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Means testing????

(6 Posts)
assumpta Sun 02-Mar-14 15:21:55

Hi, my sil is thinking of moving her dd 14 years from a mixed sex comprehensive to a small private school local to her. My niece has had some issues dealing with life in this huge school, as she is quite shy, but puts up a front displaying the opposite. She has got herself into some trouble last year, which I could offer advice on, but we thnk this may be because she has some self esteem issues. The problem is that she and her husband can't actually afford this school. They apparently offer bursaries, sometimes 100%. They also means test. Does anyone know what this would involve, or can anyone give any advice on the information the bursar will need. Would this even be the right move as it is single sex and full of confident girls! Dear niece also has an interest in boys, as most 14 year olds, but mixing with ones that apparently are not that nice, but here to meet up with. Her mum keeps her busy, but this school would keep her VERY busy. Her current school offers extra curricular stuff, but because the 'cool' girls don't get involved, neither does she. This school gets EVERYONE involved. Thanks.

tiggytape Sun 02-Mar-14 15:36:09

There are lots of posters here who know more about the private sector but basically some schools do offer 100% bursaries so the family end up paying no fees at all. However this is very rare.

It is based on the family having low income (and usually no assets they can get their hands on, no savings etc) but also the school has to want the child very much as well. Lots of people qualify by not being able to afford fees but the school only helps with fees if the child is very clever, very sporty, very musical or in some other way beneficial to the school. They don't give a place to everyone who can prove their oncome is low enough.
Normally there would be a test and an interview at the very least.

assumpta Sun 02-Mar-14 18:44:39

Thanks Tiggy, I figured that they would want to know about income etc., but didn't know what the form might be like, so I have fond a website for her that actually shows a form. 11 pages long!! She is not sure what to do as they are not on the bread line. One income and under 40k.

inthename Sun 02-Mar-14 20:08:38

My ds receives a 70% bursary. The form I complete states its a standard one used by many prep schools, so I'd imagine thatyou may find a similar one online. Most bursars wouldn't mind your sil asking to see a blank form or having a long conversation about the real % they can actually offer before going too far done the application route. Its a long form asking for quite a lot of detail and states clearly what supporting documents you need. The bursary form has to be completed each academic year and the value can go down. Each school has finite bursary funds and its worth remembering that uniform, extra curricular activities, trips and rises in fees won't necessaryily be included in the bursary. That said, with bursaries its a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained and whilst it is essentially how much the school want the child you may get lucky. Do however find out the vacancies in the required year group and how many means tested bursaries the school typically offer at the level needed.

3nationsfamily Mon 03-Mar-14 10:32:29

Information required will include the value of the house, outstanding mortgage, car age and value, income of both parents ( expectation that both will be working) , all savings and other assets / valuables. There are usually also comments about any expensive holidays/ new cars/ second homes being incompatable with bursary awards , the expectation that if there is significant equity in the house that this should be released to help with costs. They usually require copies of tax returns/ P60 , mortgage statement, Zoopla valuation, bank statements for savings etc etc.
All in all, very intrusive but if you really want to go and need a busary to do it then these are the hoops you will need to jump through. That said, as previously mentioned, most schools will be more inclined to offer a bursary to a potential pupil who will "benefit most from the school". Does the DD actually want to move school though? If she is in with the "wrong crowd" and getting in to trouble then she might rebel totally and there would be an interview usually for any applications for private school so she would need to be on board with the plan.

Lancelottie Mon 03-Mar-14 10:37:44

Presumably the other option is that they do everything on 3nations list -- i.e. release equity, look for second job, sell car -- in order to afford the school?

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