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South London Ind Bursary at 10+

(7 Posts)
sleepihead Tue 18-Feb-14 00:55:34

Just wondering if anyone can help out - new to the indie sector as DC attended a local state primary and sat a 10+ at one of the SW schools, but we did not think we would get an offer. This was the first/only exam sat and we were surprisingly offered a place + 1/4 bursary. Even taking this into account, the fees would be at the very near top end of our budget.
DC is yet to attempt 11+ and acc to teachers/tutors stands a good chance (Y5/Level 5), however the school in question is DC's top choice. We are now facing an agonising decision. I heard of internal exams at the start of Year 6 (Dec), where pupils apply for "scholarships" - has anyone had any experience with this? How does it work? - I am really confused as I thought most schools allocate the academic scholarships on the basis of exam performance - i.e.- it has all been "sealed" by now? Just thinking those exams may not be "scholarships" tests but more by way of year-on-year academic level testing for bursary continuation and I have got something wrong?
I would hate to find myself in a situation where we decline and then DC is either not successful at 11+ or unhappy in another school. On the other hand, DC would potentially be missing a few options and we simply don't know whether we will be able to carry the weight of the financial commitment incl the "extra curricular" aspect (as well as the fact that a bursary could go down year on year). If anyone has had experience with "internal" exams and/or how bursaries can change, sharing this will be much appreciated. Sorry about the long post.

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot Tue 18-Feb-14 06:28:55

Could I just clarify - your DC is currently in year 5, and has received a 10+ offer (with bursary) for a school you want him to attend long term?

When do you need to accept or decline this offer by?

Are scholarships awarded at all at 10+?

You probably need to talk to the bursar about how the bursaries are renewed (expect annually) and whether there is any interplay at ll between scholarships nd bursaries. It is probable that all those progressing up the school sit the same scholarship exams as new entrants, and scholars can be from either route (eg I know schools where scholarships are awarded only at 11+, 13+ and 6th form and late blossomers within the school are assessed on same footing as new joiners). But the cash value of the scholarship might be low. It is more important that you establish the T&C of the bursary and how it is renewed.

LadyMuck Tue 18-Feb-14 07:12:54

You will probably get better information if you name the school tbh. And I would also talk to the school bursar. They are conscious that their fees are expensive, and would be willing to discuss what the options are. Well done to your ds.

sleepihead Tue 18-Feb-14 09:47:25

Thank you LadyMuck and WhiskyTangoFoxtrot. The school is Emanuel - we really love it (I know people have different views but we absolutely love what we have seen there and I do share their philosophy about there being more to life than A*). We have to confirm by 05/03 and have been told bursaries are renewed annually, conditional upon maintaining academic performance (which I feel quietly confident about). I am just not sure how the "scholarship" aspect works - from what I gather, there are internal scholarship exams but chances are slim, I know.
For us it would be a matter of finding an extra 1/4, I guess, the rest we can scrape off...

Clonakiltylil Tue 18-Feb-14 11:18:22

Hello sleepihead.

From your posting I understand that your DC will be admitted into Year 6 on a partial bursary.

Bursaries are based on financial income and this is reviewed on an annual basis. You will need to provide all details each time; some poeple find this intrusive but the information remains with the bursary and is not circulated across the school. No one else will know your financial circumstances. If you are in receipt of a quarter now, it may well stay like that - you will have to consider whether or not you can afford this year on year, bearing in mind that the fees will increase by a few percentage points each time.

A scholarship is awarded to exceptional students based on excellent results in the 11+ examinations and the financial background of the family is not taken into consideration. Yes - there might be some who do not need any money off, but scholarships are frequently offered because the school wishes the brightest students to take the places rather than going elsewhere. Unless your school is unlike the other independent schools in London, this will not be awarded for Year 6 entry. There are usually several and depending on your school, one might be for 25%, a few at 10% and others might be £1000 or £500 off for prowess in sport, art, music etc. Scholarships are not usually large and tend to be token amounts.

To be frank, you cannot count on being awarded a scholarship because you do not know the ability of the other students who will be applying for entry in Year 7. Your child will be in the pool with everyone else so he stands as much chance as the next child - it will all come down to ability.

So you now have to decide what to do.

1. You could start the school in September, do the 11+ and continue right the way through on the quarter bursary, assuming this continues.

2. You could start in September but continue to apply elsewhere - maybe you could go for the Sutton grammars, Tiffins, Graveney or other independent schools in south or central London. You never know – you might be awarded more money elsewhere or get into a grammar school where you would not have to pay. If your child did not get in, you could still continue where you are now, so nothing would be lost.

3. You could reject the place, stay at your current state primary and look at your options for Year 7, hoping for a good school or more assistance financially.

What would I do? Option 2. But I should also talk to the bursary and ask how scholarships are awarded next year. Explain your financial situation - there is no harm in 'flagging up' your child for a scholarship - if they say no, you won't have lost anything.

You know your situation and you will have to make the decision. Good luck.

Scoobyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 11:29:19

I don't know anything abt bursaries at Emanuel but do know that they offer 50% scholarships based on 11+ performance for those applying from outside. Obv, you would have to score very highly in comparison with the rest of the cohort.

sleepihead Tue 18-Feb-14 12:12:49

Thank you all and esp Clonakitylil for you thoughts. I had considered the options you note above. I am sitting on the fence reg option 2 it may work financially, on the other hand giving DC a taste of the school they love and then taking it away - I have to toughen up a bit more for this... Oh well, I know if we don't go for it we will prob regret it until the rest of our lives.... So we might just bite the bullet... I guess I will need a strong gin and tonic before I sign that DD form ;-)

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