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Private school education - Bursaries

(22 Posts)
Dumbotheelephant Sun 11-Mar-18 20:45:33

Do bursaries cover the full education such as Reception to Y11 or are they a year by year basis?

My baby is only small but due to hearing loss we want to send him to private school when he is at that age as I understand they will cater more for his needs. Smaller class sizes, etc.
I'm know my financial situation may change before school ie, may not need the bursary but just wondering about how bursaries work?

MeetieVonWrinkleSqueak Sun 11-Mar-18 20:54:44

I'm not sure that many preps offer bursaries, but I could be wrong.

At secondary level, you would have to be reassessed every year, so if your income increased, then your bursary might decrease.

Don't discount the state sector, though, particularly at primary age - my DS2 is deaf, and was supported very well at his state primary. Your council will have a sensory support service, which will help the school with your child. (We are going private for secondary, but this is not because of his deafness - we would have done it anyway).

InvisibleUnicorn Sun 11-Mar-18 21:03:40

Generally only senior schools from 11 or 13 offer bursaries. Occasionally preps do from age 8, but it's extremely rare. I don't know of any from Reception.

Bursaries are generally reassessed each year and also the onus is also on you to inform the school of any change of income or circumstances. They may well put your portion of the fees up mid year if you start earning more.

The school could and should ask to look at everything and they'd want to see evidence you have tried to plan for school fees yourself as much as possible. That could include working more hours, releasing equity, asking for grandparent help, selling items of large value, not having a lifestyle you can't afford.

I'd start planning now how you can earn more anyway. If you end up going down the state school route, or a specialist school, there will be extra things you will probably need to cover. Deafness is something in my family and I know sadly there is a deficit over what's needed compared to what is available on the NHS 😔

AKH123 Sun 11-Mar-18 21:10:38

It depends where you are, most of the preps in the South West offer bursaries (look at the fees section on their websites for info). I can imagine it's very different in London and the Home Counties though. Bear in mind that if your son needs specialist support this will be an additional charge. I agree with a pp that you shouldn't discount the state sector as often they can get excellent specialist support in, often 1-1, at no cost to you. This might have more benefit to your son than a private education.

BrieAndChilli Sun 11-Mar-18 21:18:44

Burseries are only offered to children that will benefit the school eg highly skilled in sports or music or highly intelligent.
These isn’t known or apparent at primary age hence most burseries only being offered for secondary age.

Buseries will have a cut off point eg the school near us which costs £15k a year has a sliding scale for burseries, I think the top end is £45k so if you earn over that you won’t get anything.
They will expect you to
Both be working as much as you can
Have no real equity in your property (they will expect you to remortgage tomoau the school fees if you have a large amount of equity )
They will go through your finances so if you go skiing at half term, Barbados at easter and Disney land at summer you will be expected to give those amounts of holidays up
If you own several fancy cars on finance etc you could get turned down.

If your finances improve (and you will have to be assessed each year) then your bursary will be adjusted accordingly.

Dumbotheelephant Sun 11-Mar-18 21:19:45

We live in Cumbria and the school we are looking at offer from reception up to year 11.
I'm not discounting our state schools right now and our ToD have reassured me that they are fantastic state schools but I just want the best for DS, he is an only child as I don't want anymore children so could afford to put one little one through private school with a little help and a little bit of scrimping and saving.
Thanks for the replies.

Dumbotheelephant Sun 11-Mar-18 21:23:42

From what I have read in the school brochure they offer scholarships for highly skilled children but will have to do more research.
We have just bought our home so hardly any equity, we own a cheap run about car (no need for a fancy one) and holiday to Europe once a year or so, so nothing extravagant. We both work 40+ hours a week and our household income is not high at all, just comfortable.

JoJoSM2 Mon 12-Mar-18 15:15:00

The way bursaries are worked out often involves expecting you to release equity from a property before being offered support with fees. And like PPs have said - don’t discount state schools. They generally have more specialist teachers and support staff for additional needs than indies.

Heismyopendoor Mon 12-Mar-18 15:17:10

Here bursaries are only offered for senior school age children

Witchend Mon 12-Mar-18 16:38:47

It depends on the school, so as you have a school in mind, phone them up and ask them!

debbiewest0 Mon 12-Mar-18 17:32:57

I think that it is not correct at all that bursaries are only offered to highly skilled or intelligent children. Bursaries are designed to help children access the benefits a private school might give them that their parents cannot afford. They are not scholarships.

It will vary on the school too as if a school goes from R to year 11, they might well have bursaries earlier and there would be nothing wrong with making an initial enquiry now with your questions. Most have a general info sheet they send out.

To show all schools differ, We had a bursary from year 4 with a child not highly musical or academic so not all schools only give them to those that they think will benefit the school but to children who would benefit from being at the school.

TheCrowFromBelow Mon 12-Mar-18 17:38:03

I did learn it in French as “way say” (said with a bit of a franglais accent)
But yes, Water Closet

TheCrowFromBelow Mon 12-Mar-18 17:39:02

Well that was odd. I’ve been transported into a different thread. Soz!

TooManyMiles Mon 12-Mar-18 17:44:20

Burseries are only offered to children that will benefit the school eg highly skilled in sports or music or highly intelligent
I think you are confusing bursaries with scholarships here.

As far as I know bursaries are based on financial need, and so long as the child is suitable for the school/passes the entrance exam, they would be eligible to apply for a bursary if they are available. I am not sure they often are for primaries, but they must be sometimes.

Are there any special grant funding charities for deaf children, I wonder?

As other posters with experience have said some schools must make good (free) provision for deaf children and perhaps you could research all your local schools.

Ohwiseone Mon 12-Mar-18 18:31:09

In both my children’s schools, bursaries are not available at prep level. They are also only available for children who have scholarships and are ‘worth’ something to the school and whose parents otherwise couldn’t access an independent education.
Bursary applications are very intrusive. At my daughters school, even a holiday in Europe would not be seen as an essential and it’s forfeited for school fees!
If you really wish for private education, take a look at state primary first as those with hearing units are often amazing and any help needed at prep level will cost you £££ in private, then think about secondary level in an independent school.

user149799568 Mon 12-Mar-18 18:56:57

so long as the child is suitable for the school/passes the entrance exam, they would be eligible to apply for a bursary if they are available.

Yes but.... Let's define "pass" here as being as suitable for the school as the least suitable full-fee-paying child. How would you expect a school to allocate bursary funds if ten passing children demonstrate need but funds exist for only one full bursary? Lottery among the ten? Offer 10% to each? Or prioritize the one(s) the school deems most suitable?

user149799568 Mon 12-Mar-18 18:58:14

Sorry, that should read "least suitable offered full-fee-paying child"

TooManyMiles Mon 12-Mar-18 19:21:59

Yes but.... Let's define "pass".....

Given your fair point about what if there are ten to choose from who all pass, a school might want to help a deaf child in particular.

socialconstruction Mon 12-Mar-18 20:23:42

My DD is also deaf and I had this panic too when she was a baby. Even with a bursary you will have to factor in the cost of paying for your ToD and extras like radio aids as a private school won't provide them. It does really depend on the private school though, one of our local schools tests four year olds before reception and when asked by a friend what would happen if dc was struggling said they would support their transition to another school so was not going to be good and the other one finds any disability tough as they are not used to it. For what it's worth DD is heading to state school. There are other deaf kids there, we have 8 kids in her year on the street and she's surviving the noise in nursery there. The class sizes fill me with dread but the social side is also really important and we are happy with the choice.

eatyourveg Tue 13-Mar-18 08:35:35

ds1's bursary was for the duration of his time at the school (Y7-13) subject to him keeping a good performance and conduct record. It was never reassessed.

Thehogfather Tue 13-Mar-18 08:54:12

You need to speak to the school and find out. Established schools generally only alter bursaries after awarding them if your financial situation improves. But I know one a friend looked at (small, not well off) made it very clear bursaries are also subject to change if the school lacks the funding. Although tbh the latter type of school don't normally offer large bursaries to start with.

There are always more applicants that qualify for a bursary means wise than there are bursaries. So you need to also find out how they allocate spaces and whether your ds is likely to meet those criteria.

Scholarships aren't means tested and are usually token reductions, so make sure it's a bursary that is offered. Also plenty of schools say they can offer bursaries of up to 100%, but in reality not all of them will, preferring to do several small reductions. It's normally the wealthier, long established schools that have the big pots, and have no need to get bums on seats with lots of small bursaries, so will use their funding for dc they want, rather than to boost numbers.

Tralalee Tue 13-Mar-18 08:56:43

Dds is assessed every year and is very intrusive. Personal experience of private school is that they are not brilliant with any kind of special need.

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