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 Post subject: Kes Interviews
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 89
Thank you Ken R and Kes parent for your most valuable help and information. It is one of the few scholarship places that son is trying for, more in desperation than any real sense of hope! Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Kes scholarship/bursary
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:41 am 
I have not heard of a full scholarship to KES. I have heard of someone getting 1/4 academic and 1/4 music scholarship. From recollection my last year's pupil was offered 1/3 academic.

However, there are very generous bursaries which are means tested rather won through excellence in the exam. I suspect you probably know about these but, if not, log onto their website. From memory you can have a joint income of around £65,000 before you start paying full fees.

This generous bursary system has only been around for the last two years and isn't widely known (none of my eligible pupils' parents knew about it until I told them) and people who have discovered it tend to keep quiet about it.

I suspect, but do not know for certain, that more boys would have sat the exam this year than previously because of this bursary system. Certainly two of my pupils did it who would not have bothered if this assistance was not available.

Anyway apologies if you already know all the above. It's just that people tend to use scholarship and bursary as if they were the same.


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 Post subject: Kes scholarship/bursary
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:42 am 
I have not heard of a full scholarship to KES. I have heard of someone getting 1/4 academic and 1/4 music scholarship. From recollection my last year's pupil was offered 1/3 academic.

However, there are very generous bursaries which are means tested rather won through excellence in the exam. I suspect you probably know about these but, if not, log onto their website. From memory you can have a joint income of around £65,000 before you start paying full fees.

This generous bursary system has only been around for the last two years and isn't widely known (none of my eligible pupils' parents knew about it until I told them) and people who have discovered it tend to keep quiet about it.

I suspect, but do not know for certain, that more boys would have sat the exam this year than previously because of this bursary system. Certainly two of my pupils did it who would not have bothered if this assistance was not available.

Anyway apologies if you already know all the above. It's just that people tend to use scholarship and bursary as if they were the same.


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 Post subject: Kes scholarship/bursary
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 89
fm, Thank you once again for all your most useful information. My mistake, it is a bursary son is aiming for, not a scholarship! Unfortunately not talented in music! It really is all beginning to addle the brain now!
On collecting son from exams last Friday, I would estimate approx 500 boys there? Just wish the secondary schools in our catchment area weren't so bad! All children deserve better, particularly as one 2school is still in 'special measures!'


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:41 am 
I was thrown by you saying 'few' scholarship places. As far as I know, if the first 150 odd boys who passed were all entitled to bursaries, they would all get them, although I suspect that would put the KE foundation into financial crisis.

Anyway, I have total sympathy with you. My son isn't remotely academic but I still wasn't going to send him to our local comprehensive (which was the bottom school in Birmingham at the time); I was lucky enough to win an appeal to a comprehensive which was better but still nothing to write home about.

Is your local a rather large comprehensive set on a hill off a dual carriageway, by any chance?

Wishing you success, at any rate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 89
fm, I think you have the correct school! There are others closer but they are even worse! Not wishing to offend anyone of course! Thank you for your good wishes and good luck to you and your daughter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:14 pm 
Means tested bursaries at KES are not available to every boy who passes the entrance test. I believe they have to come in the top 50% at least to stand a chance of being offered one, and if many boys from low income families come high in the rank order then the available funding would be used up more quickly.

However, it is not correct to say that information on the bursaries is kept secret. It is (uniquely in my experience of schools) published clearly and transparently on the KES website, and any parent requesting information would be given a printout.

The reason for the relatively high income level at which you can still qualify for some financial assistance was explained to current parents (who were naturally a bit hacked off about it) by the rationale that the school knew they were missing out on a whole swathe of society who were too hard up to pay full fees but too rich to be offered a bursary on the existing income scales. As the raison d'etre of the school is to attract very clever boys this was an attempt to sort out this problem, as obviously this income bracket might well include the children of university academics etc.

However, there are still people who don't want to reveal details of their income who struggle to pay the fees for the sake of their sons, but this will always happen. By the way I am not a teacher or a KE employee, just providing information I have picked up along the way, so hope this is useful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:43 pm 
Sorry. I didn't mean the school kept it secret. As you say, it is very clearly laid out on its website and I know the school is anxious to broaden their intake. What I meant was that some parents would not even get round to considering the school, believing it outside their means, so would never visit the school or their website. Certainly two of my pupils this year are in this category--only logging on after I advised them of the generous bursaries.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Hi All

The funds for bursaries although generous are still limited. There isn't a set proportion of successful candidates who are guarantee bursaries; it varies from year to year depending on the number of elligble parents.

My daughter is at the girl's school (KEHS) which has the same scheme. When the scheme was introduced they wrote to all parents about it, but pointed out that not everyone elligble for a bursary would get one. Unfortunately, even with the new generous scheme, this was no benefit to us.

Regarding non means tested scholarships, (which my son was offered), I get the impression that the Foundation may possibly be reducing the funds available in favour of bursaries. It is perfectly correct that the scholl raely awards scholarships over 50%. Normally 25% is more typical. They actually used to offer 1/8th scholarships at one time but I think this has changed.

The one exception to this is music scholarships, but the majority of parents can forget this. A child would have to be seriously tallented to have any chance of getting a music scholarship - typically Grade 8 standard at 11, and even then that may not be enough. A the moment both KES and KEHS have pupils who have already passed their professional diploma. (one of the KES boys has reached the final of the BBC young Musician of the year, and one of the girls came 2nd in the Glasgow International Piano Competition!)

I think parents need to understand that when it comes to Academic Scholarships (as opposed to bursaries) there is not necessarily any correlation between the either getting a scholarship or the value of the scholarship and the childs performance in the exams. Essentially the head is going to make a decision based of what he thinks is necessary to attract that child to the school. If a child has done particular well in the exam but the head believes that the parents are going to choose KES come what may, then they may decide not to offer a scholarship. However if he thinks that the parenst are seriously considering another school (say one of the KE Foundation Grammars) then he may offer a scholarship to try to ensure they accept the KES offer.

Hope this helps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:34 am 
Dear Ken,

I assumed--obviously wrongly--that if a child passed the exam and was financially in need of a bursary, it would be available. As this is not the case, what is the criterion? Is it that there is cap on the funds available and they go through each child in need of bursary in the order they came in the exam until they exhaust this money? If so, I'd have to advise my parents that it isn't just a case of passing the exam--they would have to pass quite well.
Also, while I'd agree the music scholarships are out of reach of all but the supremely talented, I'm not sure you can directly correlate grade level with music scholarship ability. The one winner I know was, if memory serves me rightly, working towards 6 when he won it five years ago. I think the music teachers awarding it can hear in someone's playing that extra something which goes beyond 'grades'. My own son has worked his way up the Birmingham orchestras, purely on audtions, is often a grade or two behind other players in the orchestra and still gets 'lead' player in many pieces because he has the quality of sound (as opposed to musical technique). While I regularly discourage parents from thinking Grade 3 will 'cut the mustard', I'd still advise Grade 5+ to go for it if their instrument teacher believes they have that extra something.
Finally, how would they know they'd need to offer a scholarship to attract a certain child before they called them to interview? Would they base it on which primary school they attend--as in independent versus state? Why do you think your own son was offered a scholarship, if you don't mined me asking. Again I'm interested because I regularly have parents asking me if their child is likely to win a scholarship and I always assumed the child would either have to be in the best 10 or so over all or that they have answered specific 'scholarship' questions. Certainly in the maths last year my scholarship boy was the only one who felt he'd answered correctly about the last five in the paper. And the two questions I gleaned from him and others were cleverly pitched so that only the very bright could have answered them yet they required no special tuition in algebra etc..
Anyway, any further info. would be appreciated for next year.


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