Business Services Authority

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1 Student Services provided by Business Services Authority Issue 11 - April 2014 If you re from a university, college or assessment centre that works with students who are eligible for NHS or social work bursaries, please subscribe to Bursary News. us at with your full contact details and we ll add you to our distribution list. Social Work Education NHS Student Bursaries Social Work Bursaries Support Grant 1. Welcome to the new Bursary News Since my appointment in September 2013 as the Head of Student Services, I ve been working with my management team to develop and establish a combined Student Services function for the NHS Business Services Authority. Part of this strategy and programme of activity includes the creation of a seamless external facing Student Services function from the previously separate Social Work Bursaries (SWB), NHS Student Bursaries (NHSSB) and Social Work Education Support Grant (SWESG) service streams. There are a number of overall communication aims to support the delivery of this. You can see from this edition of Bursary News that we have created a new brand for Student Services that includes all three service streams. Keep an eye out for more combined guidance and communications on our website or sent to you by . Check out the colour key above to see which articles are about NHSSB, SWB or SWESG (or all three!). We hope you enjoy reading this edition of Bursary News. If you have feedback on this newsletter please contact our Customer Insight and Communications Team at Thank you for your continued support and commitment to helping us develop and maintain a strong service for now and into the future. Kerry Hemsworth, Head of Student Services Contents 1. Welcome to the new Bursary News 2. Student Services stakeholder event a great success 3. NHS Student Bursaries operational update April Application window for Social Work Bursaries 5. NHS Bursary Scheme rule changes 6. The annual cycle of the Social Work Bursary and the Social Work Education Support Grant 7. Submission of term dates for NHS courses 8. Got a question? Ask Us 9. Postgraduate capping process for social work students 10. Deadline extended for final group of NHS bursary students applications 11. Promoting the BOSS guidance video on your website 12. Thank you for taking part in our survey! 1

2 2. Student Services stakeholder event a great success The first national stakeholder event to cover both NHS Student Bursaries and Social Work Bursaries was held at London South Bank University on Friday 4 April. Over 80 delegates attended the event from universities and various stakeholder organisations. The event provided the nationwide delegates with an overview of our strategic direction and roadmap, the latest operational updates and best practice regarding fraud prevention. We also ran a range of workshops and drop in surgeries, and London South Bank NHS students provided some great insight in the student forum into life as an NHS student and about how they access the services provided by NHS Student Bursaries. Feedback from delegates on the day was very positive and we have issued a post event questionnaire by to help us shape future events. If you attended the April event you can take part in the survey here. It will remain open until 30 April London South Bank University very kindly hosted the event and we d like to thank Anisa Salim and her team for the excellent administration, assistance and support they provided for the day. If you would like to receive a copy of the presentations and Q&As from the event, please Look out for details of the next national stakeholder event, which will be taking place in October NHS Student Bursaries operational update April 2014 All NHS students who are eligible to apply for a bursary must make an online application every academic year through their Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) account. For more information about BOSS visit our website at: Applications for January to May cohorts The status overview for both continuing and new students who started or recommenced their courses during January May 2014 is detailed in the table below (correct at 4 April 2014). Total applications expected 12,725 Total applications received 12,384 Total applications in process 324 Total applications pended (awaiting evidence/further evidence) 1,140 Total applications approved 10,920 Awaiting confirmation of enrolment 493 Total number in payment 10,171 2

3 Please note that at time of publication not all April and May cohorts have commenced. All application assessments are progressing as planned and within target. Applications for Autumn 2014 cohorts The application invite process for continuing students began during week commencing 24 February and will finish during week commencing 28 April. The various deadlines are all outlined in the table on our Continuing Students web page. All new students have been able to make their bursary applications since 3 March (as long as they have received an offer of a place on an NHS funded course). We advise all new students to read the important guidance found on our New Students web page. As always, we appreciate your continued support in encouraging your students to make an early application and before the deadline dates specified to ensure we can assess their application and have payments ready before the start of their course. The status overview for both continuing and new students who start or recommence their courses during June October 2014 (this includes medical and dental students whose courses start from June) is detailed in the table below (correct at 4 April 2014). Total applications expected* 71,627 Total applications received 15,089 Total applications in process 1,069 Total applications pended (awaiting evidence/further evidence) 8,960 Total applications approved 5,060 * Please note that this figure includes a 5% increase in new student commissions for the 2014/15 academic year. 4. Application window for Social Work Bursaries Application forms and guidance notes for the academic year 2014/15 will be available from 1 May 2014 on our website at: Students need to download the relevant application form, complete it and post it to the address on the form along with any evidence that has been requested. We can only accept applications received before the deadline of 30 November 2014 (or 14 February 2015 for January starters). We aim to assess all applications within 20 working days of receipt and let students know of their eligibility to receive a bursary. However, as bursary recipients are now nominated by HEIs, the amount of bursary a student will receive will be determined by whether they are included within their HEI s cap. It is important that all students are encouraged to apply early - they do not have to wait until they know whether they will be included within their HEI s cap. Once we have been informed by HEIs which students should be allocated a bursary, we will inform the student of their full entitlement. Eligible students who fall outside of their HEI s cap will still receive a contribution to the cost of travel to their placement. Students who started their course prior to 2013 will continue to be funded (i.e. not be subject to the cap) until they complete their course or they have a change in circumstances that means they are no longer eligible for a bursary. 3

4 5. NHS Bursary Scheme rule changes The Department of Health have introduced a number of NHS Bursary Scheme rules changes that come into effect for the 2014/2015 academic year (from 1 September 2014) and will apply to all students. These are: The Dependants Allowance will now be assessed based on the student s previous financial year s income rather than their estimated income. This brings it in line with how we currently assess the basic award. The definition of an academic year will change to be the start date of the course. A 1% increase will be added to all basic award and additional allowance rates, including the Disabled Students Allowance. There will be an increase in the mileage rates that are paid for Practice Placement Expense claims. The six month application period rule will be reintroduced into the NHS Bursary Scheme (meaning NHS bursary applications will only be accepted for up to six months after the student s academic year starts). Voluntary maintenance payments will be treated in the same way as those made through a Court Order. You can read the full NHS Bursary Scheme rules here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-bursary-scheme-rules 6. The annual cycle of the Social Work Bursary and the Social Work Education Support Grant The Social Work Bursary and the Social Work Education Support Grant both operate on yearly cycles. Social Work Bursaries The bursary year starts at the beginning of May when application forms become available for the forthcoming academic year. Students applications are assessed over the summer and we start to release payments to students after receiving and processing the capping and attendance data from HEIs. Students are paid their main bursary in three instalments to coincide with the start of each term. Payments for the Childcare Allowance are similarly made in three instalments after we receive evidence of costs from childcare providers. Tuition fee invoices are accepted and paid direct to HEIs from 1 December each year. Social Work Education Support Grant In October each year, HEIs send in an estimate of the number of placements that they will be organising in the forthcoming academic year. We pay the first instalment of 4

5 ESG based on this estimate. HEIs then re-estimate their figures (based on actual student numbers) in May and we release students second instalments after 1 June, having recalculated entitlement based on the newer, more accurate figures. Final checks are then made the following November when we send out a Finance Certificate for final confirmation of yearly funds to each HEI. Over the summer, we verify with students and placement providers that a sample of the information provided to us during the previous academic year is correct for audit purposes. 7. Submission of term dates for NHS courses We would like to thank all HEIs that have provided their NHS course term dates, particularly within the tight deadlines. Having these term dates allows us to assess your students bursary entitlement at the correct rate, first time and reduces the number of reassessments we have to make and student queries about the amount they have been awarded. For the small number of HEIs where term dates are outstanding, we would appreciate it if you could provide these to us as soon as possible, particularly as the number of applications we are receiving from students is increasing significantly as we move into the peak application period. Please send your completed forms (called Dates of Attendance Form BUR100 or BUR100MED) to If you no longer have this form, please request one from Similarly, if you have courses that are no longer running, please let us know by ing the enquiries account above so we can remove them from the BOSS system. 8. Got a question? Ask Us! The NHS Business Services Authority launched a new knowledge base facility for customers last month. Ask Us gives all of our customers, including students and HEIs, a quick and easy way to find the answers to their questions about bursaries, eligibility and the application process. It s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and uses the same search engine, information and articles as the internal knowledge base used by Student Services Contact Centre staff. 5

6 You can access Ask Us through the NHS Student Bursaries or Social Work Bursaries Facebook pages or through our website: The new facility adds to a range of methods for our customers to get the information they need, supplementing our existing web pages, leaflets, booklets, guides and the Contact Centre itself. Since it launched on 17 March 2014 it has had 23,158 hits (at 16 April 2014). Of these, 4,727 were NHS Student Bursaries hits and 1,680 were Social Work Bursaries hits. Don t forget to send your feedback across on how you found Ask Us by ing us at The team will use your feedback to create new articles where they are needed. 9. Postgraduate capping process for social work students The way that social work students are funded changed in The Department of Health introduced a cap on the number of students who would be paid a full social work bursary and any students who were not included in the cap would be paid a standard amount of to help towards the costs of travel to and from placements. The first phase saw a cap on the amount of postgraduate level student places enforced and the end of bursaries paid to undergraduates in year 1 of their course, with a cap being introduced in years 2 and 3. There were a few challenges to overcome for all involved during the first year of the process. The main one was linked to the timings of when nominated students details were sent to us by the HEIs. This didn t happen as smoothly as everyone had hoped but our Social Work Bursaries team have worked closely with all HEIs and the Department of Health to come up with the best dates possible for all concerned to ensure this second year of the process will run much more smoothly. Following your feedback, the date has been changed for year 1 student nomination data. Nominations for year 1 postgraduates should now be given once the student has started the course. Our team will be in touch soon with new spreadsheets for you to complete to confirm which students are nominated and in attendance. Please click here for an overview of the process Students/4090.aspx. Please share this with your students too as it may make the capping process clearer for them as well. We will be sending several communications to you in the following months so please ensure that we have your correct contact details. If there have been any staff changes please us at to ensure you do not miss out on important updates. 6

7 10. Deadline extended for final group of NHS bursary students applications We ve extended the deadline for receiving bursary applications in order to give your NHS bursary students more time to gather the financial supporting evidence needed to assess their NHS bursary applications e.g. the P60 for 2013/14. Those classed as all other students (those who will be providing another person s financial information as part of their supporting evidence, but who did not apply for additional allowances in their 2013/14 bursary application) will be invited to apply for their 2014/15 NHS bursary during week commencing 28 April All other students have already been invited to apply. The final group s deadline for submitting all of their supporting evidence has been extended from 30 May 2014 to us receiving it by 13 June Please advise your continuing students to ensure they check their application deadline using the table on our Continuing Students web page. The deadlines in the table are applicable for all continuing medical and dental students as well. Please note that new students for Autumn 2014 (as is the case for all new students) will not receive an invite to apply for a bursary and should make their application now, provided they have been offered a place on an NHS funded course. Their deadline to apply and for us to receive all of their supporting evidence is Friday 22 August Any students who go through the clearing process should make their application as soon as they can and any payments they are due will be back dated, as appropriate. They can find out more on the New Students page of our website. 11. Promoting the BOSS guidance video on your website We produced a guidance video last year to help new students when they are creating a Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) account and making their first NHS student bursary application. This video is hosted on both YouTube and Vimeo and the links are provided on our website at: Please help us to promote this guidance video by including the link above on your website. If you d like to go one step further and embed the guidance video so students can watch it directly through your website, we can provide the full transcript and guidance on how to do this. Please for more information. Please note that if you embed the video to your website, you will also need to upload the information we have on the YouTube and Vimeo pages too otherwise students will not have the chapter information etc. We will provide you with the exact text to use when we send you the guidance and transcript. 7

8 12. Thank you for taking part in our survey! We d like to say a big thank you to all of the universities and colleges who supported the Social Work Student Survey during February and March We received 2261 responses from students at 77 of the universities/colleges that offer social work courses. The results are currently being collated for the Department of Health so that they can better understand the social work student population and inform future policy decisions. Issue 11-04/2014 8

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