Bursaries / State school to Independent

(8 Posts)
brandodando13 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:05:10

Hi,
just wondering if anyone could enlighten me on what to procedure to follow/ what to expect when applying for an Independent school;
my children are currently at a Roman-Catholic Primary school and we do not feel that it is not educationally suitable.
Both my husband and I attended Roman-Catholic Primary and Secondary schools and felt that our children should do the same. But sadly the school that they are attending (which has a good reputation and is oversubscribed etc.) is not what we were expecting.
Can anybody kindly please advise on what action to take in order to make the transition from State to Independent school - bursaries etc.
Thank you!

Coconutty Fri 03-Jan-14 18:07:50

First thing to do is look around a couple and see if you like them (all schools are different, we looked at loads) and then enquire about places etc if you find one you like.

MillyMollyMama Fri 03-Jan-14 18:12:43

There are bursary experts on Mumsnet so I amsure one will be along before too long. Usually you have be have clever children and no money!

brandodando13 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:13:53

Dear Coconutty,
thanks for your reply!
I will arrange some viewings this week commencing...

sailorsgal Fri 03-Jan-14 18:16:57

I think you will have to ask to speak to the burser of the school you would like to see if you qualify for a bursary. At our school you have to apply in the upcoming term for September. Also the school prefer to use the funding to keep existing pupils who may need the funding rarther than newcomers but it probably comes down to what they have available. Also be prepared to divulge all your financial details! grin

scaevola Fri 03-Jan-14 18:21:04

When are you hoping to move them, and what years will they be in?

If it's a main entry year for next September, you may well find that applications have already closed (sorry). If it's ad hoc places, there will be considerably greater flexibility, but it depends on there being a vacancy at th right time.

The candidate schools should tell you if they offer bursaries at all, and the nuts and bolts of how/when to apply.

You need to work out how much you can afford in fees, and what size bursary you need to bridge the gap. Then you need to find out if the school, s able to offer bursaries of that size (and, if ad hoc place, if there are funds for any new bursaries at that point at all). This is best done by seeing the Bursar early on.

LadyMuck Fri 03-Jan-14 18:42:57

If they are still in primary school then you should be aware that bursary pots are usually quite/very limited. Fees for private primary/prep schools are a lot less than for senior schools, so you may be able to afford those fees, and then apply for bursaries for senior school.

middleclassonbursary Fri 03-Jan-14 20:40:26

Lots of stuff on MN I believe you can search it. There is also a current thread on the senior ed. section about bursaries. Bursaries are available to new applicants to schools but at prep schools they are very difficult to find and are often attached to scholarships, more at senior school level but are becoming harder to get a substantial stand alone bursary.

There is no hard and fast rule all schools will be different in the amount they can offer, your income level to qualify, and if it's attached to a scholarship (most now are) and the % you will get. As a general principal you are more likely to get a substantial bursary out of a big name school, they have a large bursary pot funded by their alumni and past and present grateful wealthy parents etc. See the websites of schools like Eton SPS and Win Coll.
Schools increasingly detail their bursary policy on their websites and you should start there, then contact the bursar in person preferably before wasting your and the schools time and raising your DC's hope by visiting. Do realistic figures working out what you can afford then having said what a nice school it is etc ask if they do bursary of that size. You're not asking them to say they will give it to you personally just do they do them.
Most schools will want something back for their investment so there is no point in labouring on about how awful your state schools are (they're not interested) instead tell them what your DC will bring, academic prowess is of course the best but sport, music, etc are ok especially in a sporty musical school.
If your looking for Sept 2014 you will have to do it now as forms to potential parents and current are usually sent out early in the Lent term. Bursaries are assessed every year and some on MN report loosing them or then being reduced for what appears to be no reason. We are on our 10 th year of a very substantial bursary which started at a prep school and this has never happened to us.
Finally you're not going to get one if you have substantial savings, have shares, own a huge house or a second/third/fourth home or have a lot of equity in a house. We have none of these!
Finally I'm frequently asked by friends etc is it worth it? We have sacrificed lots of things in relation to our income to pay boarding fees and currently have outstanding state options. When I look and listen to my DS (now at a very famous boys boarding school) I know it is but at prep level (another very famous boys prep) I'm frankly in retrospect less sure!

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