To qualify for the student disregard, you have to meet one of the following criteria:

Foreign Language Assistants

A person is classified as a Foreign Language Assistant if they are registered with the British Council as a Foreign Language Assistant and they are appointed to a school or other prescribed educational establishment.

We need a certificate of student status from the educational establishment to support the claim.

Full Time Students

A person will be disregarded if they are a full time student as defined by the following:

  1. attending a prescribed educational establishment (from 13 May 2011 - the legislation has changed to undertaking rather than attending) and prescribed educational establishments include Universities on the  European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS) programme within the European Union
  2. undertakes a course of at least one academic or calendar year
  3. the course normally requires the student to attend for at least 24 weeks each year and for at least 21 hours per week (this included attendance, tuition, study or work experience)

Please note that where a person undertakes work experience, it is a requirement that the period of work experience does not exceed 50% of the total course time except in the case of student teachers who are exempt from these rules.

A student is considered to be undertaking a course from the first day of the course to the last day of the course notwithstanding periods of vacation. Care should be taken when assessing disregarded status where a student has ceased a course and is to undertake another - during the interim period, the person is not considered to be a student.

Where a student does not undertake the course due to illness, they can still be considered eligible for disregard until such time as the student is removed from the course or they are deemed to have abandoned the course.

Open University courses, subject to meeting the criteria would be considered as full time courses. Likewise Project 2000 nurses are regarded to be a student for the purposes of these provisions.

The Council will require a certificate of student status from the educational establishment to support the claim. This can be obtained from the prescribed educational establishment.

Certificates cannot be obtained in respect of EU Universities so the following information will be required;

  • copies of acceptance on course
  • enrolment details and key details of course
  • payment for course
  • contact details

Under 20 and Undertaking Qualifying Course of Education

A person can be disregarded if the following criteria are met in full:

  • aged under 20
  • not undertaking a full time course of education
  • undertakes more than 12 hours of study per week
  • the course is for more than 3 calendar months
  • the course is not one of higher education
  • the course is otherwise than correspondence
  • the course is not undertaken as part of a person’s employment (day release)
  • the course is normally carried out during 8am-5.30pm
  • the time criteria must consist of tuition, supervised study, exercise or project work

As with all other students the officer must ensure that the criteria are met in full in order for the disregard to be granted.

Where appropriate a student certificate must be obtained unless full written evidence is provided.

Where students fall to be disregarded under the above provisions, exemption Class K, Class M and Class N may also apply - please note that this does not apply to any other category of students listed within the disregard provisions.

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