Discretionary learner support (DLS) is provided to support learners with a specific financial hardship that prevents them from taking part in learning. Hardship funding can also be provided to support vulnerable and disadvantaged learners and to remove barriers to education or training.
The money can help pay for things like:
- accommodation and travel
- course materials and equipment
- childcare - if you qualify
What You'll Get
Your learning provider (eg college) decides how much you get. It depends on their scheme and your circumstances.
How the money is paid
The money could be:
- a direct payment to you - which you don’t have to pay back
- a loan - which you have to pay back
- paid to someone else, eg a landlord
Your learning provider decides how the money is paid to you. It depends on their scheme and what the money is for.
Check with the student support staff at your college or the National Careers Service about other funding you could get.
To get Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) you must be:
- 19 or over
- studying at a learning provider funded by the Skills Funding Agency (check with your college)
You must be 20 or over to get help with childcare costs. If you’re 19, apply for Care to Learn instead.
You can apply even if you get other types of funding, eg:
- Professional and Career Development Loans
- Care to Learn
- Disability Living Allowance
Who can’t apply
You can’t claim if you’re:
- getting student finance for higher education
- on a Community Learning course
How to Claim
Apply directly to your learning provider (eg college) - they each have their own application process.
Speak to your student support services to:
- get help applying
- find out what’s available
Appeal a decision
If you’re not happy with the decision about your Discretionary Learner Support, contact your learning provider to appeal it.
The information on this page was supplied by the gov.uk website.