Learner Support Fund

learner support fund

The Learner Support Fund is for low-paid learners who are equally likely to experience financial hardship as those who are unemployed.

How to apply

Please contact us for an application form.


To receive financial support from the Learner Support Fund, you must be a Waltham Forest resident receiving working tax credits. When applying, you also have to supply proof that you receive working tax credit.

What help with costs is available?

Exam/accreditation costs and help
Cost of exam/accreditation Help available
£0–£60 50% of cost
£61–£199 75% of cost
£200 85% of cost

You will have to pay the balance of the exam/accreditation costs when you enrol. The remaining balance of the exam fee will be charged to the hardship fund.

Course costs

The fund will pay up to 70 percent of course fees. A discretionary award can be made for more than 70 percent but a business case must be made by the Programme Manager.


Items listed on the course information sheet as essential can be made available to learners for the duration of the course. Materials cannot be taken home unless required for homework purposes.

Set textbooks

Books listed on the course information sheet as essential can be made available to learners for the duration of the course. Textbooks must be returned at the end of the course.


We have limited funding available to assist learners with the costs involved in arranging for children under school age to be cared for by an Ofsted registered child care provider. It is the learner’s responsibility to ensure that the childcare provider is Ofsted-registered before placing their child with the provider. If the learner’s application is successful, the childcare provider will be asked to submit invoices directly to the Adult Learning Service for direct settlement.


Learners have the right to appeal against a decision. The appeal must be in writing and must be submitted within 14 days of receiving confirmation of an award or rejection. The letter should set out the reasons for the appeal as well as submitting any further evidence to support the appeal. The decision of the appeals panel is final.


This guideline, procedures and practices will be reviewed regularly.

Equal opportunities

The hardship fund will be administered within the procedures and practice of Waltham Forest Council’s Equal Opportunities policy.