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How to secure funding for private school

From bursaries to scholarships, what are the funding options available?

The majority of independent schools offer financial assistance for pupils who are either very able in a certain subject or are excellent all-rounders. Assistance may also be available for pupils who demonstrate the need for financial support. This means that if you would like a private school education for your child but are unable to afford it, there are still options available to you. In fact, nearly one-third of pupils educated in the private sector receive some form of financial assistance in the form of a scholarship or bursary.

For a lot of people, private education is out of financial reach. This is particularly the case for parents who have more than one child to consider. Many private schools, like Rendcomb, are embarking on campaigns to raise more funds for means-tested bursaries and scholarships, improving accessibility to private education. 

What are the funding options?


A scholarship is a means of financial assistance provided by another body or institution so that your child can pursue a line of education that may not be available to them under normal circumstances.


A bursary is a financial award made by an educational institution or funding authority to an individual or group. It is typically awarded to allow a pupil to attend school, university or college when they might otherwise not be able to.


How to secure funding for private school

When trying to secure funding for private school, applications can be very competitive. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of tips and advice for how to secure a bursary and/or scholarship for private school.


Explore all avenues

Explore all options to ensure you are fully informed on what is available to you. If your child is not eligible for one type of funding, there may be another that they are eligible to. 


Apply on time

You need to talk to schools about bursaries and scholarships at least two years before your child might arrive at the school in question. This means that you need to do your research so you are prepared and ready to apply when the time is right.

Be honest

When applying for funding, be scrupulously honest. Answer all the application questions without reserve - from whether or not your child has had special tuition to your financial situation. Honesty is the best policy and it is a great way to start off a positive relationship with your child’s potential school.

Be ready to be means-tested

When applying for bursaries that are based on your financial circumstances, be prepared to be means-tested. Schools often want to know about all your financial circumstances, not just your take-home pay. 

Don’t pressure your child

Some bursaries and scholarships may require your child to complete an exam and/or interview as part of the application process. Your child wants to succeed but no child does well at exams or interviews if they are anxious. Always approach the process as a ‘let's give it a try’ exercise, maintaining a positive attitude throughout.

Don’t pressure the school

No school owes you a bursary or scholarship. Though you may know your child would flourish at the school, try not to be negative if you are not awarded funding. Applying pressure to, nagging or arguing with the school might put the school off from taking the discussions further.

Be persistent

If your child is not awarded a scholarship, don’t be afraid to try again. A lot of schools, including Rendcomb, offer scholarships and bursaries for pupils at various stages of their education. If your child is not successful in Year 7, you can try again for Year 9 or Sixth Form. Be persistent and don’t let it set you back. 

Rendcomb’s scholarships 

At Rendcomb College, a number of scholarships are awarded each year at Year 7, Year 9 and Lower Sixth entry. We are also awarding our new 100% Centenary Scholarships which offer fully-funded places for up to 2 pupils joining Year 4 and up to 3 pupils joining Year 12. 

Scholarships are based on the assessment of a pupil’s potential and the value that we believe they will add to the life of our school. We also award the Rendcomb Scholarship and the 100% Noel Wills Scholarship to a pupil joining Year 7. Pupils joining Year 3 are also eligible to apply for a Scholarship.

Some of our scholarships include:

  • Subject-specific
  • Fully-funded 
  • Academic
  • Year 7 entry

To find out more about our scholarships, please click here. We also have bursaries available.

Visit Rendcomb College

Throughout the academic year, Rendcomb College holds a number of events for those looking to join our school. Our Information Evenings offer attendees the opportunity to meet our subject teachers, Heads of Department, Houseparents, pastoral team and current pupils. It is the ideal insight into life at Rendcomb College and we hope that you will be able to develop a better understanding of the exceptional environment that we have here.

To attend an Information Evening, please contact our Admissions Team on or 01285 832 306, and they will be delighted to put the arrangements in place for you.

If you’d like to find out more about Rendcomb College, please do not hesitate to get in touch - our team should be delighted to answer your questions. Please drop us an email at or give us a call on 01285 831 213. Alternatively, you can visit us on one of our open days throughout the academic year.