School Bursaries

Providing opportunities for talented pupils

We are committed to widening access to our schools (Bedford Girls', Bedford Modern and Bedford School) and each year we are able to offer some financial support to a number of students who show significant ability but would otherwise be unable to afford the fees. These academic Bursaries are offered through our Harpur Trust Bursary Scheme, and are available for our senior schools.

For a confidential chat or to ask any questions, please contact The Bursary Team on 01234 369541 or send an email.


What is a bursary?

A bursary is an academically competitive means tested award offering financial contribution towards school fees. Every year we can offer bursary funding to a limited number of successful applicants.

Bursaries are available to children in Year 7 and above, subject to available places. Bedford School bursaries are only available for year 7 through to 12.

How are the applicants academically assessed?

Internal and external applicants sit age-appropriate assessment papers during the main assessment period, external candidates will also be invited to attend an interview. Those who have applied for a bursary, meet the financial criteria, and perform in the top of academic assessments are put forward to the school’s awards committee for consideration.

Assessments will be taken in January. Please refer to the school Admissions Guide for dates.

How do I apply?

External candidates are required to firstly register by completing the school's registration form and paying the schools registration fee. On the registration form please ensure that you have ticked the appropriate box to indicate that you are interested in applying for a bursary.

Once your registration is received, the school will send you details of how to access the online bursary application system. You will be asked to register as an applicant and will be asked to set a password which you will need to remember, this will allow you to initiate your application, you will also be able to re-access your application at any time, although you will not be able to amend it once it has been submitted for consideration.

Candidates will also need to be available to sit the relevant school’s assessments. Please refer to the school Admissions Guide for dates.

Is there a deadline for bursary application?

All bursary applications must be submitted using the Harpur Trust online bursary application system, before 1st December 2023 at 5pm. All external candidates must have registered with the school for a place in the following September entry, prior to submitting their bursary application. Applications cannot be considered after this date.

If I fulfil the financial criteria, will I automatically receive an award?

Neither the offering of a place, nor meeting the eligibility criteria for financial assistance, mean that an award will necessarily be made. The school’s awards committee, which includes Trustee representation, has limited funds available from which to make awards.

Bursaries are popular and therefore as demand will exceed availability it is not guaranteed that every family who applies and meets the criteria will receive an award.

Is my application confidential?

Yes. All information in a bursary application is treated in strict confidence both for internal and external candidates.

If I am successful how much am I eligible to receive?

All awards are subject to means-testing of family income and capital, but bursaries of up to 100% of school fees are possible. The principles of a bursary and more details about the scales used when assessing a family’s means are displayed for viewing on the online bursary application system. The assessable income table can also be found overleaf.

It should be noted that the concept of assessable income includes both earned income and notional income based on assets.

When will I find out if I have been awarded a bursary?

Decisions on bursaries are made during the spring term, during the main assessment and offer period. All families who apply for a bursary are notified in writing by mid-February. Please note that the value of any offer is provisional at this stage and based on the financial information you have supplied. The bursary amount will be finalised once the provided financial information has been confirmed and supporting documentary evidence has been uploaded onto the bursary online system.

If I am awarded a bursary, do I have to re-apply each year?

No. However you will be required to update the online bursary system with your annual tax year figures. The amount of the bursary will be reviewed, and the bursary may be adjusted, increased or reduced, if your financial circumstances alter.

Every bursary is a discretionary privilege, subject to high standards of attendance, diligence and behaviour on the pupil’s part.

How long does the bursary award last?

Bursaries are made either to the end of Year 11 or for the duration of your child’s time at the school, this will be outlined in the award letter.

Are extras included in the bursaries?

There is no financial support available for transport or the cost of most trips.

Depending on the level of the bursary award, school lunches and uniforms may be subsidised. For further information on this please contact the school.

If I am applying to multiple Harpur Trust schools, will I need to complete more than one application?

No. You need only to complete one application you will be given an option to select more than one school. You will need to have registered with each of the schools you are applying to before completing the application.

If I am applying for more than one child, will I need to complete more than one application?

Yes. You will need to complete an application for each child that you wish to be considered for a bursary.

If I am awarded a bursary, how much might I have to pay?

The table below provides an approximate guide of how much you may have to pay towards school fees dependent on your gross family income. Notional income will be added for capital and cash assets. Please note that this may change when fees for the year have been set and this does not guarantee eligibility.

Approximate annual parental contributions for 2024/25 academic year

Assessable family income p.a.

Bedford School Senior Prep (Years 7 & 8)

Bedford School (Years 9 to 13)

Bedford School Boarding (Years 9 to 13)

Bedford Modern School (Years 7 -13)

Bedford Girls’ School (Years 7 -13)




































































£ 12,794

£ 14,048


£ 11,453

£ 11,309








£ 18,349

£ 20,148


£ 16,426

£ 16,220

Download the income table

For a confidential chat or to ask any questions, please contact The Bursary Team on 01234 369541 or send an email

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Terms and Conditions

Please click here to read the Bursary System Terms and Conditions.

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