Since its foundation in 1890, Withington Girls’ School has been committed to offering means-tested assistance which has, in the past, included Government grants and Assisted Places.
The WGS Trust was established in the 1970s and a £2m Bursary Appeal, launched in 2005, has significantly increased the availability of means-tested bursaries. The Development Office continues to raise funds for bursaries and currently one in six girls in the Senior School benefits from a means-tested bursary. Since September 2015, thanks to a legacy from the late Miss Margaret Connell, a limited number of bursaries are available to Year 5 and Year 6.
We are indebted to the generosity of our donors, who include parents, former parents, alumnae, staff, governors, external trusts and local businesses, which makes it possible to offer a Withington education to bright girls, irrespective of their parents’ ability to pay school fees.
A guideline figure for qualifying household income is £50,000 but a small number of bursaries are available to families who have been identified in the press as the ‘squeezed middle’. In these circumstances, qualifying family income may be in the region of £70,000 and the family may be eligible for some financial support in order to provide their daughter with an opportunity to take up a place at the School. The demand for bursaries is oversubscribed; performance in the Entrance Examination or Assessment, or meeting the entrance criteria in the case of Sixth Form applicants, is a key factor in prioritising bursary support.
Bursaries range from 10% to 100% of the annual fee, dependent upon parents’ overall financial circumstances.
Additional assistance may also be available to parents who are offered a 100% bursary with the cost of uniform, music or drama lessons and school trips. The level of support is reviewed annually following completion by parents of a Bursary Form and may be amended accordingly. The annual Bursary Forms are reviewed by the Bursar, Headmistress and members of the Finance Department and a subsequent home visit may be required.
The Governors have a limited fund which is available for all pupils, whether or not in receipt of a bursary, to provide contributions towards the cost of school trips. The maximum contribution is 25% of the cost of the trip or £250, whichever is the lower amount. To apply for assistance please email the Bursar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prospective pupils and their parents who are interested in applying for a bursary should initially indicate this in the relevant part of the application form, which is completed prior to the entrance examination.
The Bursary Application Form is provided to the parents of applicants on receipt of application. Bursary applications are evaluated for prospective pupils before an offer is made. If bursary support is to be offered, the amount of support is made clear in the offer letter.
A home visit may be requested to form a better picture of family circumstances and the School expects Bursary applicants to have made every effort to maximise their income. Once the bursary applications are evaluated and home visits are carried out, as appropriate, offers of Bursary support are sent out in writing.
The School is able to access support from various charities for means-tested bursaries. The main source of Bursary funding comes from donations by individuals and organisations, who believe that a Withington education should be possible for all girls who may benefit from it, to the Enhancing Opportunities Bursary Fund. Additionally, a 4% levy on Senior School fees is transferred to the WGS Trust [Charity Number 505207].
Bursaries may also be provided to parents who need financial support at other times during their daughter’s period at the School. This may occur due to redundancy, long-term illness or other personal reasons. In these circumstances, parents will be asked to complete a Bursary Application Form in order that an assessment of their financial status can be determined and, where possible, help or flexibility with the payment of fees can be provided.
The level of support is reviewed annually following completion by parents of a Bursary Form and may be amended accordingly. The annual Bursary Forms are reviewed by the Bursar, Headmistress and Finance Officer and a subsequent home visit may be required.
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