed from it;

(b)in any other case, throughout the period beginning on the date on which the claimant starts attending or undertaking the course and ending on the last day of the course or on such earlier date (if any) as the claimant finally abandons it or is dismissed from it.

(3) For the purpose of sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph (2), the period referred to in that sub-paragraph is to include—

(a)where a person has failed examinations or has failed to successfully complete a module relating to a period when the claimant was attending or undertaking a part of the course as a full-time course of study, any period in respect of which the claimant attends or undertakes the course for the purpose of retaking those examinations or that module;

(b)any period of vacation within the period specified in that paragraph or immediately following that period except where the person has registered with the educational establishment to attend or undertake the final module in the course and the vacation immediately follows the last day on which the claimant is required to attend or undertake the course.

(4) In paragraph (2) “modular course” means a course of study which consists of 2 or more modules, the successful completion of a specified number of which is required before a person is considered by the educational establishment to have completed the course.

(1)

S.I. 1993/2810 (N.I. 12); Article 30 was amended by Schedule 4 to the Further Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 (S.I. 1997/1772 (N.I. 15)) and Article 11(2) of the Colleges of Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/1963 (N.I. 13))

(4)

1980 c. 44; section 74(1) was amended by paragraph 8(17) of Schedule 10 to the Self-Governing Schools etc. (Scotland) Act 1989 (c. 39)

(5)

2000 c. 21; section 5 was amended by section 178(2) of the Education Act 2002 (c. 32), section 6 was amended by section 34(7) of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (c. 10) and section 9 was amended by section 176(2) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (c. 40)

(6)

Article 3 was amended by Schedule 9 to the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (N.I. 20))

(8)

1973 c. 65; section 123 was substituted by paragraph 92(28) of Schedule 13 to the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39)

(10)

Section 138 was substituted by section 2(2) the Child Benefit Act 2005 (c. 6)

(14)

The amounts in Schedule 6 are amended by the Schedule to S.R 2008 No. 254

(15)

S.I. 1998/1760 (N.I. 14); Article 3 was amended by section 147(3) of the Learning and Skills Act 2000 (c. 21), paragraph 238 of Schedule 6 to the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (c. 1), section 147(4) of the Finance Act 2003 (c. 14) and Article 11(1) of the Higher Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (S.I. 2005/1116 (N.I. 5))

(16)

1998 c. 30; section 22 was amended by section 146(2) of the Learning and Skills Act 2000

(17)

1980 c.44; section 73(f) was amended by section 29(1) of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 (c. 30) and section 3(2) of the Education (Graduate Endowment and Student Support) (Scotland) Act 2001 (asp 6), section 73B was inserted by section 29(2) of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 and amended by section 3(3) of the Education (Graduate Endowment and Student Support) (Scotland) Act 2001 and section 74 was amended by paragraph 8(17) of Schedule 10 to the Self-Governing Schools etc. (Scotland) Act 1989

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