The Scholarship and Bursary Advisory Centre
Find Scholarships and Bursaries at Independent Schools & Colleges in the UK.
A lack of financial resources need not be a barrier to your child attending an independent school.
Approximately a third of pupils at independent schools are in receipt of some fee assistance - that is over 170,000 pupils.
Nearly a billion pounds are given every year in the form of scholarships, bursaries, assisted places and other awards.
Each year, over five thousand pupils receive means-tested financial assistance of 100% of the fees.
"My four children won 16 awards, from preparatory to senior level, enabling them to attend wonderful independent schools at which they thrived."
"My mission is to help others to access life-changing opportunities like these, whatever their financial circumstances."
Sally MacDonald BSc MA (Dunelm)
Founding Director of The Scholarship and Bursary Advisory Centre
"I'm a huge fan of independent education but get so frustrated by the lack of information out there on fee assistance. So many parents aren't even aware that they can apply for scholarships and bursaries and doors that have the possibility of opening, stay shut."
"The other side of the frustration is when I speak to schools who tell me they have bursaries available but no-one to give them to! I can't tell you enough how valuable I think your website will be and I will continue to pass the word on".
"Thanks again for providing what's going to be an invaluable resource. "
Claire, Education Consultant.
We provide FREE information and advice to parents who are looking for scholarships, bursaries and other fee assistance, at independent schools and colleges in the UK.
On our website, you will be able to...
* Learn how to apply for financial help from independent schools and colleges.
* Search for FREE for Scholarships and Bursaries at independent schools and colleges.
* Download FREE informative factsheets from our comprehensive range.
* Find upcoming open days at independent schools and colleges.
* Discover real-life experiences of others who have applied for awards.
* Read the accounts of those who have been successful in gaining awards.
* Explore articles written by experts.
* Discover newly launched scholarships and awards.
* Read our FAQ and Tips.
* Find out about helpful organisations.
* Look for tutors, educational consultants and educational psychologists.
* Discuss fee assistance with others on our Forum
Display your fee assistance, case studies, open days, and school information, on our website.
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An example from the searchable "Organisations offering services" page on our website.
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The School Fees Charitable Trust
The aim of the School Fees Charitable Trust is to assist those parents who, having selected private education for their child with reasonable expectations of being able to meet the considerable costs from their own resources, are unable to pay the fees as a result of genuine hardship, arising from a sudden and unforeseen change of circumstances. Grants are made at the sole discretion of the Trustees.
An example of an award from our website. Sign up to our newsletter to read more like this...
Closing Date 1st October 2019. Applications may be considered after the closing date if funds and places are available
For 11+ entry (Year 7) in September 2020
Foundation Awards at Lord Wandsworth College, Hampshire
We offer around 7 awards each year to help children who have been disadvantaged by the loss of support of one or both parents. The Foundation helps around 50 children, many of whom have been bereaved of one or both parents or those who have lost their support through other circumstances, to benefit from the support, structure and stability of LWC's boarding environment.
For more information, visit https://www.lordwandsworth.org/admissions/foundation-places
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See our case studies below...
A Lord Wandsworth College Foundation Parent’s Story
I found it difficult to function after my husband died, I could barely cope with day to day events. My family live miles away and I realized that for the foreseeable future I would be on my own as a single parent.
Whilst googling bereavement counselling for children, I stumbled across Lord Wandsworth College. I read with interest, as my son had quickly became angry and difficult to manage following the traumatic death of his father.
Meeting the staff at the school and looking around the boarding house with my son was pivotal in my decision making progress. He clearly needed male role models (something try as hard as I like, I could not provide) and an outlet for his anger. He was overawed by the sports facilities and I liked the strong sense of structure, routine and discipline at the school. Pastoral care is paramount for the emotional needs of children that have lost a parent and LWC were able to provide the necessary caring and compassionate support that my son needed.
My son starting school at LWC as a Foundation student has been invaluable to our family life. He has access to peer support which is immeasurable as he never feels isolated and alone about his circumstances.
I don’t want to gender stereotype, but my son has never been gushing about what he did at school and I have always had to prize him out of bed on a Monday morning. These days, on Sunday evenings it is me that gets chivied along to drive him back to school!
Less than a year spent at the school and my son is happy, settled and becoming more motivated by the day. Our weekly phone chats, where he waxes lyrical about sports matches, friendships and what he is achieving in class confirms and validates that we made the right decision.
A 1st Form Foundationer at Lord Wandsworth College
I got to be a Foundationer at the school through the efforts and support of my sister and my Uncle.
From the time I was born I never knew my father. My mother had been married twice before meeting my father but sadly he wants nothing to do with me. My mum struggled to support us because she kept moving jobs which meant we had to keep moving home as well.
My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 5 and she died when I was 9, when the cancer also spread to her liver. This meant I had to move again and move schools, to live with my sister who had 3 children of her own. All of us, and my sister’s partner, lived in a small home. This was very difficult for us because my sister had another person to look after. I missed my mother terribly and this affected me because I became very frustrated. I suppose I was seen as a nuisance but I like to think that all young teenagers are a bit of a nuisance!
My sister found out about Foundation places at LWC and I was lucky enough to be given a place and started boarding at the school.
It has taken me a little while to get used to being a full time boarder. The early morning wakeup call is not easy and I am still getting used to the eating manners of some of the boys. But I have made some good friends and I play hockey. There are loads of activities to choose from when I’m not in lessons. I’m doing street dance and musical theatre club this term. Next term I want to try the art club and play football.
I love my teachers and all my lessons. There is always someone around to talk to if I feel a bit down.
I want to thank you all for giving me an opportunity to continue with my education. Without your support I would probably have been taken into care and I do not know what would have become of my life.
Funding a Bright Future
By Suzie Longstaff, Headmistress of Putney High School
The cost of private schooling can range significantly across the UK but there is no doubt that wherever you live, for many the fees can simply be prohibitive. Fortunately, financial assistance is granted to thousands of families every year, scholarship and bursary programmes around the country allowing pupils from less affluent backgrounds to benefit from the exceptional teaching and levels of opportunity that exist within some of the country’s finest schools. For those lucky recipients, there is no doubt that the benefits can be life-changing.
From Benin City to senior legal counsel
Isoken (Soké) Alli-Usman was born in Benin City in Nigeria but grew up in Vauxhall, South London. When she first applied to Putney High School GDST, no one in her neighbourhood had even heard of the school, let alone been entered for the exam. Soké did not let that perturb her and Putney awarded her a place entirely on merit, having been impressed with her both in the exam and at interview. Unable to afford the fees, Soké was awarded a full bursary and joined Year 7 in 1996. She quickly fitted in and made friends throughout the school, excelling in her studies and developing a particular love of poetry and music, and regularly competing in tennis and athletics. Her natural leadership qualities made her an obvious choice for Head Girl, a role which she performed with gusto in her final year.
The years that Soké spent at Putney High gave her access to a first class education and the broadest of opportunities; but more than that, they taught her that there need be no limit to her aspirations. Soké went on to train at one of the best law firms in the UK and then at one of the most respected international law firms in the US. Today, she is a qualified lawyer, working in the field of international energy as Senior Legal Counsel at Globeleq.
“All of this was only possible because a bursary allowed me to go to Putney where I was given the belief I could achieve my goals. I was taught to develop resilience and be pro-active. My school gave me the tools to achieve. Putney shaped my life. It has a special place in my heart.”
Soké’s story is a very happy one; it is always rewarding to hear the impact that a bursary can have on a pupil’s life, and let’s not forget the enormous advantages that these allowances can also bring to the schools that make this provision. Bursaries shape the dynamics within the schools themselves, fostering a culture of inclusion and broadening the horizons of all those that work and study there - better for everyone in so many ways.
We are proud to say that at Putney, there are many other similar success stories. Our bursary scheme, made possible through the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), enables us to provide life-changing financial support for girls of modest means, where necessary providing up to 100% of the fees and additional assistance to help pay for uniform and extras such as music lessons and international trips. These are so much more than just the ‘icing on the cake’; being able to take part in the enormous co-curricular offering within schools is for every pupil an essential part of fitting in – helping them to grab with both hands the opportunities that a first class education has to offer.
Education is not just about academic excellence. Life at school is a precious few years in which knowledge and experience are laid at your feet: the chance to try out new things, find your passion and flex your muscles in anything from a cappella to coding. There is a real spirit in the girls that walk through Putney’s doors, and when we see the bright spark and inquisitiveness that we know will thrive here, we will always do our utmost to help that child succeed.
Currently at Putney, one in five students receives some kind of financial assistance. Although we are academically selective, we are “means blind” and do everything we can to ensure that a parent’s ability to afford fees is never a barrier to education or opportunity.
Removing obstacles to a fantastic education is fundamental to what we do. We want every girl to make her way in the world, equipped with the curiosity, confidence and love of learning that will help her to achieve her goals; we believe strongly that the ability to afford an education should never be an impediment to that. Only last year, one leaver and bursary recipient said the following:
“I have had a world-class education and partaken in life-changing trips. I have had the chance to be taught by passionate teachers and meet amazing people. I will always be grateful to the people who helped make this possible.”
Need we say more?