Funding for Widening Participation candidates

n.b. the below has been updated in December 2023 following an update from our funding body.

Extra funding may be made available to participants that meet Widening Participation criteria. The aim of Widening Participation is to make opportunities available for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and under-represented groups. Our goal is to make global opportunities accessible and candidates more employable. Therefore, if you think you qualify for Widening Participation funding, please read the eligibility requirements below and start your journey with us! 

For 1st September 2023 to 31st August 2024, the extra funding available is up to £750 for programmes in Asia or South America, and up to £550 for programmes in Europe. This can only cover certain pre-departure expense types and all requests must be evidenced with receipts and agreed in advance, please read on to learn more. Please email us to agree on anything in advance.

This extra funding is only available to those on our TESOL Primer and TESOL Direct Access routes. It cannot be accessed by those on a TEFL Insight programme. You can read more about our programme types here. You can read more about general eligibility for our TESOL Primer and TESOL Direct Access routes here.

Eligibility for Widening Participation Funding:

  • participants with an annual household* income below £42,875
  • participants receiving Universal Credit or income-related benefits because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner.
  • participants in care or who are care experienced. This refers to anyone who has been or is currently in care or from a looked after background at any stage of their life, no matter how short, including adopted children who were previously looked after.
  • participants who have caring responsibilities. Caring responsibilities refers to a child or young person up to the age of 25 who provides (unpaid) care or intends to provide care for another person in, or outside of, the family home for someone who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misusing drugs/alcohol.
  • participants who are Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME).
  • participants who are refugees or asylum seekers.
  • participants whose home address up to the age of 18 (i.e. when attending school) is in an area of low progression to higher education (I.e your postcode is listed as Quintile '1' or '2' on the POLAR4 measure on the POLAR checking tool)
  • The above points only apply to those who are UK resident, or whose households are UK resident

Funding Coverage

Participants from these backgrounds can receive funding for exceptional costs, if agreed with us in advance. Exceptional costs are calculated on an actual cost basis and are specifically for any additional costs incurred to support the participation of Widening Participation participants.

Funding covers costs such as

  • passports
  • visas
  • insurance
  • vaccines
  • DBS checks
  • other pre-departure costs if specifically agreed in advance by email

Application Process

You will be sent the link to apply for widening participation funding at the appropriate point in the application process. This will be after you have paid your first deposit to confirm your commitment to joining a programme. The deposits are explained here.

Reimbursement Process

Any item you request must be:

  1. Agreed in advance in writing with a Gotoco manager or director, please email us to discuss this as your first step. We will need to check out requests on a case-by-case basis.
  2. After it is agreed, then the expense can then be requested via this form
  3. If in the course of purchase, you discover that costs have gone up or the item needs to be changed, please go through step 1 again. E.g if you book a ‘yellow fever’ vaccine and the doctor wishes to bundle sell other vaccines, you will need to authorise this with us in advance. If you don’t follow this guidance then we may be unable to reimburse you.

Deadlines: All requests must be made before you depart on a programme. In rare cases, discretion can be applied for a later deadline. If you miss a deadline then it will be out our hands and our funding partners will not consider further requests. It is your responsibility to submit requests to us through the appropriate channel, please email us for clarifications. This will be further explained when you reach the appropriate point in the application process.


What counts as household income?

Household income always includes income you get from your own savings, investments or property (for example dividends or rent).

It may also include your parents or partner’s income. This depends on your individual circumstances.

If you’re under 25 and financially depend on at least one parent, your household income includes:

  • your parents’ income, if you live with them or depend on them financially
  • the combined income of one of your parents and their partner, if you live with them or depend on them financially

If you’re under 25 and do not financially depend on your parents Your household income does not include your parents’ income if:

  • you have supported yourself financially for at least 3 years
  • you have been married or in a civil partnership at any time before the start of your course
  • you spent at least 13 weeks in the care of your local authority before you turned 16 - in this case, you might be able to apply as a care leaver
  • you’ve had no contact with your parents for over a year - in this case, you might be able to apply as an ‘estranged student’

If you’re over 25, your household income will not include your parents income if you are over 25, as you will be classed as an ‘independent student’.

Your household income will include your partner’s income, if you live with them (even if they spend most of their time abroad).

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