Advanced search

bursary silly question really.

(29 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 17:22:49

Ok, so supposing you were assessed for a means tested bursary for full fees of either 23k or 30k depending on day or boarding.

1.What would this entail?
2.what sort of finance would they be looking at other than income?
3.What might affect your eligibility?

morethanpotatoprints Thu 07-Feb-13 12:34:41


Hello and thank you for the explanation, I can be a bit dim at times. I didn't mean to sound like a reversed snob, I think people are people. Its just that I know of some places where we certainly wouldn't fit in.
Its not the Royal Ballet, but similar I think. She is a musician, its Chethams.
I bet you are proud of your dcs, we have seen a couple of productions with the younger students, they are fantastic grin.
I didn't mention the school before as on another thread a poster tried to draw me into a debate of who's child was more talented and it annoyed me.

middleclassonbursary Thu 07-Feb-13 11:44:19

"The grant is awarded on income alone, now I'm even more confused. Apparentely you can earn a small fortune before you pay fees. I don't really want to say which school in case everybody decides to apply, but is this normal"
Look on the Royal Ballet website there it gives an example you will see what this means basically the more you earn the more you pay its a sliding scale.
"Also if many don't pay full fees, most are subsidised, why make them so expensive to begin with."
Running boarding school is not cheap. You have to employ literally armies of people teachers are the obvious ones but theres nurses cooks cleaners laundry staff security staff HR it goes on, most have fab facilities all this has to be paid for and maintained, usually the teacher pupil ratio is much smaller than in the state my DC's are on 1 teacher for every 7 pupils, some boarding schools charge parents for every piece of paper text book pen but others include this is the fees, many have breath taking grounds = armies of gardeners, some have Mediaeval buildings which have to be kept secure looked after etc and lets not forget world class coaches/trainers etc.
"I was a little worried that many of the parents would be very rich and dd wouldn't fit in,"
I wouldn't worry about this the vast majority of the parents at my DC's school are absolutely loaded becasue lets face it if you can pay £34 000 a year per child and many have at least two there you not on the minimum wage but he doesn't feel out of place. Im guessing from your posting that it is a school like the Royal Ballet and I think your find that it's how good you DD is at what ever they do that ultimately really matter and that is how others will judge your her.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 07-Feb-13 10:52:31

Thank you so much for the very detailed responses.

I made the mistake of asking here before I checked all the details and it appears to be fine unless for some reason we don't qualify for the grant Music and Dance.
Hopefully it won't come to applying for the bursary as this is offered as alternative to the grant. I suppose in the case of a bursary they should check you have no other form of income or assets to make this fair for all. We aren't exactly rolling in money and struggle at times, but I know there are many worse off than us. The point about children living at home not in education hadn't occurred to me either.

eminemmerdale Thu 07-Feb-13 09:37:33


eminemmerdale Thu 07-Feb-13 09:37:23

On our application, we had to put everything - value of cars, every single pennt which is outgoing, equity in house, other children costs, p60s for the previous year etc. They leave no stone unturned! It's fine as long as you are honest and open.

3nationsfamily Thu 07-Feb-13 09:33:34

Also you need to factor in the additional costs of uniform, sports kit, music lessons, school trips etc which all add up to at least 10% of fees pa as a guideline. Very few schools cover these costs as part of any bursary package and there also may be an up front registration fee/ deposit required at the outset. Do ask these kind of questions of the bursar also.
Expect to have your circumstances assessed on an annual basis, also if there are adult children living at home and not still in education they would be expected to be contributing to the household finances too.

Mutteroo Thu 07-Feb-13 01:02:01

We went through the bursary process with both DCs. DD's school requested we filled out the forms every year while DS's school asked at at the start & never again. We own out own home, have some savings, an old car & the odd cheap mobile home holiday in France.

Really does depend on the school as to what kind of bursaries they offer & how they assess. I wish you luck with your child & would say Dont be put off by the questions asked & be honest!

middleclassonbursary Wed 06-Feb-13 22:51:48

Firstly £30 000 is about average or even just below the big names are now charging just shy of £34 0000 for full boarding! Nearly all schools have charitable status and will claim to offer bursaries of varying sizes. Some of the big names Eton Winchester St Pauls are trying very hard to move over to the idea of providing an outstanding education irrespective of financial circumstances. But these three and others like them are exceedingly wealthy in their own right and also have many wealthy alumni who are also bank rolling the bursary fund. There is no hard and fast rule for any school and it is not impossible for the same child to be offered a 50% reduction from one school and a 75% reduction from another it just depends how big their bursary pot is how many are applying and importantly how much they want your child. You will be expected to declare everything including assists saving shares value mortgage rent etc. Some also want to know your food budget council tax petrol bill utilities etc. As a general principle you will be expected to use saving etc and many schools will expect you to be living in an average house of average rent/price for your area so if for example you're living in a 10 bedroomed house and there’s only four living at home they would most likely expect you to downsize to free up capital or reduce your mortgage but there no hard and fast rule. If you have no mortgage you might be expected to take out a mortgage to free up capitol. There is also no hard and fast rule for salaries there are a lot of comments on MN about how you can’t get a bursary if you earn more than £40 000 PA but obviously you would need to earn significantly more than that to fund fees of £30 000 PA. You say you don’t work but home ed. Again some may take a dim view of this others may support your decision not all expect you too work with primary aged children.
We’ve had our DC’s on substantial bursaries (a 60% reduction) for over 9 years they are at boarding school in my now extensive experience many schools talk a good talk on their website but in reality fail to live up to their promises. There is only one rule in this situation speak to the bursar be completely honest and realistic about the % reduction you’re going to need. Tell to him” I’m going to need a 75% reduction” (or whatever) ask him outright “do you ever award bursaries of this size” explain you’re are not asking him to decide on your individual case but you do need to know if such a large award is something they would even consider before you waste your time, the schools time and most importantly raise your DC’s hopes unnecessarily. Most bursars are approachable and hopefully getting more able to be up front and confirm that they will consider a large reduction or that this is outside of their budget.
I've just read about the "grant" I don’t really understand what it’s all about either and I know a lot about bursaries as already said if you named the school it would help although I can understand if your reluctant too.
Joan mentioned Christ’s Hospital they are very generous with their bursaries and well worth looking at they have entries at 11+ and 13+.
At the end of the day you may have to decide how much you want this and what you’re prepared to sacrifice. We on paper have a way about average income ( we are not eligible for child benefit) but choose to channel it into school fees, we don’t own a house, have life insurance or a pension we drive cheapish cars and have one cheap holiday a year, no trips to the opera, fancy restaurants or exotic holidays. But we are not living hand to mouth either I shop in Waitrose buy primarily fair trade and my clothes comes from Boden White Stuff John Lewis etc although I don’t buy that many. If we weren’t paying fees we could lead a much more extravagant life style and have more possessions bit doubt that would make me any happier than I am now. I don’t feel any the worse of for not having them and I know that I am providing my DC’s with a fantastic education and can’t think of a better way of spending my money.
Good luck do let us know how you get on.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 22:47:17

Thanks hardboiled.

Alot of people think I'm some kind of tiger mom, but all the ambition comes from dd. Her older dss were not at all ambitious despite years of encouragement, nurturing their academic abilities and support. They are all different. I will go to some open days, prize giving or such like and have a good nose. Its also good that she could join in juniors, seniors, almost any year prior to starting GCSE so we'll see how it goes.
Thanks for the lovely comments.

difficultpickle Wed 06-Feb-13 22:44:55

I assume it is C in which case you could have access to DfE funding.

hardboiled Wed 06-Feb-13 22:30:12

I see, that makes sense. Good luck to your DD. Don't let people convince you you're aiming too high...some parents do look kind of green in the playground lately and I can't imagine what shade they may turn next week when the offers start arriving for everyone. Thank God for the half-term.

Remember, you will never know unless you try.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 22:14:36

Hello hardboiled.

I don't mind you asking at all.

Yes she would be going from H.ed although she did attend school until this academic year, also she wouldn't board as we live close enough to the school.
It isn't an selective by academic exam as such, although I know from the results that academically they do well. It is very selective in another area however. I'm a bit puzzled with class because I think we are definitely working class, but seem to live the life of a middle class family in some respects. It is really hard to know if dd will fit in.
I don't like mentioning the school because in the past I have received negative comments about dds ambition that were really uncalled for, although on here people have been very helpful.

hardboiled Wed 06-Feb-13 22:06:56

OP, none of my business but is she going from home ed to boarding? That could be quite a shock to her...? Just food for thought...

We have been applying for bursaries and if you really can't pay the fees they will be able to asses that and see that - be prepared to give copies of ALL your bank accounts and receive a home visit too. You don't need to be a "low income" family, if you're middle class but unable to pay and your child has performed high in the entrance exams then you may have a chance. Don't know about the house though, we rent...

JoanByers Wed 06-Feb-13 21:22:42

If you name the school people might have more info.

Also turn up on a school prize day or something like that and see what kind of cars are there.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 21:20:52

Thank you Joan.
We have a lot to consider but it seems like a good bet if there are many who will be in a similar position to us. I was a little worried that many of the parents would be very rich and dd wouldn't fit in, as when I've seen it on t.v programmes they were all very well to do. Not that I have a problem with this but how ever talented our dd is we would not want to subject her to feeling like a fish out of water. I suppose the rich will still send their dcs and rightly so but a nice mix would be good.

Sorry to be a pain, but is there any way I could find out the majority type of people attending?

Thank you again for your help.

JoanByers Wed 06-Feb-13 21:11:54

Lol I don't think people will apply to this school because of a thread on here.

It is not normal for schools to be needs blind in this country. Christs Hospital is one that is something of an exception, but it balances that I think with a certain indifference towards the wishes of parents, who at a school where most were paying £30k/year, would not be tolerated - most parents who have the cash for private would go for a school without this plurality of bursary children.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 21:02:46

I have just gone back and read about the finances and bursaries are awarded to those who don't qualify for the grant.
Apparentely the grant if awarded covers fees, uniform, travel, board (if you choose),. The grant is awarded on income alone, now I'm even more confused. Apparentely you can earn a small fortune before you pay fees. I don't really want to say which school in case everybody decides to apply, but is this normal.
Also if many don't pay full fees, most are subsidised, why make them so expensive to begin with.
I'm sorry if I sound rather dim here.

JoanByers Wed 06-Feb-13 20:55:15

The day fees are certainly outlandish, but not that out of kilter for a boarding school.

difficultpickle Wed 06-Feb-13 20:48:25

Fees don't seem eyewatering to me, in fact boarding fees seem slightly lower than the schools I've looked at.

Usually they will expect you to work unless there is a good reason why you can't work. They may also expect you to use equity in your house. If you own your own house I assume you don't have a mortgage. The school may expect you to remortgage to cover part of the fees. If you do work unofficially then it may be better to have a salary via your dh which may not increase your overall household income (ie dh allocates some of his income to you).

I would speak to the bursar as each school is different. They should be able to give you an indication of what may be available.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 18:10:19


Whats even more unbelievable is the school is not in the South. Very exclusive in terms of selection and maybe not for us, depending on the atmosphere and ethos. I wanted to look at bursary before applying and getting dds hopes raised.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 17:50:48


I don't work as dd is presently H.ed, but I do appreciate this is a lifestyle choice.
My dh is self employed and I do help with the business alot but not officially paid. I do general book keeping (to a fashion) couldn't do any body elses though, as all over the shop, lol. I do office duties for his business as well.

meditrina Wed 06-Feb-13 17:48:57

Whether it's done on a sliding scale, and what the maximum award might be, is totally up the school and too variable to be able to give a useful answer.

You are not necessarily expected to mortgage to release equity (policy for some, schools, or if adding repayments to straightened household clearly and obviously wrecks the family budget). Unless there are small children or exceptional circumstances, it is likely they would expect both parents to work.

Baiji Wed 06-Feb-13 17:47:35

Those fees are quite eywatering, BTW.

Baiji Wed 06-Feb-13 17:46:35

I think they would wonder why only one of you was working as your youngest is nine.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Feb-13 17:45:05

sorry cross posted there, thank you very much

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: