Parent's Success Story

How my Four Children Won Awards to Independent Schools


Sally, mother of 4 children who won awards

Sally, mother of 4 children who won awards

“I was fortunate to have an excellent education myself. When it came to educating our four children, we found that our choice of schools was severely limited by both our location and our financial situation. So I embarked on a quest to find them the best and most appropriate education I could.


Our children were academically bright, though all held back to various extents by dyslexia. They had diverse interests and talents, ranging from sport, to dance, drama and music.


It all started when our eldest child reported being bored at school and my parents used their savings to place him in a prep school for three and a half years, half way through year 5, in the hope that he would have his educational needs well met and subsequently go on to win a scholarship to senior school.


A year later the preparatory school offered scholarships and bursaries to new pupils. Despite my whole family warning me we could not afford to make an application, I took my second and third children along for assessment. They were both fortunate to win awards and joined the prep school the following September in years 4 and 1. Some years later our youngest child won an award to enter the same school in year 2.

When the time came for our eldest child to apply for scholarships to senior school, we were not particularly knowledgeable about our options. With hindsight we should have entered him for sports scholarships. We did know, however, that we would need fee assistance and so I set about investigating the possible options. Our eldest child was struggling significantly with undiagnosed dyslexia and made several unsuccessful attempts to win awards. However he persevered vowing to go to school at the other end of the UK if necessary! Eventually all his hard work paid off and we were delighted when our son won an award to enter year 9 at an independent school, just thirteen weeks before the start of the school year. It was a boarding place over 100 miles from home but at a school which felt ideal for him. We missed him living at home all the time but we made the most of having him home in the holidays and for exeats. He embraced his opportunities and immersed himself in sport, captaining teams and breaking school records. He had a wonderful all-round education and made very strong friendships.


From that point on, I knew it was possible to gain places at independent preparatory and senior schools without having the financial resources to cover the full fees and nothing was going to stop me trying to help the rest of our children to pursue them. It was a matter of nurturing our children’s interests and researching the right awards for them to apply for at suitable schools. A combination of hard work, making the most of their talents and good fortune led eventually to each one of them gaining awards at outstanding schools at which they were able to thrive. Without the fee remission provided by these awards, none of the children would have been able to take up places at these schools. Winning awards has certainly been life-changing for our children.


Over the years parents heard about my knowledge and success and began to seek me out to help them to find fee assistance for their own children. I spent over a decade giving consultations to parents. Through this I increased my expertise and was delighted to be able to facilitate life-changing educational opportunities for many children.


However I felt frustrated by not being able to help a larger number of children. In addition I found that parents are often unaware of the opportunities available or insufficiently informed or confident about fee assistance to explore further without support. It also saddened me to hear of the struggles schools sometimes have in trying to reach parents with their offers of fee assistance.


I sought to find a way to help more people and to bring schools and parents together. Hence The Scholarship and Bursary Advisory Centre was born. It has taken some years and much work to bring it to fruition and it is my sincere hope that it will help many children in need of fee assistance and many schools offering fee assistance to come together, thus widening access to independent education and transforming lives. “