Scholarships and Bursaries

The Royal Russell Scholarship and Bursary Scheme 

Although the School traces its history back to generous philanthropic donations it no longer enjoys the support of a financial foundation and is dependent on fee income to support scholarship and bursary awards.

What is the difference between a Scholarship and a Bursary?

A scholarship is awarded in recognition of a pupil’s merit and potential and is, as such, highly prized.  Awards are determined by the results in the competitive entrance examination or by performance in assessments and auditions relating to Art, Music, Drama and Sport and are awarded irrespective of financial means. Pupils can apply for up to a maximum of 2 scholarships in addition to being considered for an Academic Scholarship the total financial value of a scholarship may be between 5% and 35%. 

A bursary award is available to a small number of pupils who are offered a place but require financial assistance to be able to afford to accept it.  Every bursary is means-tested and the value of the bursary is related to the income and financial resources of the pupil's family.

A pupil can hold both a bursary and scholarship.

How does the Scholarship Scheme work? 

Royal Russell School offers scholarships from Year 7 and above for excellence in overall Academic performance, Art, Music, Drama and Sport.  Scholarships are awarded in recognition of achievement in these areas and, although the scholarship provides a percentage reduction in the school fees, we believe the financial benefit of a scholarship is secondary to the recognition of the pupil’s potential for success.  The award of a scholarship confers a status upon the holder which will go forward with them in move to higher education.  Scholarship holders are seen as an example to other pupils and are, therefore, expected to demonstrate high standards of work and behaviour in order to maintain their scholarship place.  Scholarships are awarded through to completion of GCSE in Year 11 when re-assessment will take place for possible continuation for Sixth Form.  Scholarships are subject to all normal terms and conditions in relation to the payment of fees.

How do parents apply for a Scholarship? 

Application forms are available in the relevant sections and general enquiries about scholarships should be directed to the Admissions department on

All applicants at Year 7 and Year 9 are considered for an Academic Scholarship on the basis of their performance in the Entrance Exam.  Sixth Form Scholarships are awarded on the basis of success at GCSE.

Those wishing to be considered for Art, Music, Drama and Sports Scholarships should notify Admissions when submitting the Registration form.  Auditions/assessments will be held separately to the entrance tests and candidates will be expected to make arrangements to attend on the set dates.  All applications will require supporting documentary evidence.

How does the Bursary Scheme work?

There are two distinct types of bursary, those granted on entry to the school and hardship awards made post entry.  

Bursary awards on entry are normally made at age 11 (Year 7) though we will also consider applications from pupils age 13 (Year 9).  

Bursaries are means-tested, and are subject to review and may be adjusted.  A bursary may be withdrawn or past payment reclaimed if the school is knowingly or recklessly provided with false information on income or assets.

All cases are considered on their merits but it is highly unlikely that any significant bursary award would be made to a family with gross income of more than £40,000 per annum.

How do parents apply for a Bursary?

Whilst the decision on a bursary award rests with the Headmaster, enquiries about bursaries, whether on entry or hardship, should in the first instance be directed to the Personal Assistant to the Director of Operations: Mrs Donna Moon:

Parents wishing to be considered for a bursary on entry at Year 7 or Year 9 must indicate this on their Registration Form and complete a confidential Statement of Financial Circumstances form (SOFC) which will be sent to them by the PA to the Director of Operations.

If the results of the January entrance examination indicate that the pupil has performed strongly enough for consideration of a bursary, the SOFC will be used to assess whether a bursary may be available.  If this is the case, parents will be given an indication of the likely bursary value when the offer of a place is made.  The school may require a meeting with parents to discuss the financial assessment before finalising any offer.  The school reserves the right to require independent verification of the information provided on the form.

Aspects Common to both Scholarships and Bursaries

In order that parents can budget, all scholarships and almost all bursaries are ‘index linked’ in that they are awarded as a percentage of the published fees, so that when the fee increases the scholarship / bursary automatically increases.

All scholarships and bursaries are awarded at the discretion of the Headmaster who is accountable to the Governors for all decisions.

Scholarships and bursaries may be withdrawn at the discretion of the Headmaster in the event of unsatisfactory work or conduct or as a result of the pupil’s annual review.  This action may occur as the culmination of a process of communication and discussion between the school and the parents.


Parents must not assume their child has been, or will be, offered either a bursary or a scholarship until receipt of a formal written offer of a specific award.