20th May 2016
With school fees galloping ahead of UK inflation, most parents are very interested in ways of reducing their fees drastically, as confirmed by the current Daily Telegraph article.
With ISC statistics stating that 41,000 children (8% of total children in ISC private schools) are receiving financial assistance to reduce fees, one could be forgiven for thinking that getting a bursary was a simple matter of turning up and asking for one, however the reality is quite different.
For several years there was a trend for more money to be allocated to bursaries (based on financial means) by moving funds away from scholarships (based on merit). However, we believe that trend has reversed with schools more likely to give a bursary if the child has first won a scholarship. Additionally it is an extremely complicated process to secure a bursary, usually involving an investigation of all income and assets of not just the parents, but also other family members (grandparents for example) to a level more detailed that annual income tax returns!
The relationships between school bursars and parents has become a little "adversarial" because there are far more requests than available funds. Thus many of the larger senior schools have subcontracted out the bursary process to independent accountants to take the sting out of possible arguments with parents if their request gets denied. It can be reasonably assumed that accountants will pay more attention to the numbers rather than the emotion behind a bursary request. For this reason we have put a detailed description of the process on our website.
Education Advisers does not give bespoke advice on bursaries, although we can give advice on scholarships. Furthermore, we have just introduced a 2016 eGuide entitled "TOP 10 TIPS FOR REDUCING YOUR SCHOOL FEES", which is available free of charge to bespoke school choice advice clients.