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Bursary waiting list-any chance?

(68 Posts)
ariane5 Sun 03-Mar-13 17:30:17

Dd1 was offered a full fee paying place at a wonderful school which we loved but we had applied for a bursary.

She is on the bursary waiting list but we have not heard back from the school so I assume it means she has no chance of a place?[Sad]

Has anybody ever been on a bursary list and gone on to get one?

middleclassonbursary Sun 03-Mar-13 20:53:00

"with my daughter and I cant let her keep hoping that a place might become available if its a no hoper
Arrgghh meant to say be honest with him my daughter is desperately hoping she'll get a place and I cant let her keep hoping that a place might become available if its a no hoper!

ariane5 Sun 03-Mar-13 21:03:57

Its just so difficult as she has done well enough for the school to offer a place but only a full fee place which we cannot afford.

They put in the letter she did well enough to be placed on the bursary waiting list but couldn't tell me her place on the list.

middleclassonbursary Sun 03-Mar-13 21:59:10

"Its just so difficult as she has done well enough for the school to offer a place but only a full fee place which we cannot afford."
I feel for you. But unfortunately passing the exams are not enough. You want a large bursary and they may simply not be enough money. Big names schools have more money (although even many of them aren't offering 100%) I only know of about three or four who are guaranteeing bursaries of this size.

ariane5 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:03:21

I made it very clear I needed a large bursary so I was surprised with a full fee offer. I assumed they would either offer a bursary place or no place as I have stated all along we could not afford it otherwise.

Or does this actually happen a lot? Do people say they can't afford it then find the fees somehow? I just don't understand that if they knew we had no money from our form/paperwork that they offered a full price place? [Sad]

tiggytape Sun 03-Mar-13 22:17:43

Yes it happens a lot. People do not always get offered the bursary they actually need to enable them to send a child to the school. To a parent this is completely illogical - the school has had the paperwork, knows how much you can afford so why offer a place without the funding needed as well?

But times are really hard for a lot of people - there will be children already at the school whose parents have lost one income through redundancy or whose salaries have been slashed who will also be asking the school for help.

There will be more parents applying for bursaries at the outset than in previous years and generally bursary disappointment seems to be common this year. A school only has so much money - if dozens of really able pupils apply all needing substantial bursaries, the school might have to choose between giving out one 100% bursary or splitting the offer more ways. In previous years, if less applied or qualified for a bursary, such tough decisions wouldn't be needed.
There have been a few posts on MN this year about the issue and it seems bursaries just aren’t being offered at the levels people have expected or hoped for. It is nothing you have done wrong and no reflection on your daughter’s ability. It seems it is just schools being asked to stretch finite funds further than they are asked to do most years.

ariane5 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:30:20

I think I really expected a bursary offer or no offer as I had said so many times how I couldn't do it without a bursary.

To see the words "we are pleased to offer your daughter a place in year 7" followed by the next paragraph

"Unfortunately demand for bursaries was high but (dd) did sufficiently well to be placed on the bursary waiting list" just made my heart soar and then sink.

I so wanted her to go there it was such a wonderful lovely school and just perfect for her. I feel guilty for getting her hopes up, for showing her round a school she loved and now can't go to. I have let her down and now she will have a place at a school where she got ill on the tour day as it was just too much walking for her.

splitbrain Sun 03-Mar-13 22:34:53

The landscape is not so dire, there are more than three or four schools offering full fee assistance. But those bursaries will always go first to the children who have scored in the top 4 or 5% in the exam. And waiting lists for bursaries do exist because those top scorers get offered more than one and thus turn down others - we have turned down three and hopefully made some other family happy. However, one school has put us on the waiting list for the bursary, just like you, and offered a full paying fee which of course we can't afford to accept. The advice you got here is right, talk to the bursar. Find out your chances. But start being positive about the SS, it's the best you can do now for your DD.

ariane5 Sun 03-Mar-13 22:43:23

The SS is a lovely school. Just not 'right' for dd1 due to her pproblems hence me (stupidly) putting all my efforts into the ind school.

I didn't even know till the other day about whether statements could be obtained for a child with just physical probs like dd I assumed they were only for those with learning difficulties.
I saw how she struggled and was unwell the afternoon after the tour of the SS.

I only applied for 1 ind school as although dd probably had a chance of a bursary elsewhere they too were larger schools so it would have been same issue as with the SS.

I just wish I had been more realistic I honestly thought she would get a place.

tiggytape Sun 03-Mar-13 22:55:19

ariane - I really hope something comes of your talk with the bursar. You sound very down about it all but try not to be. If you hadn't gone for it, you'd never have known and would have always wondered. There is still hope and you never know what might happen in the next few weeks.

With that in mind though, you also need to focus on the school you've been offered. Ring the SENCo and ask to speak to them about how they are going to manage DD's condition and her medical needs. The size of the site may be huge but perhaps there are timetabling solutions that will help and other things they can suggest. It is so hard when you have seen the ideal school and really want a place there not to consider the allocated school a poorer option in comparison but maybe there are things that can be done to make it much more workable for your DD?

ariane5 Sun 03-Mar-13 23:06:39

I am not hopeful as in order to make things easier for dd at the SS it could possibly isolate her greatly. On a bad day when she is in pain/exhausted/fainting it will be a choice of staying at home and missing school or they would have to find somewhere for her to work where she could stay sitting down but then she would be isolated from her peers as they would be going from lesson to lesson.dd wants to be the same as her school friends she hates to appear different and at the ind school with it being so so tiny she would have had to do a minimal amount of walking around such a small site that her problems would not be as apparent.

I don't know what to do. I will def get in touch with the SS though and start trying to find solutions to the many many problems dd will encounter there.
It is a really good school, outstanding in every area and different circumstances I'd be thrilled but unfortunately it will be difficult.

tiggytape Sun 03-Mar-13 23:14:32

State school solutions could involve the whole class though. It is not in your daughter's interests to be taught alone. In my DD's case, an example of solutions offered include making sure the timetable for the entire class only involves downstairs classrooms (she cannot cope well with stairs). In your DD's case, they could make sure her tutor group room is the most central one available and timtable all general classroom lessons only in rooms a short distance from there. Obviously the science labs are fixed as are D.T rooms but there's no reason they cannot teach History in any room (and indeed they are required to make such reasonable adjustments as this) to minimise walking.

P.E teachers will be well used to differentiation for numerous medical conditions and there will be other children who have differing requirements who will be catered for too. The advantage of a huge school is that they see a huge range of differing needs and many children are in the same boat of needing adjustments made.

They can make sure she has a locker in the classroom so never has to carry heavy equipment around. They can organise online work for her to do when she is too ill to attend. There is a lot that can be done and is done by state schools to help.

ariane5 Sun 03-Mar-13 23:19:53

Dd does not manage stairs well either. I would worry though-would the other children know their class was different due to dd? I am very aware that being 'different' could lead to problems and dd is very sensitive about her problems and hates people to know.

middleclassonbursary Sun 03-Mar-13 23:58:06

I suspect part of your problem was that it was a "small school" in my now nearly 10 years of experience of getting bursaries for my DC's "small schools" generally have small bursary pots.
I too don't know why they offer a place but no bursary knowing you need one fortuneately this has never happened to us we've failed to get bursaries from some schools but not been offeredw place and no bursary it does seem particularly cruel. I just want to add to anyone who might be readying this that large bursaries are not for those who come in the top 4-5% in the entrance exams especially those who select 11 for 13-+ entry. In these schools bursaries are generally offered before entrance exams are even sat because they are often sat in June.
There is a very simple approach to take when it comes to bursaries identify a school you like work out how large a bursary you are going to realistically need and approach the bursar especially if it's a large one to see whether or not they have or are able to consider bursaries of this size. Try and do this if posdible before going to far down the admissions process and if possible before showing your DC the school.

ariane5 Mon 04-Mar-13 00:10:26

I saw the headteacher not the bursar, perhaps that was wrong? I did ask was it worth applying given that 1) we needed such a large bursary and 2) we could not afford tutoring (all dds friends were having extensive 11+ tutoring.
The headteacher was lovely about it all and said I should bring dd to open days etc. I don't think for a minute theu gave me false hope probably more a case of me being too hopeful.
I was surprised we didn't have a home visit from a bursar but assumed that some schools maybe didn't do this.

tiredaftertwo Mon 04-Mar-13 08:43:29

ariane5, good luck, and try not to beat yourself up. As others have said, you have to go for the long shots otherwise you never know. If it had worked out, you would have done the right thing - and it might have done. If they say she is on the bursary waiting list then you can't have been far off - if the (I suspect very few) people above her had not applied, or passed the exam.

I am no expert but I would now do two things I think: get some specialist advice on what sort of provision the allocated school can and should make, and contact them as soon as possible to get the ball rolling (maybe post on the SEN board for advice about any organisations that could help you); and talk to the bursar or registrar of the independent for your own peace of mind, and so that you know the situation if you decide to have another go - it is also worth asking f they have any advice (you never know).

Even on a small site, there can be a lot of walking around depending on how the timetabling is done, and how the routine of school life pans out for a particular individual (if they happen to choose clubs at opposite ends of the site for example!). And schools seem to vary massively in how they organise the timetable - some keep yr 7/8 in one classroom or small block of them, and teachers come to them.

As your dd's problems will be apparent (presumably to her classmates), I think I would also approach the school about this, ask how they manage it, what information the other kids will be given, how they deal with name-calling, the detail of the bullying policy, and so on.

You sound like a wonderful mother. Good luck to you all.

DeWe Mon 04-Mar-13 09:31:32

The criteria for bursaries depends on the school.

I was at 2 different schools over secondary who had places on the "Assisted places" scheme.
The first took all the people who had passed and had said that they wanted to be considered for a bursary. Then it gave the offer to the children who needed it most. So most getting it would be 100% of fees, and often uniform and lunch too.

The second took the children who had passed and gave the bursaries to the top 20. Meaning often the bursaries were not as valuable generally.

My dm worked in a school that claimed about 30 bursaries available. However 20-25 were tied up with where you lived. I think at least 20 you had to live in the town it was officially in (despite it being nearer to another town). Some were even tied up with which road you lived in. So if you lived in certain roads you would get offered one as long as you passed. confused

So that is different ways you may not have met the criteria.

ariane5 Mon 04-Mar-13 09:55:57

That might explain it I think as I was struggling to see how with our financial situation we wouldn't have met the criteria.

I think it has more to do with other things and I do not know all the bursary criteria for the school concerned so I can't even begin to guess.

I am still really upset but have phoned the SS and they will be getting in touch about an appt to discuss dds problems.They were lovely on the phone.

scaevola Mon 04-Mar-13 10:03:10

No school in UK is rich enough to give bursaries to every applicant on a low income. There are 30 or so which are publicly aiming for full 'needs blind' admissions, but none has managed it (though Manchester Grammar is coming close)

Yes, you have to prove to the school's satisfaction what your income is. But that's only half the process. They are also deciding which of the bursary candidates they most want to take and this are the ones to whom they make offers. This might be highest score on entrance exam, but is probable also combined with interview performance and other achievement/aptitude. You will drive yourself mad if you try to second guess the performance of other applicants.

splitbrain Mon 04-Mar-13 10:20:16

large bursaries are not for those who come in the top 4-5% in the entrance exams especially those who select 11 for 13-+ entry. In these schools bursaries are generally offered before entrance exams are even sat because they are often sat in June.

middleclassonbursary, this could be true for 13+, I don't know, but it is certainly not my experience for 11+. All the schools DS applied to were not willing to discuss bursaries except in very general terms till he had sat the exam. And they were very clear about it. We were going at it blindly and had no other choice than raising DS hopes without knowing our chances. All we had was an idea of an income threshold but nothing else. We submitted all papers and had a couple of home visits after the exams. One of them said they visit the home of all bursary applicants, the other one only the homes of the children high up on the list. Only after the whole exam and interview process we were offered places with bursary. We were told it was because of his high score plus interview plus school report, they all have a long list of bursary applicants and it makes sense they first offer them to the DC they most want. The 4 to 5% figure is what I was told at the school he has finally chosen, it could be different at others.

shikin Mon 04-Mar-13 12:34:25

ariane5, I feel for you. We are in the same position with two offers of fee-paying and could only afford to go with a bursary. I felt so so horrid, dragging DD through all these lovely schools, doing all the prep, exams and interviews only to say in the end, "I am sorry we can't afford to go." DD was sad, I know that. She even told the dinner lady at her school about it.

I frantically rang the schools who offered us a fee paying place and asked what are our chances. Both schools were very honest with us and told us where we are on the waiting list. In one school, we do have a fighting chance because we are higher on the list and the other probably none because we are way down. They did say they wouldn't know the movement is until after the acceptance date and I have asked whether we could have an extension with our acceptance date.

Please don't feel very down with this. It is not a reflection on DD or you. At the start of this journey, I myself didn't know how keenly fought bursaries are and had assume if we get a place, we'll get some help because of our income. Little did I know lots of other people are in the same boat and there is a ranking system for bursary allocation as well.

Katie172 Mon 04-Mar-13 13:34:12

I'm so glad I saw this thread. We are in a different position.Dc has been offered a full bursary but is on the 13+ waiting list for a place. Hoping so much that it will all work out in the end not least because it is his 1st choice and a short walk away.

ariane5 Mon 04-Mar-13 14:00:10

I feel guilty too shikin, we had only applied for the 1 ind school but had gone to the open days etc and dd Loved it.
She spent every evening and weekend doing her bond workbooks and reading and for nothing sad

Floggingmolly Mon 04-Mar-13 14:05:27

Why don't you just ring the bursar, ariane? confused

ariane5 Mon 04-Mar-13 14:09:15

The only person I have been able to speak to is the admissions secretary at the school-doesnt seem to be a bursar there??
It is a gdst school-the bursary forms got sent to an address in London is that where the bursar would be based?

ariane5 Mon 04-Mar-13 14:32:06

Have spoken to the school again, they were lovely and very helpful but I don't think there Is much chance of a place for dd by the deadline. I will have everything crossed though just in case as it is such a wonderful school.

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