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Should I bother trying to renegotiate DD's scholarship?

(10 Posts)
WonderWine Wed 06-Nov-13 16:08:20

DD got an scholarship to a local independent school two years ago. All the scholars got the same - a fixed sum of money (e.g £1000) which at the time was worth about 6% of fees. (At the same time she was offered a 20% one from a school further away, but she really preferred the more local school sad)
At the time I just took the view that we 'made our choice, so should live with it'

However last year her school revised the scholarships and offered fixed percentages up to 30% in the 11+ and 13+ exams. Existing students weren't given any opportunity to reapply. So there are now academic scholars in her year (Year 9) with scholarships worth up to 24% more envy.
Over the next 3 years that could be worth up to £11,000 shock

DD is very well regarded in the school. Came out in the top few in the end of year exams last year and is often called upon to represent the school for various things and perform (she is a musician).

Do you think it's worth bothering trying to renegotiate her scholarship to a higher, fixed, percentage?
I'm not very good with negotiations - what should I say to argue the case?

I do feel it is rather unfair to have two different 'levels/systems' within the same year group?

Labro Wed 06-Nov-13 16:35:00

I'd approach the headteacher privately and ask if there is going to be any possibility of existing scholars reapplying rather than bringing the comparison of % to them.

A lot of schools restructure the way they administer financial awards, a school local to me offered 1 child an art scholarship one year, then offered another art scholarship the following year.
That year, after offering it, they decided to divide the 1 scholarship between 3 children vastly affecting the amount.

Its also not going to be valid argument that there are now different levels of award in the same year group as the new arrangements would be listed as being for new entrants only.

I think you may have to retain the view that her current scholarship is the level she was offered in isolation rather than in comparison to new entrants.

LittleSiouxieSue Wed 06-Nov-13 17:57:51

I am amazed they have put the scholarship award up. Most schools have reduced them considerably to 10% or, in the case of my DDs 6th form academic scholarship, to nothing. Previously this was 50% so lost a huge amount. Bursaries, however, went through the roof and all sorts of other financial awards were given (music, drama, sport, Headteacher's favourite pupils) which were more than the academic scholarships! I would try and have a word with them but don't if it will put you in a bad position. By that I mean, will they hold it against you and will you be viewed as a troublemaker? Are the new scholarships identical or do they have a bursary element in them? They could be means tested. I agree that it is hugely unfair but schools are like that, as we discovered to the sum of £25,000!

Blu Wed 06-Nov-13 21:10:26

I know nothing about scholarships etc, but from the pov of negotiations I would write a friendly, polite letter to the Head or the governor (as appropriate) saying that as you understand that within your dd's year Scholarships are now covering a wider range, will they, in the interests of a level playing field, be allowing current students to re-apply and be considered for the higher levels for scholarships alongside new applicants.

I can't see how that would be viewed as trouble-making or put you in a bad light.

Ladymuck Thu 07-Nov-13 12:35:28

Presumably the school made the change to keep up with the other localish schools. I get the impression that such scholarships are more on the lines of marketing tools. Given you had already turned down a higher scholarship, the head may view that you had been offered sufficient to keep you in the first place. But I think that it is worth a discussion. I suspect that the counter argument is that obviously you'll remember the outcome at 6th form time...

allmycats Thu 07-Nov-13 12:37:48

Do you actually need an increase in the assistance or is it just that you want to be the same as the others. If you need it,go ahead and try to re-negotiate, if not, leave it for someone who may need it more than you.

WonderWine Fri 08-Nov-13 12:34:45

Allmycats - scholarships are not about 'need' - they're an acknowledgment and enticement to get talented children into a school (to keep results high in sport/ exams/music etc) - so as LadyMuck says, more of a marketing thing.
The scholars are asked to play a major role in the school in concerts/ running clubs and events etc. Their 'reward' is their scholarship, and the opportunity for extra attention/'stretch' opportunities etc

I just feel that if they are going to be called upon, as scholars, to represent the school (e.g. by leading music concerts, or taking part in poetry competitions etc) then two children, side by side in the same year, should be treated equally and fairly, and not penalised for joining the school two years earlier!

Children from families who need financial support are eligible for bursaries separately.

Marmitelover55 Sun 10-Nov-13 13:19:17

But the children are not bring penalised - they are getting fantastic opportunities, as scholars, to represent the school. I think, if money is not an issue for you, I would leaved things as they are and just feel products of you'd child.

Marmitelover55 Sun 10-Nov-13 13:20:16

*Oops proud of your child - not products...

pickledsiblings Tue 12-Nov-13 11:23:52

'Existing students weren't given any opportunity to reapply.'

Why did you not contest the issue at this stage OP?

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