Bursaries | Girls' Day School Trust

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Every girl who is bright and keen should be given the opportunity to fulfil her potential regardless of financial circumstances. That’s why the GDST and our individual schools offer a range of bursaries and scholarships to provide the assistance they need. We’re proud that almost one in five of pupils at our senior schools receives a bursary or scholarship to help towards her fees.

Scholarships are awarded for academic merit while bursaries also take into account the family’s income and financial resources. Both of them vary in value but can be significant.

Individual schools also provide their own opportunities - see individual school websites to find out more.

How to apply for a bursary

Step 1: Complete school application form

Complete a school application form to register your daughter indicating that you would like to apply for financial assistance. You will be required to supply a valid email address.

Step 2: Declaration of income and assets

The school will provide you with logon details to enable you to access the online ‘Declaration of Income & Assets’ form, which you should complete and submit before the closing date advised.

You will need to provide proof of your income and assets, such as P60s, payslips, HMRC self-assessment forms, mortgage statements, council tax bills, or recent benefits paperwork. Original documents are required in the first year of application.

You should send the declaration and supporting documents well in advance of the school’s entrance examination. Please send to GDST Bursary Department, 10 Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DH and not to the school for which you are applying.

Please ensure you use the correct postage, and send it ‘signed for‘ to increase the chances of safe delivery.

Step 3: Assessing your eligibility

The GDST will assess your eligibility for a bursary. Our staff may also make an appointment to visit you at home. The GDST then lets the school know whether you qualify and the maximum amount of financial assistance we can offer you.

For example:

  • If your family’s assessable income and resources are below £86,000 a year (£91,000 for London schools), you may be eligible for some support
  • If your family’s annual income is less than £36,000 (or £41,000 for London schools), you may be offered a full bursary
  • For families whose annual income is between these levels, a sliding scale determines the amount of assistance they may be offered

Your child’s academic performance will be a key consideration when the school is deciding whether or not to award a bursary.



Step 4: Confirmation of decision

If you are eligible and the school feels your daughter would thrive there, the school will send you details of the bursary it can offer your family at the same time it offers your child a place.

Bursaries FAQs

What is the difference between a bursary and a scholarship?

The key difference is that a bursary is means-tested and a scholarship isn’t. We offer bursaries so that a GDST education is accessible to the best and the brightest girls, including those who are not in a position to pay full fees.

A bursary takes into account academic ability but its value is directly related to the income and financial resources of the pupil’s family.

Scholarships are awarded purely on academic (or sporting, or artistic, or musical) merit, as measured in a competitive entrance exam, and take no account of family income or resources.

Who can apply for a bursary or scholarship?

GDST bursaries and scholarships are available to any student aged 11 and over at a GDST senior school. Most bursaries and scholarships are allocated on entry either to Year 7 or to the Sixth Form.

How much is a bursary or scholarship worth?

Bursaries range from 30% to 100% of fees; however, the amount of any bursary depends on local demand and the funding available. Sometimes awards of a lesser value may be offered. Pupils who get a full bursary may also get help to meet the cost of their uniforms, lunches and travel.

The values of scholarships vary, but are generally small and more about the honour of the award than the amount given. A scholarship may, however, be supplemented by a bursary.

Who is eligible for a GDST bursary?

To assess who is eligible for a bursary we consider a range of objective criteria including the income and capital resources of the families applying. It is anticipated that bursary awards will last for the duration of the student’s time at school.

We re-assess every year to take account of significant changes in family income and circumstances. A bursary may go up or down to reflect these. This ensures those most in need receive our support.

Most higher-value bursaries are awarded to pupils from families with a total income of less than £35,000 per year (or £40,000 for London schools) who have no capital assets other than their home.

It is highly unlikely that a bursary would be awarded to a family whose annual income is greater than £85,000 (or £90,000 for London schools), other than in very exceptional circumstances.

Could a bursary or scholarship be withdrawn?

Very rarely, the school may withdraw a bursary or scholarship if, for example, you provide inaccurate information, or your child’s behaviour or work is unsatisfactory.