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Does anyone know where I can get help with independant school fees?

(21 Posts)
Yummimum Sat 16-Jul-11 23:42:16

Hi, my child has recently been offered a part scholarship for an independant school and I am over the moon. However we are not wealthy people and now I am worrying about school fees. (You may be wondering why i choose an independant school in the first place, however i have felt let down by the admissions and appeals department in my area and have been offered a school which does not have a good reputation and thats another story). Well I have been advised that there are education charities who can help towards school fees, does anyone know of who i can contact? or any charities who I can apply to for help?

Goblinchild Sat 16-Jul-11 23:44:24

Why not ask the school? They will know what's available in your area and nationally.

MrsShrekTheThird Sat 16-Jul-11 23:50:07

your best bet is to get in touch with your local community foundation. They list grants and so on - usually county based.

sue52 Sun 17-Jul-11 11:23:12

Can the school top up the scholarship offer with a bursary? Talk to the school and see what else it can offer.

crazycarol Sun 17-Jul-11 12:57:31

The bursar at the school will have a list of charities that might be able to help, however they are usually restricted to certain professions (of parents), locations etc and usually have to be applied for several months in advance. I am assuming that you are looking to start in september this year. It is likely (although not definite) that all fund will already be allocated. The school may be able to offer a means tested bursary so again talk to the school. Again though any funds may already be allocated (we have to apply by november for the following academic year) but if you don't ask you may never know. It may depend how much they want your child at their school.
Contrary to a belief held by many people, it is not just the wealthy that send their kids to independant schools. Also remember that it is not just fees that need paying for, uniforms are often more expensive, some have other compulsory extras like lunches, books, trips etc.

amicissima Sun 17-Jul-11 17:29:34

If you're calling the bursar, take the opportunity to ask about secondhand uniform sales - there's a fortune to be saved that way.

I wouldn't worry about paying for books; I've never heard of an independent school charging for them. I would expect compulsary trips to be included in the fees, and packed lunches to be an option.

prudaloo Sun 17-Jul-11 19:52:40

Trips not included in fees at our place- eg. you pat for field trips in Geog, Biol etc.

prudaloo Sun 17-Jul-11 19:53:03


sue52 Mon 18-Jul-11 11:45:06

Do remember that you pay for your child to be entered into public exams (GCSE and A levels). This can be a shock for some parents.

goldenmane Mon 18-Jul-11 19:41:46

Congratulations to your dd smile. I agree with the others that you should get in touch with the school first, as they may know of trusts who have already funded parents in the past.

Use the grants search on this website. You might have to run through it a few times depending on your circumstances (e.g. my circs is that I have a disabled child and am also a lone parent family, but it only lets you choose one option at a time).

If you have time on your hands, you can also trawl through the Directory of Grant Making Trusts - don't buy your own copy, it should be in a public library. Most of them will already be on the previous website but sometimes the search tool is a bit blunt so doing it yourself will be more accurate but also more laborious. It could well pay off though - I used that method to get an extra few thousand in grants when I was doing my A levels and degree, then again to fund a MSc. Good luck.

Lisa20b Tue 19-Jul-11 12:39:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Yummimum Tue 19-Jul-11 14:10:51

Thanks everyone for your contribution and help (as I applied to the school in May it is possible that the bursarys may have been used up). But I will definately be making more enquiries and also Sue 52, I was not aware that you have to pay for your child to enter public exams. Thank you all................

crazycarol Tue 19-Jul-11 21:36:02

Yummimum, You don't always pay for exams, we don't, but we do pay for books and stationary. Schools are different so you need to be sure what you are letting yourself in for.

RabbitTeeth Wed 20-Jul-11 13:39:07

amiccisima - we have to pay for books! and exams and anything else they choose to shove on the bill

Yummimum Thu 21-Jul-11 18:45:00

yes crazycarol + RabbitTeeth - it seems they are all different, i will consult one of the parents whose child is currently attending the school & in year 9.

Yummimum Thu 21-Jul-11 18:50:11

Amiccisima, you mentioned contacting the bursar, is the bursar based at the school? I am in communication with the admissions registrar alone. Sometimes i wonder if i make these queries once my child starts the school and they ge to know her?

jjean Sun 14-Aug-11 00:28:25

try turn to us they have lists of all charitys including some for school fees

oldmum42 Sun 14-Aug-11 09:09:33

I know from my brother (ex Royal Marine), that if either parent is, or has been, a member of the armed forces, there are various discounts/scholarships available for their DC's. Don't know how widespread that is, but the schools we discussed with him had significant discounts for DC of ex forces (25% I think), worth looking into if either you or DP fit the criteria.

happygardening Mon 15-Aug-11 09:23:16

You are very unlikely to get help from charities unless you have serious problems/needs ay home e.g. serious mental health problems, chronic debilitating illness etc. But as your child got a scholarship then the school is very likely to help you out if you genuinely cant pay the fees. The school will have a bursar talk to him and be honest about you finances.

Jinx1906 Mon 15-Aug-11 10:14:21

A friend of mine was in a simular situation. Offered a place at a school she didn't like. After all she ended up getting a 50% scolarship but that was still not workable for them, so she discussed the situation with the he head teacher and got another 25% burs. This will however, only be up to GCSE year after that they will need to re-apply.

Good luck!

eatyourveg Mon 15-Aug-11 13:52:41

You need to talk to the bursar not the admissions officer. ds1 has 2 scholarships (music and academic) as well as a bursary. We filled in a form and had to disclose all our income and outgoings and submit it with a letter explaining why we wanted ds1 at the school. That went before the governors who then decide who gets what.

It is also worth mentioning in your application not just what the school can give your dc but what they can bring to the school

Agree re second hand uniform. I run our PTA shop so can always get the least tatty blazers etc

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