URgent: bursary visit - how tidy do I need house to be?(21 Posts)
Someone is visiting tomorrow in connection with a bursary application for an independent school. Does anyone with experience of this know if I need to have the house spotless throughout (will they poke their heads round all the doors looking for priceless classical masterpieces?) I can muster up the energy to get the downstairs tidy but it'll take all night if I have to perfect the upstairs too. We haven't got any priceless classical masterpieces, just dust, clutter and cobwebs, and children's stuff everywhere.
Our visit the guy sat on the sofa and asked what we spent on a baffling variety of things. Didn't tour the house. I'm not remotely experienced in these things but I don't think it's very likely they wd poke around your property. That would be far too much intrusion!
I have done a sweep of the children's floors for pants but I'll leave it at that. We filled in a form with what we spent on a baffling variety of things and so I have the data available - the paperwork bit is easy, it's just I am a working mother who doesn't employ a cleaner and my house is generally a tip but I have had a thorough tidy and clean of the hall, living room and kitchen this evening.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
How much do you need to earn to start being eligible for bursaries? Does anyone have an idea? I guess it's joint household income? My husband earns 60k so are we already over the limit?
Completely irrelevant to me as my children are at uni, but from a purely nosy viewpoint what sort of things do they ask about spending money on?
User - bursaries at both my DDs and DSs schools start from a family income of about £80 - £85K. DDs says that an income of les than about £30K may see a full bursary awarded. It will vary depending on the schools involved and the amount of money they have in the pot.
We've never had a home visit in 10+ years but I very much doubt any bursar would go poking around in your house. Let's face it you could always put the Van Gough in the attic if you were so inclined.
We've also never been asked to break down our spending, assets savings trust funds equitity in property second third fourth homes seem to be the main areas of interest, and size of mortgage but not size of repayment.
I don't mind being asked lots of question this seems only reasonable in the circumstances.
user we have a good joint income (we don't claim CB) but put two through boarding school so no where near enough to pay those kind of fees.
More important is what IS there. Lots of books especially. Not too many screens or a cinema-sized TV. Interesting games. Things made/painted by your DC on display. That sort of thing
I'm not sure bursars are interested in any of that stuff TBH. I strongly suspect most take the view that if your organised enough register your DC for the school, apply for a bursary and put your DC through the schools admission process probably involving exams at the very least but often an interview and most importantly and in most cases despite some sort of bursary your still prepared to make a financial contribution to fees then your pretty committed to your DC's education.
Just be yourself OP and be totally honest and most importantly realistic about what you can afford.
As I understand it, schools look most favourably on applicants with two working parents when it comes to bursaries. (As they should).
As you work, you could always tell the representative that you're SO busy working that you don't have the time to keep the house spotless or the resources to pay a cleaner. "If only there were 25 hours in a day... blah blah blah...."
If you didn't work and they saw a messy house, they'd wonder what you did all day as you were neither attempting to bridge the financial gap nor home making....
I'd put the Rolls Royce in the garage and all the skiing photos of the family out of view though... lol!
Bursars IME aren't stupid theyre also realistic, having a cleaner if both parents are working full time isn't a sin, neither is having an average family holiday once a year we have done both over the years. As I say it's more about assetsinconr than £30 a week on a cleaner.
I've always got the impression/ been told that the schools we've received a bursary from use the the calculation you earn X add your realisable assets (none in our case) plus 10% for not so easily realisable assets e.g. small amount of equity in home. Then as a family of 2.4 and dog or five or whatever you need Y annually to function; eat, pay bills have a cheap family holiday, go to the dentist,mend the boiler etc, deduct Y from X and what left is how much you'll pay in fees. How you choose to spend is up to you. Also this is not taking anything else into consideration, aging parents who you're supporting financially, roof falling off your listed cottage etc. Declare these is you have them.
I should add my DC's school has a very large bursary pot and is moving towards a needs blind admission policy so perhaps this is why they're generous and not interested in spending specificslike how much you spend on bake beans.
I think they vary so much.
My dd school were just interested in income and any other dependant children. Interest from savings but not savings and if you got tax credit they don't count that as income.
They couldn't care less how many holidays you have, what type of car, your mortgage or any other outgoings.
Some care, some don't care about household expenditure such as a mortgage. This can make a huge difference to household income. I do know schools that just look at income but ignore the fact applicants live in £2m houses that they were given! So there is wealth but low income.
My DN is interested in a GDST school for 6th form and they say do not apply for a bursary if you earn over £35k per household. No problems with single parent applicants - they are not judging marital status.
There must be a reason they come to the house rather than send an appointment to their office. Must be time consuming going from house to house.
So perhaps they do want to see books and interesting things. Or is it to make sure you haven't inherited a home worth millions which you could mortgage.
We had a visit from one school. He sat in the kitchen at the table and didn't go anywhere else in the house. He refused any tea/coffee, and we just chatted about dc. I explained how they would benefit from attending their school, how the current (primary) school was not fulfilling them, and I also mentioned that this was the first school we'd applied for, as it has the by far the best reputation and how much I loved it when I looked round (a bit arse licky I know, but it worked!)
On a different note, my dh became seriously ill whilst my dc was at the school and we cashed in an insurance policy. I spoke to the bursar about this, and he said £50k wouldn't make any difference to our bursary situation.
Good luck OP. A quick polish and tidy up should be fine. I'd move the rolls royce off the driveway though!!!
Have it tidy enough so you don't feel shame! I remember I was still sweeping the kitchen floor when the bursar showed up (sometimes open plan living is not a blessing...)
They are there to do a financial assessment, not a 'how clean is your house' inspection. Make sure you have all your paper documents ready, log-in details for internet banking for easy reference on DD figures, any debt related letters (utilities, credit card etc), fresh milk in the fridge and some nice biscuits to offer.
It's just a chat and if they weren't interested in your child, they would not be there. You just need to qualify your need for assistance. Good luck.
I wouldn't have thought they were remotely interested in doing a survey on how clean your house is. They are interested in your child and whether they are spending the bursary fund appropriately (as no doubt there are a number of ways it can be spent). I would act naturally, yes tidy up - but don't make it look as if you don't live there.
Ours couldn't care less if you work on not, whether you live on a sink estate or a mansion.
Whether you have expensive tastes or not, and have no interest in how much disposable income you have.
I was a sahm when dd first started, I work pt now.
gillybeanz - not remotely interested in how much disposable income you have? Seriously, that doesn't sound right. That is the main thing they are interested in.
Too late for the OP now, but I've had bursar visits from two different schools. In both cases they weren't interested in looking around the house. The first time the guy mainly offered advice on how to apply for extra funds for travel, uniform, stationery and school trip expenses. The second time there were a few questions about items on my bank statements (I hadn't been expecting that level of interest!) then advice as before. Both times they were interested in my DC social and academic interests, why we had chosen the school... I'm not really sure why the bursars would ask about that sort of stuff - perhaps checking if there would be social hurdles due to coming from a significantly less monied background?!
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