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Any financial help available for gifted kids to attend private schools?

(97 Posts)
Bibii Tue 17-Jul-12 13:59:12

DD is a gifted child from the age of 4 but because DD went to state primary schools he was dumbed down by the system but still managed to achieve level 5 in year 6. DD was offered a low-achieving state school which we rejected because we felt DD would crash out of education if he attended that school. DD did not get a school via the 11 plus exams because of late preparation. DD had no school to attend this September so we registered DD at a private school. DD received part scholarship for the tuition fees but I am not working at the moment so I still need some form of grant or sponsorship to pay the remaining tuition fees. Have any of you been in this situation and what support were you able to get?

Lilyloo Tue 17-Jul-12 14:05:15

I really don't know where to begin with this op, are you saying despite the scholarship you can't afford the fees?
(particularly love the dumbing down of your 'ds' in state school hmm

Lilyloo Tue 17-Jul-12 14:11:31

You will need the remaining fees paying after the part scholarship?

You can't afford any of the fees, surely that means you can't afford private school. Gifted or not, whilst level 5 is great I am not sure it's gifted, if you failed to prepare your ds for his 11+ then he will have to attend a state school.

Despite your apparent anger towards state schools if you don't work and can't afford private you have no option.

DontEatTheVolesKids Tue 17-Jul-12 14:16:55

You would have done better not to describe all the history with disparaging remarks about different types of schools.

DD = daughter which makes me confused about the "he" pronoun in OP.

You need to ask at your child's own private school about "bursaries" & scholarships that they offer. I don't think there are any general scholarships to attend any private school of your choosing.

sue52 Tue 17-Jul-12 14:17:36

Can the school top up the scholarship with a bursary? Talk to the bursar and tell them your financial situation.

DontEatTheVolesKids Tue 17-Jul-12 14:17:56

How many different children is OP talking about?

BeingFluffy Tue 17-Jul-12 14:18:18

I would go into the school and speak to the Head and ask if it is possible for your child to have a means assessed bursary. If your child is as gifted as you claim they may have a vested interest keeping them in the school.

For the record there are some extremely able children at my daughter's comprehensive school. They thrive and are the centre of attention from the teachers etc. I don't think it would be the end of the world to send a gifted child to a bog standard state school.

happygardening Tue 17-Jul-12 14:20:27

There are charitable organisation who help but usually the child has to have a need; usually significant problems of some sort at home parents with overwheming disabilties, serious mental health problems etc. Years ago I helped a child get help and the money was allocated to children very early in the year so even if you were eligible I suspect you've missed the boat for this September.
Will the school who offered you a part scholarship not "top it up" with a bursary? This what normally happens.
If they won't perhaps you could consider other independent schools who might although you are applying rather late in the day. Look at prep schools that go to 13 although bursaries at prep level are harder to find. A boarding prep might be worth considering as you say he's bright; they are more likely to have vacencies and they would try and get your DC a scholarship with top up bursary to a senior school. Prep school like potential scholars because they like and need to publish successes on their websites.

RackandRuin Tue 17-Jul-12 14:27:15

I would go back to the school and explain the situation. They can tell you of any help they can give you and perhaps they know of grants available. And if all else fails, could you get a job or raise money yourself?

happygardening Tue 17-Jul-12 14:32:03

I don't know what level 5 means these levels are rarely used in the independent sector but if it's not jaw droppingly good you might need other proof that he's a "gifted child" e.g. an ed psych report detailing high IQ but I'm sorry to say I do think you've left it a bit late in the day.

mollymole Tue 17-Jul-12 15:18:00

Because DD went to state primary her (his) education was dumbed down' - how bloody rude are you, my son went to state primary and was a sight better than level 5 when he left (yes he was on gifted & talented scheme),
and many of his peers were too. If your child is so exceptionally bright then
he/she should have no trouble gaining a full academic scholarship and it is very likely that the school being attended now would offer you this in order to keep this exceptional child.

BeingFluffy Tue 17-Jul-12 15:22:40

Oh, Mollymole we don't know what OP has been through. Some G & T children are disruptive because they are so bored. Perhaps that is what OP meant?

I must say that my DD is no way exceptional and she managed 5As despite being dyslexic at her state primary, so I agree that you would need a psychologists report or something else to show the degree of giftedness.

exox Tue 17-Jul-12 15:28:02

Really confused by the OP. Horrible attitude to state schools. My DS just got all 5s in year 5 - being at an inner city primary school hasn't 'dumbed him down'.

Blu Tue 17-Jul-12 15:39:46

I'm not sure what you mean by 'still managed to get level 5' - state primaries are certainly geared to supporting children to achieve level 5s and many now aim for level 6.

It sounds as if your main problem (given that you can't afford private ed) is that you have no state secondaries nearby that you feel happy with. Where did the other level 5 children in the class go? Is there any chance of you moving house? The overall results average of the school may not be high, but have you looked specifically of the achievements of the highest ability childen in the school? You can see the results separated out for high, middle and lower ability pupils on a school's profile on the Dept of education site.

Unless there are other circumstances, a child who is level 5 but did not pass the 11+ would not necessarily be viewed as outstandingly gifted, though clearly he is bright. Did you appeal the 11+? How many points did he miss out by?

Anyway, you might be lucky if you approach the school for a busary. Otherwise, any chance of you raising your income some how? Taking an extra job?

AlpinePony Tue 17-Jul-12 15:41:43

Nearly all private schools offer academic scholarships.

I would have to question how "gifted" your children are given that they failed their 11-plus, failed to engage with mainstream education and have not managed to obtain a full scholarship...

If you are not working I would suggest you teach them at home yourself rather than expose them to "intellectually inferior" offerings from the state. At least at home they'll always be top of the class.

lisaro Tue 17-Jul-12 15:42:03

So your child didn't try hard and get enough support from you to get 'dumbed down' by a primary school. Failed eleven plus. Wasn't given adequate help by you for eleven plus. Doesn't sound like your child is anything spectacular academically and doesn't get home support. If you want private education get a job and pay for it. Or accept you have to live within your means. Hopefully a child that needs/deserves a bursary will get it.

rookery Tue 17-Jul-12 15:45:50

I'm putting aside all the slightly strange backstory. The only things you can do are i) find out if the school offer means-tested support in addition to scholarships ii) see if you can meet the shortfall by increasing your income or decreasing your outgoings. And (iii) accept that if you can't afford private school, your child has to go elsewhere.

ReallyTired Tue 17-Jul-12 15:46:23

The whole point of the 11 plus is to pick out the naturally bright who have been to state schools. Admitally the 11 plus no longer achieves its aim.

I think that describing a child as gifted just because they got level 5s in sats is a bit of an exaggeration. A gifted child has a certain x factor. For example there is a ten year old girl at my son's state school who has just recently passed grade 7 piano.

Prehaps you need to accept reality that your child is not as exceptional as you think. Maybe you need to visit the high school and ask what they can offer a bright child.

wordfactory Tue 17-Jul-12 15:54:26

OP, most private schools offer means tested bursaries. If your means are nil, then you should receive the full bursary, though this may not be 100% of the school fees.

Check with the school.

diabolo Tue 17-Jul-12 15:57:36

No school I know of offers 100% scholarships, but some do offer up to 100% means tested bursaries for exceptionally bright or gifted children. Scholarships at DS's proposed senior school are only worth 25% off fees.

Level 5, while being good, is not exceptional at end KS2. I work in a school in a "deprived"area, and we still manage up to 30% of children at Level 5 some years.

I don't know why you sent him/her to an independent school if you knew you couldn't afford the remaining fees. Seems quite cruel to me, especially if it means moving him/her again to a state school, as presumably your antipathy towards them will have transferred to him/her?

happygardening Tue 17-Jul-12 15:59:41

Few schools offer full scholarships if by that term you mean 100% of the fees most now offer a nominal sum with a bursary top up. Unfortunately most schools are unable to offer 100% bursaries even if they want to even the big names with loads of money in the bank are not flashing to many of those around so I suspect the OPs school offered her what they could afford.
I think it's petty and spiteful to critisize her we can all be clever in retrospect.

kilmuir Tue 17-Jul-12 16:02:00

Nonsense. You need a reality check. My DD is in year 5 and just got level 5s. She is bright but not gifted.
Why did you miss out on the 11+? a bright child should not need an excessive amount of prep to pass

wordfactory Tue 17-Jul-12 16:13:12

Bright kids fail the 11+ all the time.

They can have a bad day. They can be ill. They can be nervous.

And let's be very frank, in some areas, preparation is intensive.

Ingles2 Tue 17-Jul-12 16:20:53

Well... as others have said, you haven't described a particularly gifted child so I think it is extremely unlikely you will be awarded 100% bursary.. but you could try other indie schools, is your dc good at sport / art/ music?
IMO you can either,
1/take a loan to pay fees,
2/home ed until a place comes up at a school you are happy with
That said, I'm astonished that you didn't try the secondary first, (after all it could be better than you think) and enrolled in a fee paying school you frankly can't afford.

crazymum53 Tue 17-Jul-12 16:29:22

Scholarships don't cover all the fees - they typically are for 25%-50% and you are expected to pay the rest! If you are on a low income you can apply for a bursary, but you are expected to do this when you apply for a place. It is probably too late to do this now as many private schools have already broken up for the holidays. If your circumstances have changed since you applied e.g. due to illness or redundancy then the school may be able to do something to help.
However most "low achieving" state schools do "stream" children on entry and with level 5s they would probably be in the top set and expected to do well.

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