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To think there is incredibly stiff competition for assisted places/bursaries at private school?

(28 Posts)
joogle Mon 30-May-11 22:16:02

DD is bright for her age and a friend has suggested trying to get her a place at one of the private schools in our area. We are on a very low income so would qualify financially but does the child need to be bordereing on genius before they'll be considered for a bursary? Any advice would be appreciated!

Punkatheart Mon 30-May-11 22:28:49

A bursary is based on financial need, not academic prowess. You will have to fill out a very detailed form with all your income and outgoings. They will even review things like the value of your house, mortgage etc.

icooksocks Mon 30-May-11 22:31:22

Can I jump in on your thread please and ask-do kids whose parents who live in a council house ever get considered for bursaries??

Punkatheart Mon 30-May-11 22:39:49

Of course. It is based on financial need. So if the child interviews well, passes the exam if there is one - then a bursary can be applied for to help them with a place.....

Punkatheart Mon 30-May-11 22:40:25

There is a difference between scholarships and bursaries - the former being for music, art, drama or academic etc

LunaticIsOnTheGrass Mon 30-May-11 22:41:58

I had a full bursary at a private school & I certainly wasn't particularly gifted - bright perhaps, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary.

We lived in a council house & my parents were on benefits, there were quite a few girls on bursaries in a similar situation. smile

Though it was 20 years ago so I'm not sure how relevant it would be now.

MumblingRagDoll Mon 30-May-11 22:46:34

No Joogle. My DD is in year 2 at a private school...we were paying and when m DH lost his job I went to see the HT and told her we were leaving..we had a place at a not bad state school and had come to terms with it.

The HT said "No....we will get you a full Bursary...." And that was that. My DD is way off being the brightest in her year. But the school want to invest in her as they say she has potential.

crazycarol Mon 30-May-11 22:49:34

My dd has a bursary, she is definitely not genius or anywhere close! Schools differ greatly on how much income you have & amount of bursary available to you. At dd's school they have upper threshold of £55K above which you get 0 and below is sliding scale to £15K which is 100%.
A friend's dd is at another school, she lives in council house and gets bursary. Their school has lower top limit & above £35K you get O. Although lots of factors are taken into consideration like equity in house, savings, no of children / dependants etc.

icooksocks Mon 30-May-11 22:54:51

I ask for good reason, I am moving to a completely new town 100 miles away on Friday, and the outlook for a school in the locality with a place is pretty slim. DD is 6 and is of average intelligence AFAIK. I just wondered if it was even worth me looking into this sort of thing confused. I feel like I shouldn't deserve a place a private school as I couldn't afford it IYGWIM.

Punkatheart Mon 30-May-11 22:57:50

Try it icooksocks. Your little girl deserves a place as much as anyone else.

MumblingRagDoll Mon 30-May-11 23:04:25

It is ALWAYS wort looking up and ask...they dont think you're out of order for wanting the best. I know.

icooksocks Mon 30-May-11 23:46:12

She has I imagine a reasonable amount if potential as kids go-I went to a grammar school myself. I would love for her to get the sort of education a private school would give, but couldn't afford it at the moment and there will also be my 2 younger sons to think about. I'm not sure if I'd just get laughed at sad

icooksocks Mon 30-May-11 23:46:41

For punching above my station.

MumblingRagDoll Tue 31-May-11 00:08:17

Punch WAY above your station icooksocks always. smile

I do.

crystalglasses Tue 31-May-11 00:30:40

Most good private schools have burseries and your application is looked at AFTER the child has been offered a place, so as not not be seen to have influenced the placement decision. So if your child gets a place and satisfies the income rules for a bursery he/she will get one. Simples. Although I don't know what happens if there are lots of applications for bursaries as surely there must be a limit to what funds the school has available. But it's definitely worth a shot. There are more children at private school on bursaries than you might think, although schools never publish who they are so there is no stigma attached (if you think there might be).

superdragonmama Tue 31-May-11 00:51:21

Please consider this option for your child smile

My youngest ds is at a fabulous independent school on a full bursary (we are very poor, sadly) and I can't tell you how much I worried about him going, and him being the poorest kid in the school, getting picked on for being poor, the school being too 'posh' for us etc. But he is having a wonderful time, simply wonderful, and we are all very very pleased with this choice.

He is pretty clever: he had to pass exams and an interview with the head to be considered for this bursary; I mean, he had to fulfill two separate conditions for the bursary: - he had to pass the exams pretty well, and he had to come from a household with a low income. But he's not the cleverest kid in his class, he's ok, but not outstanding. Plus he's one of the poorest, with some truly wealthy kids there, but, nonetheless, he loves his school, has made masses of friends, and the education he's getting is simply wonderful.

I only considered this option for my ds because a friend suggested it; she only suggested it because her son was there already; she is poor too; her son loved the school and so did she, so I considered it for my ds; now he loves it too.

Go for it is my advice!

please pm me if I can offer more specific advice

MumblingRagDoll Tue 31-May-11 07:56:48

crystal is right...there is no stigma and unless you tell the other parents then they won't know you have bursary...HTs understand why you want to attend their school...they've seen it all before.

My DD didn't have tosit an exam but she is only in year 2....and had been at the school for three years already.

Bananamash Tue 31-May-11 08:39:13

Definately apply.

But, if your child is bright it really does help. I know it is not supposed to but, from the schools point of view, they are more willing to go the extra mile if the child will reflect well on them at a later date- their next destination, as these are all published. A lot of schools have had to scrap scholarships o maintain their charitable status,but they are still on the lookout for exceptional students to bolster their results. The decision whether or not to award a bursary lies with the school so they can make exceptions to the rules if they wish.

I've said it before and will say it again, IME, a child has got a part bursary at a prep in the home counties with fees of 11kpa on a household income of almost 62kpa. Very bright child. The school made it clear the parents that they really wanted the child. Parents made it clear that they wouldn't be going without some assistance.

So I would urge anyone considering it to apply. What's the worst case scenario. They say no, you've lost nothing, they say yes and you have gained a lot. Do some pracitse papers with her before she sits the entrance test- bond books are quite good, verbal reasooning as well as maths and Eng. Good luck.

meditrina Tue 31-May-11 08:56:07

"So if your child gets a place and satisfies the income rules for a bursery he/she will get one"

I believe This is common in US, but sadly isn't true in UK.

The Sutton Trust has nearly achieved "needs blind" admission to Manchester schools, and there are others striving towards it. But AFAIK this is, as well as not yet achieved, all at secondary, not prep level.

Each school will have its own pot of money. When it is spent, there will be no more bursaries until one is given up. If there are families in the school who have been afflicted by death, messy divorce, serious illness, redundancy or other major reverse, then they may well have priority call on the bursary funds and there may be nothing left over for new joiners that year. It would be a generous scheme if a prep school could afford 1 or 2 full new bursaries each year, or partial awards to the same value.

MumblingRagDoll Tue 31-May-11 08:58:15

I think that's true actually meditrina....I was already paying full fees for my DD when our circumstances changed and we were advised to apply for bursary.

iskra Tue 31-May-11 09:06:06

meditrina, is that just MGS or are some of the other schools nearly needs blind now?

LIZS Tue 31-May-11 09:13:12

why is this in aibu ? hmm

There is only a finite amount of money set aside each year for bursaries so there will be competition and it may be less per child but used for more one year , more per child but fewer another. Many schools now post of their website what % of pupils have some form of financial assistance which may give you a better idea of chances , if not speak to the school bursar.

joogle Tue 31-May-11 09:52:37

What does "needs blind mean"?

joogle Tue 31-May-11 09:53:33

What does "needs blind" mean? blush

LavandulaFathead Tue 31-May-11 10:08:21

Why shouldn't this be in AIBU? Last I checked, people could post about anything they wanted. Last I checked, people didn't have to read or post on threads they didn't want to. I'm sure the Powers-That-Be at Mumsnet Towers would remove it if it breached any of their posting/thread rules. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

I applied to a school for a bursary which, at the time, didn't advertise the scale of their bursaries. Despite feeling like it was a shot in the dark, I got one [with 60% off my fees and an option to pay monthly which continued long after I left the school]. So OP, apply. Like Bananamash says, the worst they can say is no.

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