Bursaries – FAQs

St Paul’s School is committed to providing an exceptional education to any boy who fulfils the academic entrance criteria, regardless of social or demographic background.

There are bursaries available at all entry points, with a focus on 11+ and 16+ to reflect the natural state school entry points. As with all other entrants, pupils hoping to benefit from a bursary must first gain a place at the school on academic merit through the entrance exams and interviews. Once a place has been granted, parents of any successful candidate may apply for financial support through a bursary.

What is a Bursary?

A bursary award gives parents who have accepted the offer of a place at St Paul’s a percentage reduction in the school fees.  It is only awarded to those parents who are unable to pay the full fees and who successfully apply to the school for a formal assessment of their financial situation.  The value of the award is therefore means-tested, and depending on the parents’ financial circumstances it could be between 5% and 100% of fees. Bursary awards are discretionary and subject to the financial resources of the school.

Families with a gross household income of up £120,000 pa or less and modest net assets up to £1.4m may be eligible for a bursary.  From 2021/22, those with gross household incomes below £65,000 pa may be eligible for an award of up to 100% of fees, subject to net assets. An allowance of £15,000 per child will be made against assessable income for any dependent children in the family other than the applicant. These examples are indicative only and the school cannot guarantee that they will apply to particular parents.

The money to support bursaries all comes from the school.  There is no government support.

What level of bursary might I receive?

Please reference abridged table below for an approximate bursary percentage in the 2021/22 Academic Year based on gross household income and net assets. All bursary awards will be subject to a full means-tested assessment undertaken by the Finance Office at St Paul’s School and the table below is for general guidance of the range of support.

Net Assets**
Below £600KBelow £800KBelow £1 millionBelow £1.2 millionBelow £1.4 million
Assessable Income *Below £65K100%95%90%85%80%
Below £70K94%89%84%79%74%
Below £80K84%79%74%69%64%
Below £90K74%69%64%59%54%
Below £100K61%56%51%46%41%
Below £110K45%40%35%30%25%
Below £120K25%20%15%10%5%

* Assessable income is calculated as gross household income less an allowance of £15K for any other dependent child (children of school age and/or in full-time education if over age of 18). Gross household income includes but is not limited to pre-tax gross earned income, net profits on self-employment, net property income, pensions, benefits in kind, state benefits, dividends, interest, maintenance/separation allowances.

** Net assets include but are not limited to full current value of any properties owned, banking, savings, business and digital currency accounts, investments, vehicles and other assets offset by liabilities such as mortgages, loans and credit card balances.

What does the bursary cover?

The bursary will cover or part-cover the school fees, which includes tuition, boarding (if applicable), games, loan books (which must be returned at the end of the academic year), careers aptitude tests, learning needs tests, certain school publications and lunch. It may also cover or part-cover educational trips, training camps, tutorial outings, examination fees, School bus fare, private music tuition and iPads/smart devices where applicable. Annual allowances will be made for school uniform/sports kit costs and textbooks.

Are there any other costs?

Parents in receipt of a bursary award will be required to pay any balance of termly fees in accordance with the school’s terms and conditions. A deposit is also payable when parents accept the offer of a place, but this may be reduced in the event that a substantial bursary is awarded. The minimum level of deposit payable will be £500. Deposits are refundable following your son’s final year at the School.

How do bursaries differ from scholarships?

Bursaries are granted on the basis of financial need and scholarships are awarded to signify outstanding achievement in academic work or talent in music at 11+ and 13+ (and art at 16+). Scholarships at St Paul’s are honorary, worth £60 per annum.

How do I apply for a bursary?

Firstly, all applicants must fill in the online registration form and pay the registration fee of £175 for entry at 7+, 8+ and 13+ or the £50 application fee at 11+. There is no fee for 16+. On completing the online registration form, please state you wish to be assessed for a bursary.

When will I be assessed?

We will only assess you for a bursary as and when your son makes significant progress through the academic admissions process.  This is because we have many more applicants for places at the school than there are places available, and we have to be certain that we think your son would really benefit from the very particular type of education we offer here.  At that stage, we will automatically send you all the relevant forms and guidance notes to complete.  This will usually happen at the following points:

7+ and 8+ – if successful in being called for interview following the written examination.

11+ entry – following completion of the ISEB pre-test and if invited for the written assessment.

13+ entry – Spring of Year 7.

16+ entry – after interview.

How will we be assessed for a bursary?

You will be sent an application form and guidance notes to complete and return. It will ask questions about your household financial income, expenditure and assets/liabilities, details of any investments you hold, your accommodation and your dependants. We require documented evidence to verify the information you provide.

When will we find out if we qualify for a bursary award?

Provided the Finance Office has received a completed application form and full supporting documentation, you will be notified of the outcome of the assessment prior to the Admissions Acceptance Deadline for your son’s point of entry. Late submission will not disqualify you from bursary assistance but may delay the assessment process.

How is my son assessed for a place at St Paul’s?

St Paul’s is a highly academically selective school. The admission processes for each entry point differ and are set out in the school’s Admissions Policy. Full details and timings of the process for each entry point can be found in the Admissions section. Please be aware deadlines for registration differ depending on selected year of entry.

Bursary application assessments are conducted independently of the academic selection process after an applicant has met the academic entrance criteria.

If I already receive a bursary award for one son at the school, will I be able to apply for additional support if another son is offered a place at the school?

Yes, a bursary awarded for one son will be taken into account in assessing the support necessary for another.

How can you ensure my son will not be treated differently to other pupils?

The bursary application process is undertaken by the Finance Office at St Paul’s School, independent of the admissions process, and the data provided is used for the purposes of assessing your application for financial assistance. An application for bursary support will not affect a candidate’s academic eligibility and vice-versa.  Once a place is awarded, only certain senior members of staff and staff on the pastoral team will be aware of bursary recipients and this information is treated with discretion.

Support is offered by a member of staff who is appointed to be the first point of contact for bursary pupils or their parents if they have any queries or concerns. The School is therefore able to focus on ensuring that every boy is fully integrated into school life irrespective of their economic background, so that they can all benefit from what the school has to offer.

Does the bursary award last for my son’s entire schooling?

The bursary award is discretionary and is subject to an annual means-test re-assessment. The value of any award is calculated against a sliding scale, which means if your income increases the amount of assistance may diminish and vice-versa.

How do I arrange to visit St Paul’s and find out more about the school?

Call the Admissions Team on 020 8748 9162 (or 020 8748 3461 for St Paul’s Juniors) or email admissions@stpaulsschool.org.uk. We will be happy to arrange a school visit for you and your son to view the school and talk to staff and pupils.