Parent's Success Story

A Single Parent's Story of Success with Scholarships and Bursaries




“My eldest daughter started school at a state school. She was in a class in which children from reception to year 2 were combined due to it being a small village school. I consider her to be a very bright girl and almost immediately she started to struggle within the system as she would complete her work before all the other children and then be left with nothing to do. When she asked for more work she was told to go and help the other children finish their work or play with baby dolls. I felt that this was nowhere near challenging enough and she would soon get incredibly bored. This is why we started to consider a private school education.


At this point I didn’t think there would be any way we could financially afford to go down this route. It seemed completely unobtainable, especially as I was a single parent at the time and my children’s father refused to help towards any school fees. However I spoke to Sally who was successfully putting four of her children through private school on a limited budget and she assured me that this could be a possibility if we looked into bursaries and scholarships. I approached a small local prep school and fell in love with it immediately and decided that this was the path I wanted to take for my children.


After a couple of trial days at the school my daughter was also convinced that she wanted to go down this path so we approached the head teacher on Sally’s advice to apply for a scholarship. My eldest daughter went on to gain a substantial all-round scholarship and joined the school that summer.


By then my second daughter who was attending the school’s nursery was due to start in reception. I once again applied to the head teacher, this time for a bursary as my daughter was too young for a scholarship. And we were very lucky to achieve a large bursary.


Both my daughters have thrived at this particular school over the time that they have been there and I consider it to be a very worthwhile endeavour. As a parent, the whole experience has been a huge challenge and it has stretched us financially and emotionally and I have learned not to be embarrassed to ask for a reduction off fees because the outcome is so worthwhile. My daughters have gained so much from the private system of education. They have had so many opportunities that they would never have had in the state school available to them and they have positively thrived.


There came a point where my eldest daughter had to leave her prep school and we had to go through the whole process again of applying for scholarships and bursaries. I have to say that it was less daunting having done it before and now after three years of annually submitting my financial details to the bursar, the process has actually become like water off a duck’s back.


I would highly recommend that parents who don’t even think that they could ever achieve this for their children go ahead and investigate more – nothing ventured, nothing gained. As one bursar said to me, if you don’t ask you don’t get.


Don’t be embarrassed to give your financial details; they are not going to think anything worse of you. Believe that you can achieve it – anything is possible. If you believe you can do it then somehow you will. Be prepared to give up family holidays. Don’t be overwhelmed. Get it into perspective and don’t be too scared about it. Be honest with the school. I have always gone in and been completely honest with the head teacher and the bursar and explained that we can’t really afford to be here but I believe that my children deserve to be at a good school because in that environment they are capable of fulfilling their true potential.”