North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021

Bursaries and fee assistance

Fees assistance

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to provide some families with assistance towards their fees. All of our fees assistance is in the form of means-tested bursaries. A full Year 7 bursary costs £130,000 and, whilst our donors provide some of the funding, we expect families to make a contribution based on their financial circumstances.

Our means-tested bursaries are for new pupils who join us at Year 7 or Year 12 and they are extremely popular. Applicants must meet both our academic and financial criteria.

Bursaries are offered following a rigorous independent financial assessment. The value of the bursary offer is determined by a family’s net disposable income, which is the amount of money that families have available for spending or saving after they have paid their direct taxes and other relevant expenses. As a guide, to qualify for a partial bursary gross income and savings from all sources cannot exceed £70k per year. Please note that demand for bursaries greatly exceeds the fees assistance available and we cannot meet all requests for fees assistance, even if the eligibility criteria have been met.

Bursaries are reviewed every year to ensure that pupils are meeting academic criteria and other expectations, and to check that families remain entitled to fees assistance. Unfortunately, we are not able to assist with other costs associated with attending the school such as uniform, food, trips or transport.

Applying for a bursary in September 2024

The deadline to apply for a Year 7 bursary in September 2024 has now passed. If you would like to apply for a Year 12 bursary, please read our bursary policy below and then, if after reading this policy you feel you meet the criteria, please complete the below bursary application form:

Bursary FAQS

At which entry points do you offer fees assistance?
We offer bursaries to new pupils who join us into Years 7 and 12.
What fees assistance do you provide?
We offer a small number of means-tested bursaries.
Do you offer any scholarships?
We offer a small number of music scholarships to pupils who join us into Year 7. These scholarships either offer a 20% fee reduction or free instrumental lessons, depending on the candidate’s musical ability. We do not offer any other form of scholarships.
Who is eligible for a bursary?
To qualify for a bursary, a family’s gross income and savings from all sources cannot exceed £70k per year. Additionally, applicants must be academically talented. As a guide, candidates looking for a Year 7 bursary should be on track to exceed expectations in maths, English reading and English grammar, punctuation and spelling at the end of Key Stage 2. Year 12 bursary candidates should be predicted mainly grade 7 and above at GCSE.
How do you decide the bursary value?
All families submit a detailed bursary application form and prior to making an offer they are visited by an independent financial assessor who determines the level of financial support that is required.
Who funds your bursary programme?
We rely solely on donations for our bursaries and these are generously funded by our alumni, parents, staff, trusts, foundation and the school. We currently spend over £1m per annum on our bursary programme which supports over 120 pupils.
Am I likely to be offered a bursary?
We typically receive 10 applications for every bursary place, so it is a very competitive process. We advise all families to apply to other schools as the chances of being awarded a bursary are very small.
Will I receive a bursary for more than one child?
It is rare that we would award more than one bursary to a family as we want as many families as possible to benefit from our bursary programme.
How long does the bursary last?
Subject to a pupil achieving our academic, attendance and behavioural expectations the bursary will last for the duration of their studies. However, if at any point they do not meet our expectations we reserve the right to remove the bursary.
Will the bursary value stay the same every year?
Not necessarily, all bursaries are reviewed annually to ensure they are helping those who most need support.
Do you provide help with other school costs?
No, our bursaries cover only the school fees so families are responsible for all other costs, eg. uniform, lunches and transport.
Will I have to pay the bursary back?
No but as per all of our students we expect high standards of behaviour, attendance and academic performance.

Will we be offered a full fee place if our bursary application is unsuccessful?
No, if you have applied for a bursary you have indicated that you need financial support for your child to attend the school, therefore it would be inappropriate to offer a full fee place.

Can we apply for a bursary if we already have a child at GSAL?
Yes, if your child attending the school receives a bursary, however, the chances of a family being offered more than one bursary is low as we want as many families as possible to benefit from the bursary scheme. If you are currently paying full fees for a child at the school, you are not eligible to apply for a bursary. The bursary scheme is aimed at families who can’t afford for any of their children to attend without financial support.

What do you expect from bursary students?
As with all of our students, we expect excellent behaviour and attendance, to achieve their potential and to make a positive contribution to the school. We also want our students to act as ambassadors for the bursary scheme by assisting at relevant events, writing to donors and supporting different aspects of our fundraising programme.

How do you decide who is offered a bursary?
As we receive approximately 100 applications for Year 7 bursaries each year, all Year 7 bursary candidates sit a shortlisting exam in October half term. We use the Common Pre-Test which is an online adaptive test which includes: English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. We then select the top 20 performing candidates from the Common Pre-Test and invite these candidates to the Entrance Exam which takes place on the third Friday of January the year before entry. All candidates sit papers in maths and English (creative writing and comprehension). In early February following the Entrance Exam candidates are invited into school for an interview. We collate the results from the Common Pre-Test and Entrance Exam, and together with the child’s primary school report, and interview feedback to decide which ten candidates will have a home visit in order to fully assess their financial situation. Following the home visits each of the family’s meet with the Principal and the Vice Principal and Head of Senior School. Bursary offers are issued following these meetings. Sixth form bursaries are based on predicted GCSE grades (we expect bursary candidates to achieve grade 7 and above in the majority of their subjects), personal statement, school report and interview feedback.

Meet some of our bursary parents

This film was made by the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

Further information

This is a recording of the virtual bursary information presentation evening.

Music Scholarships

We have a proud music tradition here at GSAL and music is an essential part of school life. We offer a small number of music scholarships to new pupils joining the school into Year 7 and, depending on the scholar’s musical ability, the scholarship is worth either a 20% reduction on school fees or covers the cost of instrumental lessons.

Music scholarship applications involve an audition and as competition is high we expect applicants to be approaching or at Grades 4 or 5, preferably on an orchestral instrument however this is not essential. Music scholarships are offered to applicants who have satisfied our entrance  requirements, both in the academic examination and at interview.

In order to apply for a music scholarship, please indicate your interest when you apply to the school on our online application form.

We do not offer academic or sports scholarships.

Or, if you prefer to chat to someone please call our admissions team. For Senior School call 0113 228 5121 and for Primary School call 0113 228 5113.