Independent schools are more affordable than you think

Let’s talk fee assistance. Many parents believe that their child needs to be awarded a scholarship in order to receive financial help from a school. This isn’t the case. Over 168,000 private school pupils (33% of all pupils) get some sort of financial help. The 2018 ISC annual census shows that many schools have extended bursary provision in the last year, providing almost £400m means-tested fee assistance for pupils. Independent schools have become much more generous and this trend will continue. 

So why do schools offer bursaries? It goes back to the mission of most public schools, where the founders wanted to pay for poor scholars to have an education. It’s in the schools’ DNA.

As Mark Bailey, High Master of St Paul’s School, and David Goodhew, Headmaster of Latymer Upper, both agreed at the Independent Schools Show last year, diversity benefits all pupils.

‘Our parents want us to be a school for people from all walks of life, from diverse backgrounds, culturally, social-economically, because it helps one feel like real life in the modern world.’ 

David Goodhew, Headmaster of Latymer Upper, speaking in The Sunday Times Education Theatre at the Independent Schools Show.

We can’t tell you how much financial aid you might receive as schools differ widely in how they make decisions and, of course, how much money they have for such purposes. Some schools, such as St Paul’s, offer bursaries to families with a surprisingly high overall level of income (£120,000) whereas others have a much lower threshold. Schools are autonomous and there are no fixed rules.

The best way to find out what each school has to offer, and if you could be considered for some sort of financial aid, is to speak individually to the schools. A face-to-face conversation is much more effective with schools than an email chain or telephone call.

The Independent Schools Show returns for it’s twelfth year on 10th and 11th November 2018. There are over 200 of the UK’s leading schools all under one roof, providing parents with the perfect opportunity to meet schools one-to-one and get your questions answered. You can also hear from experts in the field in our two education theatres, covering all you need to know to ensure you select a school that is right for your child.

Tickets are FREE to everyone who registers before the Show. Be sure to get ahead of the game and get your tickets today. This is the perfect day out for all the family.


Visit for more information and tickets.


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