Bursary and Scholarship

Independent schools are actively canvassing for bursary applicants. Many independent schools now pride themselves on making significant efforts towards widening access to those children who they feel would benefit from the excellent education which they provide.

You need to be planning ahead and asking the schools on your shortlist about bursaries at least two years in advance of your child’s proposed start date.  It’s not just senior schools that offer bursaries; plenty of prep schools offer money off the fees.

Roughly one in three children who attend independent schools receive some form of fee “remission”, so rest assured you will not be alone in asking. If your child is bright and would contribute broadly to the extra-curricular life of the school, they will be very pleased to hear from you.

More often, a scholarship carries kudos but not much cash. That said, if your child is talented at sport, art or music, you can find schools that offer scholarships in those areas, they usually equate to 10 or 20% discount to the fees. It is sometimes possible however to secure a bursary in addition to a scholarship to fill any shortfall.

Be ready to be means-tested. For most schools, prepare for this to be a very thorough process. Schools want to know about all your financial circumstances, not just your take-home pay. All schools are different in terms of where they put their income thresh hold for entitlement for a bursary but a very vague guide indicates that if your family income is much above £40,000, you will not be eligible.

If you don’t get a bursary or scholarship when your child is 11 or 12, don’t give up. Try again at 14 or 15; often the competition isn’t as fierce in the sixth form.


Barrett Hay Saturday School, St. John’s Pre School, Sylvan Road, Crystal Palace, London, SE19 2RX | t: 020 3468 4050 | e: education@bhes.co.uk
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