We’re delivering a media course and our team is having a slight disagreement with regards to the discretionary bursary and its use for equipment.
Can we use the bursary to purchase cameras, tripods, lighting & microphones etc for general use – as in it won’t be one of each per learner?
My concern is that, if for example, a studio lighting set was purchased, everyone on that course will be using and benefiting from it and not just those in need and that the EFA would not be happy. If we were to buy a camera for a learner who we deem eligible for the bursary and it was only them who used it whilst on the course that would be alright?
As usual the guidance is ambiguous and only seems to drop the word “equipment” without quantifying it in any way…
I think page 17 of the guidance pretty much rules it out “block provision of equipment”:
Exclusions: what the bursary cannot pay for
The bursary fund should not be used by institutions for any reason that would give them a competitive advantage over other institutions, such as:
• enrolment or administration fees imposed by the institution
• fees for access to facilities in the institution
• block subsidy of the canteen
• block subsidy of transport
• block provision of equipment, material or books
• paying bonus payments to reward attendance or achievement
Thanks for your responses. I read that and took it to mean that we can’t just give a learner £200 and say “go spend it on equipment” but reading it again I see where you’re coming from. For the record I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that we can’t just buy general equipment using the bursary but it keeps coming up which provoked me into asking the experts!
So could we use it to purchase an SD card or other storage device for an eligible learner to store their digital work on?