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Scholarships and Grants for Education

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 7 Jan 2019 | comments*Discuss
Scholarship Grant Scholarships Grants

The cost of living seems huge these days and getting kids through education is no mean feat, especially if you're a low income family. So are your kids likely to be eligible for any grants or scholarships?

Most educational scholarships are still primarily available for children in private education and they're mainly given out for academic merit, or to help children who'd otherwise be unable to join the school to gain access. Some junior schools offer scholarships for children aged 7 and upwards, but you'll find the majority on offer are senior schools for kids aged 11+.

Each school differs as to how their individual scholarship schemes are arranged, so you need to check with the school concerned for full details. Some will have a special scholarship entrance exam paper for children to sit, whilst others incorporate the process into their standard entrance exam, choosing children who gain the highest marks as scholarship candidates. There are usually overall academic scholarships, or separate ones focusing on particular areas of achievement, such as music, sport, drama or art.

The amount of money given varies according to individual schools preferences. However, as a rough guide, scholarships typically cover between 30% and 50% of the annual school fees. In some instances they are mean tested, which means that the amount available will depend on the income of the parents.

Grants for Primary School Children

Of the few grants available for families of children at primary and secondary schools in the UK, the main ones are free school meals and clothing grants. Free school meals are available to anyone under the age of 19 whose parents or guardians are in receipt of benefits such as Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance or Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit). It means that children will be guaranteed a meal in school each day. Schools in some areas also offer clothing grants, which go towards the cost of school uniforms.

Further Education Grants for Age 16+

One type of grant available for those aged 16-19 in England is the Bursary Fund. It's designed for those aged 16-19 from lower income families who want to continue in full-time further education or training at college or school.

If you fall into one of the following categories then you may be entitled to a bursary of £1,200 per year.

  • People in care or care leavers
  • People claiming income support
  • Disabled people getting Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance

If none of the above categories apply to you, you could still be eligible for a bursary depending on your personal circumstances. In this instance you should contact your education provider for more information.

You can find out more about the Bursary Fund at www.gov.uk

Higher Education Grants and Scholarships

If you are entering into higher education then you may be able to apply for a maintenance grant, depending on your household income. Students from households with an income of £25,000 or less could receive up to £3,354. Families who earn over this amount but under £42,611 are still eligible for the grant but will receive less. Students qualifying for the grant can also apply for additional maintenance loans and loans for tuition fees. However, the amount of maintenance grant you receive will limit the amount of loan you can apply for.

To apply for the maintenance grant you must be English, and studying full-time. Part-time students and EU students cannot apply. These figures apply to students starting their course in September 2013. For more information visit www.gov.uk

Some universities and higher education establishments also have their own grant and scholarship schemes. Most are linked in with certain departments, such as engineering or music, and can be found by searching through the relevant website or prospectus.

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[Add a Comment]
My daughter is 5 and in year one in COE school. Says she hates school so am thinking of moving her to Steiner school nearby. Can I get any financial help to cover fees? Low income/minimum wage single parent. Thank you
Hutchie - 7-Jan-19 @ 10:32 AM
I would like to send my child to the Meadows Montessori school in ipswichLarchcroft road and my daughter is 5 years private school funds are expensive can you please give me some ideas thank you
Jess - 19-Jul-18 @ 2:24 AM
Kindly reply for my kid studying in class 4
Kiran khan - 25-May-18 @ 5:34 PM
Abed - Your Question:
Hello! I live in Iran now and have 2 kids that speak English very good. however the bigger one is just 10 years old but he speak and read English very good (and as you may know even People with a Masters Degree In Iran have problem to speak English). and them both are very good at sport and art too. then I want to know please how can I get for them scholarship in Britain. I really appreciate you help!GratefullyAbed Latifi

Our Response:
You cannot apply for a scholarship for your children in the UK unless you are resident in the UK.
GrowingKids - 3-Aug-17 @ 3:56 PM
Hello! I live in Iran now and have 2 kids that speak English very good. however the bigger one is just 10 years old but he speak and read English very good (and as you may know even People with a Masters Degree In Iran have problem to speak English). and them both are very good at sport and art too. then I want to know please how can I get for them scholarship in Britain. I really appreciate you help! Gratefully Abed Latifi
Abed - 3-Aug-17 @ 6:50 AM
Hello, how will I get any scholarship for taking my daughter of 4yrs to school this is because I don't have enough cash to pay for her studies, I will be grateful if you answer me.
Anto - 31-Aug-15 @ 7:45 PM
@If your child is attending a designated Special Needs school arranged and paid for by the Local Authority, then you need consent to deregister.You would also have to be able to prove you can provide an education appropriate to your child's special needs. I am not aware of any grants etc, but you may be able to find more information via the the link here . I hope this helps.
GrowingKids - 29-Jan-15 @ 2:36 PM
I am wondering if you can advise me at all, my daughter is 14 and has special educational needs. she recieves d.l.a. and is statemented at mainstream secondary school, though she dislikes school and is in a group with pupils who have challenging behavior, which prevents her from learning. I am thinking of home educating her as well as using private tutors, is there any way i can recieve assistance to fund these tutoring sessions from an organisation such as yours? I would value any help you may be able to offer me, thanks.
mandy1 - 28-Jan-15 @ 3:45 PM
Your are doing good work to promote the education of poor vulnerable and needy children in UK which is the main step to development but please extend this goodness to the orphans, street children and disable children in Africa especially Sierra Leone. There are orphans, street children and disable children in Sierra Leone whom are not going to school due to lack of free educational support/sponsorship. Our organization Action for the Disadvantaged, Vulnerable And Needy Child Empowerment in Sierra Leone (ADVANCE SIERRA LEONE) had established two orphanage Schools for such kids in the western andnorthern regions of Sierra Leone. Mother school in Makeni had produced 47 junior secondary schools pupils that are attending various secondary schools but do not have adequate support to run the primary schools and to pay school charges for those in various secondary schools. We allowed our products to attend other secondary schools because we do not have own secondary school. We would be very grateful if youextend your scholarship to our kids Thanks. Yours faithfully Brother Mohamed Marrah Programme Manager and Head Teacher +232-76961310
MED - 14-Jan-14 @ 4:01 PM
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