Latymer Upper School is a fully co-educational day school and we believe the rounded and grounded education it offers should be accessible to any bright child, regardless of ability to pay fees. To achieve this aim, we offer a number of means-tested bursaries every year, based on the twin criteria of academic merit and family financial circumstances. Latymer is a fully mixed community whose pupils, parents and staff represent all backgrounds and ethnicities, and reflect the cosmopolitan mix of West London. It is important to us that we retain that ethos.
In 2022, 1 in 5 students were in receipt of means-tested bursaries. By 2024, our 400th Anniversary, we would like to be in a position to offer bursaries to 1 in 4, as we work towards our overarching ambition of becoming needs blind. School fees may well be one of the biggest financial commitments a family will ever undertake, but we hope that no parents should feel that Latymer is beyond their means if their child is of the academic standard the School expects. We would like to help as many families as possible with fees, be that with a small partial award, a larger partial award or full fees. Every family’s circumstances and needs are different and we aim to recognise this in our bursary application process. We seek to make entry to Latymer Upper School a reality for children from a wide range of backgrounds.
Bursaries are available to all parents including those who can afford some but not all of the fees and can vary in amount from 25% to 100%.
After applying for a bursary the process is very straightforward. Families of candidates being interviewed are contacted by the Bursary Advisor to discuss the financial details supplied. Senior members of staff then meet those families who are being considered for awards. This meeting is both to offer you an opportunity to find out more about us, and for us to find out a bit more about you.
We do not apply a strictly income-based approach but look at each case on an individual basis, taking into account a number of factors including income, outgoings, value of property if owned, any savings and issues affecting ability to work. The registration fee of £150 is normally payable but if this presents a difficulty, please let us know.
Below are some questions and answers which I hope will be of use. If you have any further queries, want to know more about the process, or explore eligibility then do please call one of the Admissions team on 020 8148 4519. They will be happy to explain in greater detail any aspect of applying to Latymer Upper School. It can be a confusing experience, and we are here to help and make it as easy as possible.
When do I apply for a bursary?
When you submit your online registration form, you indicate on it that you are applying for a bursary, either full or partial.
What is the closing date for registrations?
Registrations for 2024 entry into Year 7 must be with us via the online application form before midday on Friday 13 October 2023 and for 16+ before midday on Wednesday 27 September 2023.
When do I get the bursary forms to fill in?
After the entrance exams, if your child is selected for interview, we will invite you to login to complete our online application for financial assistance. In the first instance, you will be asked to upload a copy of the following documents to support your application for a bursary.
Is there a threshold for a 100% bursary?
We recognise that circumstances differ, so do not set strict thresholds and criteria but look at everyone as an individual.
What if I can afford some of the fees but not all?
We will ask you to indicate the level of contribution you think you can make on the form we send you. We are very aware that school fees are a significant expense and we look to make plenty of awards at all levels. Last year besides free places we awarded a large number of partial bursaries ranging in amount from 25% to 90%. These examples may help to show the type of families who have been awarded bursaries in the past:
Does my child have to be a stronger candidate than anyone else to get a bursary?
No. Any student who is selected for interview, and has applied for a bursary, will be considered. We do not set a higher pass mark for bursary candidates. In any given year the number of bursaries available depends on both the number of successful applicants and the amount of money we have to offer.
What if my child has been selected for interview but we cannot be considered for a 100% bursary?
If you have indicated that you require 100% of fees and can accept nothing less, then we cannot then take the application forward. If you can accept less then we may be able to offer a partial bursary or you may be offered an interview for a fee paying place. At this point you can of course withdraw your child from the process.
How many apply for bursaries and how many get them?
Every year is different, a quarter of 11+ applicants for a place in 2023 applied for bursaries and almost a third of those who applied for Sixth Form applied for a bursary.
How many places are available in Sixth Form next year?
We expect to take around 30 to 35 new students into the Sixth Form in September 2024.
What extras do you help with, on top of the bursary?
For students joining in Year 7 in receipt of 100% bursary, we offer help with uniform on entry to the School and again for Year 9. In addition, for these students and Sixth Form joiners on 100%, all fees for public exams are met by the School. In many cases, help is available for extras such as music or drama lessons, where ability is demonstrated. Financial assistance for trips is available to every family in School. The Director of Admissions and Bursaries is always available to deal with enquiries about extra help and costs.
Are bursary holders identified in any way?
The School is enormously proud of its bursary holders but we do not identify them in any way. Most of the students who benefit from a bursary are proud and happy to share this information. We often find that our older pupils want to act as Ambassadors to both encourage other students to apply, and donors to be generous. We are keen to get the message about our Bursary Programme out to as wide an audience as possible.
What is a Bursary Review and when does it happen?
We take our bursary responsibilities seriously. We have the highest number of bursary holders of any London school. We review bursaries every year as we have a duty to our donors to do so. We ask all bursary families to undertake an annual financial review in the Spring term of every year. This is an opportunity for an open dialogue between our Bursary Advisor and you to ensure that the bursary allowance is fair and proportionate. If you have been awarded a full 100% bursary, this will not change whilst you continue to receive universal credit or your earnings remain constant. Reductions in bursary may occur when there is a large new source of income or a change in job adding substantially to a family in receipt of a partial bursary (below 100%). Adjustments to bursaries are generally by mutual agreement.
We understand that the concept of an annual review of a bursary may cause concern, in order to give this some context, of the hundreds of bursary recipients in School, following the annual bursary review in 2022-
What happens if my financial circumstances change and I can no longer afford to pay the fees?
In addition to bursaries given at the time of entry, we make awards in some cases where the family has suffered unexpected changes leading to difficulty meeting the fees. This is very often as a result of a family bereavement, redundancy or illness. We do this to ensure continuity of a student’s education where possible, particularly for those who are nearing GCSEs or A levels. These awards are usually given on a short-term basis and are reviewed regularly and are called ‘Hardship Funds’.
What is the difference between a scholarship and a bursary?
A bursary is means-tested based on family income/outgoings and can be between 25-100% of fees. A scholarship is based on the candidate’s ability and potential either academically or within a specific specialism- Art Music, Drama or Sport, most scholarships are typically worth a nominal amount, typically 5-10% of tuition fees.
What Scholarships are available?
At 11+, students can apply for a Music Scholarship, The majority of Music scholarships consist of a fee reduction of not more than 20% and usually 10% of tuition fees, although one Music scholarship of up to 40% is available. In addition there are Music awards comprising funded tuition on one or two musical instruments. A small number of Academic scholarships are offered at 11+. Academic Scholarships consist of a one-off payment of £1,000 at the time of entry. Academic scholarships are awarded based on performance in the entrance exam and cannot be applied for.
At 16+ Candidates can apply for a Music, Art, Drama or Sport scholarship. Further information can be seen on the link below
For parents, the Director of Admissions and Bursaries remains in contact throughout your time as a Latymer parent – to ensure you feel as happy here as your child, and become as big a part of the Latymer family. The Admissions Team, along with your child’s Form Tutor and Head of Year, are one of your main points of contact/liaison with the School. We hope this is helpful but do please call with any further queries.