Sport scholarships / bursaries(24 Posts)
Sorry if this has been gone over before but I'm trying to find out about sport scholarships to public schools and whether I would be able to afford to send my son aged 10 in September to such schools.
He is an exceptional all round sportsman, plays cricket for the county under 10's even though he is actually under 9's and he plays rugby for the district. He is a fine footballer and athlete. He is clever too, not massively so but in the top groups for everything at his primary.
I earn about 35k a year and wife works part time about 10k and I feel like I could stretch to pay £1000 - 1500 a term for a excellent education. The comprehensives where I live (Nottingham) are mostly dreadful.
The local public schools have nothing on their websites about sport scholarships but I have heard some schools do them. What kind of discounts may be offered with a scholarship and bursary? Fees at Nottm High School are £4k a term - way out of my league.
thanks for any info
It all depends on the school and how much they want the child. To my knowledge it can vary between 10% and full fees.
Make a few phone calls!
Scholarships usually have a fixed (and quite small) cash value - it's about the honour itself (and for things like sports, extra free coaching, do beware of a future ahead of unscrambling clashes between school and outside fixtures). Sports scholars also need to pass the normal admissions exams (b do not need to be top of the pile academically) and perform well enough at interview.
Bursaries are means tested awards, and they vary enormously between schools, so you need to talk to the bursar about what size award they can offer, how they assess income and typical recent thresholds.
Scholarships are normally a minimal amount which can then be topped up if you are assessed as qualifying for a means tested bursary, which means you would be told the % you qualify for after filling in a form detailing income, assets etc. Ring the admissions office of the schools you are interested in and speak to the bursary office. The schools websites normally have a scholarship booklet which would detail what scholarships they offer (normally under admissions tab or fees tab) or they may require you to phone to discuss or ask for a full prospectus.
Scholarships are usually tokenistic in monetary terms. Sports scholarships at my local independent schools vary between 10 and 25% and the child is usually expected to do well on the entrance exam in addition to their sporting skills.
You could apply for a bursary in addition to any scholarship but on a combined salary of £45k you would be expected to make a significant contribution towards the fees of £4k per term. Fees are £11-12k at my local independent schools and a household income of £45k would attract a combined scholarship/bursary of around £3k per annum (you would have to pay the remaining £9k).
You need to enquire at the local schools to see what their scholarship and bursary schemes offer.
Looking at Nottingham high school website, they state that no bursaries are offered for the junior school (which presume you are looking at if 10+ entry) and to contact the senior school about assistance for 11+ entry.
I think you would first need to clarify exactly what sort of school you are looking for and how flexible you are prepared to be. Do you want a prep school going up to 13 - at which point your DS could move on to a public school; or do you want a school that he could join now and stay at till 18?
Secondly are you only considering schools near you, or boarding schools or would you be prepared to move?
Thirdly as has been said above you would be well advised to enquire about bursaries as well as sports scholarships. If your DS is in top sets in addition to his sporting prowess it is entirely possible that you may find a school willing and able to offer a bursary to cover part of the fees. He would need a very good reference from his current school.
You will have to dedicate a considerable amount of time to researching schools, phoning and visiting. Almost all have websites. Be prepared to fill in extensive means testing forms if you want to apply for bursaries.
The important thing is to arm yourself with knowledge and do not rely on hearsay or anecdotes. Every school will make decisions based on their own criteria and how much they want your child.
Another point - I would suggest you act now. Many schools will already have made their financial decisions for next September - and I suspect most entrance exams have already taken place.
If you find that is so then - rather than trying to squeeze him in to a less desirable vacancy, it would be sensible to take your time to find the best possible fit for 2015.
Could you move your son to the High School at 11, so in year 7? There's a bursary fund so they can help with the fees. He may as well finish his primary school and move at the start of year 7. The entrance exams are in January, so the one you need will be next Jan. You need to apply well before then though. It's less sporty than the other 2 but there's the chance to do lots of clubs etc.
Repton goes from 13+, the 'feeder' school for this is Foremark. It's in Derbyshire though so quite far from where you are but Foremark do have bursaries. It's very sporty.
Trent College is also sporty but is more expensive. They have a bursary fund from year 7, I'm not sure about before then though.
Hi - thanks everyone , I would be looking for him to go when he is 12 . I e secondary school age. (2016) I'm looking into the possibility of going private as I will have to move house if he is to go to a half decent state secondary school. Don't really want to move as I like where I live though.
It looks like I will need at least 60% of the fees covered. Thanks for the advice so far.
Year 7 (the start of secondary) goes from age 11, not 12. If you leave it this late you could struggle financially as a lot of the bursaries would have been allocated by then. I doubt NHS would cover 60% of the fees on your income to be honest, a large number of private schools require parents to be not well off (no holidays, 2 parents working etc).
Nottingham high school offer quite generous bursaries (with an income of £45k you would be eligible for -around 60% bursary). However, they offer their bursaries in order of academic performance and they don't offer any sports scholarships.
Trent college offer some sports scholarships but their bursary scheme is not as generous (usually no more than a 25% reduction).
You need to check with the schools that interest you as bursary and scholarship schemes change.
Do also be aware that many schools are picky about exactly which sports will command a scholarship- often rugby / cricket / athletics are the key ones with football considered only a minor sport in most private schools. It will vary from school to school though so do your research before you consider applying.
If you are also applying for a bursary to help with the fees then do be prepared for the school to seek evidence of all your financial affairs including tax , mortgage, assets such as your house/ car/ contents, what kind of holidays you have, how many other children there are , whether your wife can work more hours etc etc. It is quite an intrusive process but worth it if they offer a worthwhile level of financial support.
Thanks Ladymary - i had not thought of Repton/ Foremark. I know its year 7 , my son is in year 4 at the moment, born right at the beginning of september so he will be 12 when he joins secondary.
There isn't a lot of private schools in Nottingham/Derbyshire (I've sent you a PM. Look up to where the envelope is at the top of the page). Dagfa in Beeston doesn't look too bad (and it's a bit cheaper then NHS). I've no idea how sporty it is though. Foremark is a boarding school too but they do take day pupils.
thanks 3 nations and impatient! I'm lucky in that my son excels in cricket particurlarly and is a superb rugby player and athlete. I will talk to Trent college as I have heard they are more sporty than NHS. I guess the best way is just to ring the burser?
Call and ask for a prospectus. Have a look (remember it's marketing so all of the kids will look happy and it will gloss over the bad bits). Then arrange to have a look around. Have a chat then.
Our experience is that if they really want your child, they will make it happen. Contact each school individually, take a tour, and talk to the bursar. Be very clear about your son's abilities upfront and about your income and assets.
Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm quite hopeful now! I thought it was a pipedream a week ago but it seems it could be quite likely now. cheers
Which county are you in? I didn't know that an under 9 could play representative rugby. They certainly can't in my district and county.
I thought the best schools for sport that offer serious scholarships (Millfield etc) only did so at 13 plus. Children younger than that could fade, not grow etc.
Our DD just took her scholarship exam (to move into Yr 7) and didn't get the sport one. This is despite being unbeaten in any event on sports day, captaining her U11 school Netball, hockey and rounders teams and playing for her town hockey U12 A side. She is also in the County programme for netball and rides her pony at national level (went to Hoys).
I would suggest you probably need to be outstanding at one sport and a good all rounder at most. I think you've probably missed the boat for Years 7 and 8 as most schools will have done exams and interviews in January.
As you say calling the School Bursars will give you a good idea.
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