Bursary opportunities

We believe that a Highgate education should be accessible beyond those who can afford it

11+ Bursaries

“I was very lucky to be given a full bursary.  I am very happy at Highgate.  My teachers and the friends I have made are great. I strongly believe this opportunity will help me to achieve my dreams.  One day, I hope to return this favour by providing a bursary, in the future, for a child like me.”
Year 8 pupil, bursary recipient

We offer substantial means-tested fee-assisted places – bursaries – because we believe wholeheartedly that the first-class education our pupils experience can transform their lives, and greatly increase the opportunities available to them in adulthood.​

We currently have 88 bursary holders in the Senior School, most receiving substantial awards, covering 90%-100% of their fees.​

Bursaries have a positive impact not only on an individual recipient, but on the whole school.​

Bursary application timeline: 11+ 2024 entry

12pm Wednesday 8 November 2023
If you wish to apply for a bursary, please make this clear on your application form, which must be submitted by Wednesday 8 November 2023 at noon. Your application will be acknowledged and you will be sent a financial assessment form and guidance about its completion. The initial form must be submitted by the application deadline. Any additional documentation must be submitted before the examination day.

January 2024
If your child is invited to an interview, you will be contacted by a member of the Admissions team to arrange a meeting. They will go through your completed financial assessment form and require copies of various financial documents. This meeting also offers you the opportunity to find out more about the school.

Please click here to see further information about 11+ 2024 entry

Indicative scale of bursary awards

We realise that it is helpful to estimate the size of the bursary support that may be awarded to you. We judge each application carefully, taking into account:

  • sources of income
  • outgoings
  • assets
  • liabilities
  • the value and council tax band of the family home
  • the size of the family

The following table indicates the bursary support that might be awarded to a family with two children in full-time education, one of whom is applying to Highgate. These numbers are based on the family having no significant assets.

Please note: School fees for 2022-23, for pupils in Years 7 and above, are £23,520 (£7,840 per term). Highgate is unlikely to award a bursary if the family gross income is more than four times our fees, or if the family have lived abroad within the last two years.

Total family
income (gross, i.e. before tax)
Possible bursary awardTotal
from parents / carers
Termly contribution
from parents / carers
Percentage bursary
£30,000 or less£23520£0£0100%


Please note that the possible bursary awards above are for guidance only. You should not assume you will be eligible for bursary support or that the level of support will be the amount indicated here. It is not possible for us to make an award without carrying out the financial assessment. All awards are made at the School’s discretion.

Key worker bursary

Each year, one full-fee equivalent bursary has been made available for children of parents/carers who are key workers living in the local area. Highgate defines a key worker as someone who is employed by the public sector, in a frontline role, delivering an essential public service. Examples of such roles include: clinical NHS staff (other than doctors and dentists), teachers in schools and in further education and sixth form colleges, police officers and community support officers, prison officers, probation service staff, firefighters, ambulance service crew and members of the armed forces.

Our key worker bursary provides an enhanced level of support over a wider range of total family income: for this bursary, we are unlikely to award a bursary if the family gross income is more than five times our fees (rather than four). Whilst this bursary is aimed at families where both parents/carers are key workers, in a situation where only one is employed in such a role, careful consideration will be given to the circumstances/employment of the second parent/carer in deciding whether this specific bursary should apply.

Bursary FAQs

For further information on bursaries and if you feel you cannot afford our application fee, please contact our Senior School Bursary Officer if you have any questions about the process. Please also review the Bursary policy.

Email: bursaryadmissions@highgateschool.org.uk

Tel : 020 8347 4499

  • How do I apply for a bursary for my child?

    If you wish to apply for a bursary, please make this clear on your online application which must be submitted by the deadline published on our website. Your application will be acknowledged and you will be sent a financial assessment form and guidance about its completion.

  • Is your academic selection process separate to your bursary application?

    Yes. Your child has to be considered for a place on academic merit alone, before being considered for a bursary. Those marking the tests and carrying out the interviews will not know that you have applied for a bursary. Therefore, our academic selection process is separate from our bursary process, so if your child meets our academic standards, he/she will still be offered a place, regardless of being awarded a bursary.

  • Are test results taken into account when awarding a bursary?

    Yes. Applicants have to be considered for a place before we consider them for a bursary. When deciding whether to award a bursary, a number of factors are taken into account, including academic performance in our assessments and interview, current school reports and predicted GCSE results, as well as financial circumstances. However, academic performance will have no impact on the size of the bursary we decide to award.

  • Is the bursary guaranteed for every year that my child is at Highgate?

    All bursary awards are subject to review of parents’/carers’ financial circumstances each year, and may be varied upwards or downwards, depending on changes in circumstances. Parents/carers of bursary holders in Years 8, 10 and 12 are required to complete a full financial review in June. Parents/carers of bursary holders in other years are asked to sign a declaration that their financial circumstances have not changed since the preceding home visit.

  • Is there any further funding for associated costs?

    Highgate School recognises that families in receipt of bursaries may find it difficult to meet the wider costs associated with secondary education. In addition to school fees, means-tested support may be available for extra-curricular school trips, individual music lessons and exam fees. Some families receiving 100% bursaries may also be eligible for a uniform grant.

  • What factors are considered when assessing the size of the bursary that might be given?

    We judge each application carefully, taking into account:

    • all sources of income
    • all outgoings
    • all assets (e.g. property, savings, shares)
    • all liabilities (e.g. mortgage, arrears, loans)
    • the value and council tax band of the family home
    • the size of the family


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