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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:01 pm
Posts: 58
Hello all,
I'm looking for any advice on indie schools in the South Bucks / Chiltern area for my DS who is currently in year 4. We are looking at indie as an alternative to grammar irrespective of weather he passes 11+ or not. We will send him to the school that best meets his needs.
We have a few issues. Firstly, DS has SEN and requires substantial support in his current school to help him. Now he is medicated and maturing he is becoming more aware of his condition and how to manage it. As a result his school work has improved significantly. We need a school that will fully support him and his SEN. The smaller nature of an indie appeals to us.
He is also very sporty and competes in 2 (3 next year) sports. He really needs his daily dose of sport to keep him focused and he enjoys it. The school would also need to have a range of sporting opportunities for him.
Financially we are not in a great position for paying school fees, and could not afford the full amount..
Are there any schools that fit the above criteria and offer scholarships / financial aid and what is the income cap on this.
Sorry for so many questions, we have just started looking and really just hoping for some pointers in the right direction. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:27 pm
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I think you really need to get researching the local schools and what they say about SEN as a starting point but there will be no substitute for a very open conversation about your ds' needs and how they would be handled.

Some independent schools will charge extra for specific SEN support eg. for dyslexia, so you need to factor this in as well as fees.

Where is he at academically? To get a bursary or scholarship he will need to be doing very well for most schools. Remember scholarships are not means tested and sometimes a pretty low % of fees. There is some info online - I think it was on the FT website - about income thresholds for bursaries but my impression is schools usually look at disposable income as well as overall income. Someone else might come along and correct me on that.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:01 pm
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Thank you for your reply.
We are looking particularly at sports scholarships. He is very talented in sport even if I do say so myself! I am aware such scholarships are hard to come by and are very competitive. But it's an option. Academically he is middle of the road having just fine tuned his medication and addressing his concentration issues. He has 'caught up' immensely in the past year and I'm hoping this leap in the right direction will continue. With regards to a bursary to top up a scholarship, would it be based on academic merit or just parental income? The reason I ask is if he was awarded a small sports scholarship and really wanted it but we couldn't afford the rest of the fees, would the school consider a partial bursary to allow him to take his scholarship place?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:01 pm
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Also please excuse my ignorance but what is the 'FT website'


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:08 pm
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Hello TLC11. The FT website is the Financial Times website, I assume.

Independent schools have a limited number of bursaries available but you will need to discuss these with the bursar or the finance department of each school. Scholarships can be as low as a few hundred pounds or as high as 50% of fees for the highest achieving academic student (as in my daughter's school) but this is rare. It depends on the school and its own financial position, I am afraid.

The bursary will be assessed independently of the scholarship and this is based on parental income - as there are very few, schools tend to award to the highest achieving student in need of a bursary first and work down until they have no more bursary money to award. Sports scholarships do not tend to be very much, but as I do not know all the independent schools in your area, I may be wrong about this.

You need to start ringing up and discussing your situation with each school and you will need to look at local state schools as well - sometimes in state schools, SEN provision is much better - as elevenlevel has said, you may be required to pay for additional support or one-to-one tuition.

All the best with it.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:35 am
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If you are looking for sports scholarships then they are related to the sports that a child could represent the school in. I.e. being an Academy footballer would be no good for a school that didn't play football! The level likely to be required is high - cricket for example you would need to be a County age group player. It's about the child's contribution to the school and their continuing contribution over the years.


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