Extending free school meal provisions

From September 2023, the council is extending universal free school meals provision to include children who live in the borough and attend secondary school (up to the age of 16).

+ If you are already in receipt of free meals from your school, there is nothing further you need to do.
+ If you are not in receipt of benefits and have an annual net earned income of more than £7,400, there is nothing further you need to do.
+ If you are receiving benefits but not currently receiving free school meals, it is important that you fill in your child’s registration form.

Tower Hamlets and Canary Wharf Further Education Trust

An advert featuring a photo of a woman with the text from fixing a faulty gear to chief auto engineer

Are you starting a new education or training course in September?

Are you struggling to identify a source of funding to support your studies? 

We might be able to help. 

About the trust

The Tower Hamlets and Canary Wharf Trust Fund is a joint initiative led by the council and Canary Wharf Group. Since it was established in 1990, it has supported more than 4,500 residents of the borough. 

The trust's mission is to promote further and higher education as well as vocational training for Tower Hamlets residents with a particular focus on those in the greatest need of financial support to make the journey through education and into employment. 

What support is on offer?

Financial grants to help with education costs for Tower Hamlets residents taking the following:

Further education course

Fees up to £1050 and living costs up to £2100 provided the total award doesn’t exceed to £2900 per annum

Higher education course

Fees up to £2900 and living costs award up to £2100, provided the total award doesn’t exceed £4000 per annum If you are not eligible for Statutory Student Finance (fees and loan) from a source such as Student Finance England

Residential horticultural / agricultural course

Fees award up to £4500 per annum

Postgraduate course – conferring a vocational qualification

Full-time – one year or longer: Fees up to £4500 per annum and living costs up to £2400 provided the total award does not exceed £4500 per annum.

Full-Time – less than one year: Living costs £1050 and Fees up to £2100.

Part-time course

Fees only award up to £2400 per annum with a maximum fee grant of £6600

Any resident not eligible for mainstream student finance can apply for support with fees.

Residents with a household income below £13,000 can also apply for maintenance support.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants should:

  • have finished school and not be studying GCSEs or A Levels
  • live in Tower Hamlets and have been resident in the borough for 3 years. (Exceptions may be made for those who have recently been granted refugee status)
  • anyone with limitations on their ability to remain in the UK will normally not be eligible to apply

In general, the trust will not fund students who can obtain financial assistance from central or local government through schemes like Student Finance or the Mayor’s Education Award.

Read the full guidance on residency criteria.

What do previous applicants have to say about the scheme?

"The trust fund is a great resource for students like myself who cannot fund their education costs. I have only been able to complete my Masters with the help of this fund. My career prospects are now much wider. I feel I can now compete on an international level of professionalism within the film and TV industry. I thank the trust fund for helping me get this far."

Seemab - MA Filmmaking

“I benefited immensely from the grant I was awarded to pay my college fees. I wouldn’t have been able to complete this stage of my gardening course without it.”

Dymphna - City & Guilds in Hard Landscaping

“The trust fund has had a significant positive effect on my educational life. The fund helped me to undertake a Nutrition Specialist Diploma specifically in the UK fitness industry, which has opened up new career doors for me.”

Syeda - Nutrition Specialist Diploma

“It is brilliant! If I did not get funded I would never have got my diploma. I am going to train as a solicitor soon and it is all possible because of the help I received from the trust fund.”

Asma - Legal Practice Course

Applications are now closed

Ocean Estate Bursary Scheme

In addition to the above, there is also a separate scheme which provides support to residents of the Ocean Estate who are over 16 years of age and in higher education.

Find out more.