Parents’ Learning Allowance - 2020 to 2021

Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA) is extra help to cover course-related costs such as books, course materials and travel, if you have dependent children.

Continue reading for more information or go straight to how and when to apply.

How much can you get?

The maximum amount you get for PLA is £1,324.50 per year. You can only apply for it if you have one or more children that are financially dependent on you, regardless of their age. The amount available to you depends on your course intensity and household income.

You’ll be asked for this information when you apply.

Course intensity Maximum Parents' Learning Allowance available





75% or more


How’s it paid?

PLA is paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term. For this to happen you need to register on your course and your university or college confirm that you're in attendance.

Before your first payment is made, you’ll need to make sure your university or college complete section 3 of the Part-Time Grants for Dependants form. Return this and your first payment will be made after the form has been processed.

Distance Learning

If you're studying on a distance learning course, you will not be eligible for PLA.

However, if the course would normally be attended in person but you are unable to do so as a result of a disability or long-term health condition, you can apply for PLA.

Anything else you should know?

You must be studying at a course intensity of at least 50% to get PLA.

PLA doesn’t need to be paid back unless you leave your course or there’s a change in your circumstances which results in an overpayment


Evidence of your child dependants

Send in a copy of one of the following:

  • birth certificate for each child
  • certificate of Naturalisation for each child
  • Home Office documentation confirming your children's names and dates of birth

Proof your children are dependent on you

Send in a copy of one of the following:

  • your most recent Tax Credits or Universal Credit Award Notice naming all your children
  • all pages of your most recent Child Benefit letter naming all children

This same evidence will also be used if you’re claiming Childcare Grant

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