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advice on bursaries

(27 Posts)
NettleTea Thu 14-Mar-19 18:50:16

my son has been offered a means tested bursary, but it isnt very huge. I dont know how many have been offered, and we have 3 weeks to accept - is there any chance that I could go back and ask for more? If not all those offered are taken up, would that be more in the pot potentially?

Has anyone ever done this and had any success, and if so how do I go about it? Do I write to the head?

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houselikeashed Thu 14-Mar-19 20:37:52

if its means tested, then the offer will be on a scale related to your income, so I wouldn't expect the offer to change.

Schoeny Thu 14-Mar-19 21:00:04

If you can't comfortably afford the fees with the bursary you've been offered, then you have nothing to lose by contacting the school and asking if there is anything more they can give you. The worst that can happen is that they say they can't offer you a bigger discount.

I would ring the school and ask to speak to the bursar.

NettleTea Fri 15-Mar-19 12:10:38

Thank you
the head is personally quite involved in selecting which children are offered a place and its quite a small school. He seemed to have developed quite a rapport with my son and had told me, even before the entrance exams, that he would be offering a place as he was just the sort of boy they liked, and would really be an asset. Im wondering if I should approach him too? Or is this not the done thing at all? I have no experience of the private school system at all but would give my eye teeth for him to go to this school as the environment would be transformational to him, given its small and nurturing ethos

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Hollowvictory Fri 15-Mar-19 12:11:41

Do it, what have you got to lose, you can only ask! But be clear what % you need in order to accept the offer

NettleTea Fri 15-Mar-19 12:18:07

I need 50% I can JUST about manage it on 50% but thats a huge increase on what Ive been offered and the fees are not enourmous compared to many, about £5K a term

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Hollowvictory Fri 15-Mar-19 12:20:37

Just be honest with them.

HerdingPigs Fri 15-Mar-19 12:57:27

There was an earlier thread that may worth reading?
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/secondary/3505480-Private-School-Bursary-Advice

NettleTea Fri 15-Mar-19 13:08:18

Thank you for that. Maybe I will write to the by=ursar and the head asking to meet as a first point

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Happysummer Fri 15-Mar-19 18:56:46

There was an 'Ask Me Anything' thread about the bursary process. The poster advised regular contact to show how keen you are for example:

"I would phone when I sent the application in, to let them know it was on its way. Phone a week later to make sure they received it, phone a few weeks later to ask if they required any more information. Leave it a few weeks and then phone and ask if there was any updates and when I should expect to hear. Explain I was sorry for phoning a lot but child was very keen to come and kept asking me to phone."

From their experience polite pester power, with some flattery about how great the school is and how your child can contribute may do something...? At least you'll know you tried!

NettleTea Fri 15-Mar-19 22:03:58

Thats it, Im calling first thing on Monday. and Im speaking to the head.

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Happysummer Sat 16-Mar-19 12:34:01

Go for it NettleTea.

I've no experience myself, but reading other threads, these things seem negotiable, and even though it's a finite 'pot' of money, there is movement sometimes due to others declining. I'm sure flattery will get you somewhere with them wink.

NettleTea Mon 18-Mar-19 14:15:11

Im going for a meeting with the bursar on Friday morning. The head has a week full of meetings, but am going to drop him an email tonight too

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MrsPatmore Tue 19-Mar-19 06:05:01

We negotiated one bursary up by 10% so it can be done. Depends how much they want your child. Be aware though that they are reassessed each year so you might not get as much the following year.

Fazackerley Tue 19-Mar-19 12:47:02

We were offered a 40% bursary with no deposit needed. The deposit is normally 2k so that was a big help. Do be aware that bursaries are assessed every year. Tbh they aren't usually that flexible as they are means tested and there is normally a sliding scale set by the bursar and governors.

NettleTea Tue 19-Mar-19 19:26:23

some of my income is PIP for my 18 year old daughter with cystic fibrosis and autism and diabetes, (which I have to budget for her or she would spend all on day 1 on whatever her latest crazy obsession is) and DLA for my sone (which absolutely SHOULD go towards fees as would be the biggest thing I could do to improve his wellbeing) and enhanced WTC because of these 2 benefits.
I think Im going to talk about the outgoings surrounding my daughter (hospital appointments, needing heating on, high protein, high calorie diet and having to be VERY flexible around my self employment - she is currently sick again at the moment)

But mainly I hope that they want him. The head seemed to go out of his way to say they wanted him. He opened up to the head about what had been happening to him wih regard bullying at his current school, which the head told me about, during the enrichment day, and the head kept pointing out how, in their environment, my son seemed happy, confident and open to talking and helping everyone. He had glowing feedback from the 2 taster days that he attended. He scored high marks across the entrance exams and was highly commended in the scholarship exams, although didnt get the very limited number of awards sadly.

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Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 10:13:06

The best thing to do is turn it down saying it's not enough. Then they may raise it. But only do this if you genuinely can't afford it as it may not work!

Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 10:19:24

I'm not being mean but private school heads are often glowing about applicants. I'm sure your ds is lovely and I am sure they want him, but sometimes private schools are very very good at the marketing side of things. The fact he didn't get a scholarship makes me think twice. You can only get a bursary along with a scholarship at ds s school, bit I know all are different . Good luck.

NettleTea Wed 20-Mar-19 17:53:36

I do agree with you Fazackerley as I am sure they are lovely about lots of the kids, although I am aware of some children who wanted to go but were not offered places, despite doing well in the exams. But yes, I do understand your point regarding the PR side of things

They only had a tiny number of scholarships - its not a 'get X marks, get a scholarship' its more like 'the 3 people who got the hiighest marks, get the academic scholarship', plus this year they had over twice the applicants as last year for the same number of places and awards (I know this to be fact as a friends daughter sat the entrance exams last year so knows how many kids applied - last year yr 7 and yr 9 had 30 kids sitting entrance, this year there were 74)

They say bursaries are not dependant upon scholarships.

their criteria seems to be

1. offering a place where parents may not be able to normally afford to access private education
2. children who may have been bullied in previous schools
3. children for whom it could be a life changing opportunity

He certainly hits the targets on all 3 of those

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Hollowvictory Wed 20-Mar-19 17:57:02

But also, whether they have any money left in the bursary fund. Other bursary offerees may also have asked for more, and may even have secured more already.

NettleTea Wed 20-Mar-19 19:02:26

yes, this all needs to be taken into account. As I see it I have nothing to lose by asking for more. Letters only went out last Thu. Closing date 5th April. I got the first meeting with the bursar that I could. The head had meetings all week

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Hollowvictory Wed 20-Mar-19 19:07:49

Fingers crossed! 👍

NettleTea Tue 26-Mar-19 18:07:37

He is going to be going to the school.
So, so happy and thank you to everyone who encouraged me to go in and talk openly and honestly to the bursar. She was lovely, and we saw the head on the way in who had said he absolutely wanted my son at the school and had asked her to pull everything out of the hat for him

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Happysummer Tue 26-Mar-19 19:39:59

That's fantastic!! Congratulations.

NettleTea Wed 01-Jan-20 12:06:27

This is a late update, but my son started at his new school this September, and it was the best thing we could have ever done.
He is so happy, the environment is supportive and the kids are nice, and he is loved by all the staff.
Id like to say a big thank you to the woman who posted the original thread about bursaries, or I would bnever have considered this. It has been completely life changing for him

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