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 are 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. Those 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 £125 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 2023 entry must be with us by the closing dates (usually by the beginning of November for 11+ entry or early October for Sixth Form entry) – please check the timeline on the website.
When do I get the forms to fill in?
On receipt of your registration, we will email you a confirmation. After the entrance exams, if your child is selected for interview, a form of financial circumstances will be sent to you via email. You will be asked to complete and return to us by the given date.
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:
What happens next?
Your child comes and sits the entrance exam. If your child is then selected for interview, we contact you with interview details and the Bursary Advisor rings to discuss the details in your form a bit further.
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.
What are the bursary meetings about?
If your child is invited to interview, we might arrange an informal meeting with you to offer you the chance to find out more about Latymer and to let us tell you a bit more about us. They are very informal and relaxed and generally take place on interview day. We are happy for the student to join the meeting but if parents prefer a confidential meeting that is fine. Sadly we cannot offer everyone a bursary and an informal meeting does not always mean an offer will be made.
What if I am offered a reserve place with a bursary?
We can never tell who will accept the places offered, and sometimes we are able to offer places to those on the reserve list. The bursary reserve list is normally small and we are often able to offer from it. If your child is placed on the reserve list, this is a good thing – please do not give up hope!
How many apply for bursaries and how many get them?
Every year is different, but last year, 350 of the 1450 who sat the 11+ exam applied for bursaries and almost a third of those who applied for Sixth Form (190 applications in total) applied for a bursary. 32 of the 2021 Year 7 entry were awarded full or partial bursaries, and 14 of the 37 new joiners to Sixth Form in September 2021 joined with bursaries.
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 2023.
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. Further information is also given at time of the informal meeting and when an offer is made.
Are the 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 help is available to help me and my child settle in?
For Year 7 joiners, you all come to a New Parents’ and Pupils’ Event in June and meet your fellow parents and classmates then. This is an informal event where it is easy to mix and make friends. The pupils then come to school the day before the start of term to get to know each other, and the first day of term for them is a trip to an Outdoor Activity Centre, where friendships are easily formed.
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.
For Sixth Form joiners, the students come along to an Induction Day where they meet all the other students, new and existing, in the Year Group, along with their tutor and other members of staff. In September, all Lower Sixth parents are invited to an informative evening at which the Head of Sixth Form talks about life in the Sixth Form, followed by an opportunity to chat to each other over refreshments. We also ensure pupils talk to those new joiners in the year above to learn about their experiences of settling in.
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.