Scholarships are largely honorific and bursaries are means-tested. 

The school conducted a review of scholarship provision in 2016. The new scheme, which took effect from September 2017, is outlined below. Pupils joining the school prior to September 2017 retain their existing scholarship terms and conditions.

Scholarships - Personal development is central to our concept of scholarship and the new approach for scholarships started in September 2017 and aims to align scholarship beneficiaries more closely with the school’s aim “to develop inquisitive thinkers with a love of learning who cherish independent thought”. We have introduced the new scheme for pupils (both internal and external) with particular talents in Art, Design, Music, Drama, Sport and other academic subjects to encourage their appetite for research, enquiry and development. Scholarship holders have access to a research fund to support their individual scholarly projects. There is no reduction in school fees – research grants are non means-tested and hence have a relatively small financial value - £500/year.  The value can be rolled together for a maximum of two years for any un-spent allocation, and should be approved by the 31 July of the second year (eg. a contribution of £1,000 could be made for a summer course based on two years of scholarship). The award of a scholarship is reviewed annually based on student performance. 

Bursaries – Ranging from part fee contributions up to full 100% bursaries (with further support for additional costs), these awards enable pupils (generally from 11+ upwards) with an appetite for learning to attend Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst and Bedales Senior School who otherwise would have been unable to pay the fees. Awards are based on an assessment of the family’s financial means. Bursary awards will be reviewed in the event of a change in the family’s financial circumstances – the school should be informed of any changes in personal circumstance.

Pupils can benefit from the award of either a scholarship or a bursary, or both. Although bursary financial assistance is not dependent on a scholarship award, the school aims to enable pupils with particularly strong talents to attend the school, therefore a number of bursary beneficiaries also benefit from scholarship awards. Please contact the Registrar (email:; tel: 01730 711733) if you would like to discuss suitability for a scholarship or bursary to Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst or Bedales Senior School. 

Deadlines for bursary application forms

Application Deadline Assessments Offer letters sent out
Sixth Form 30 September 2019 19 October 2019 By 1 December 2019

Blocks (including Block 3 2020 entry)

Bedales Grants Trust Fund (BGTF)

31 October 2019 Residential assessments 2-4 January 2020 27-31 January 2020
John Badley Foundation 31 October 2019    

Academic Scholarships

Those with an Academic Scholarship at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst or Bedales Senior School have access to an annual research fund (up to £500) to which they apply for books and other research/scholarly activities, in consultation with the Director of Teaching & Learning (Dunhurst) or the Director of Learning and Innovation (Bedales) as appropriate.   

At Bedales, all students with Academic Scholarships will be part of the school's 3i programme (‘Intelligence, Initiative and Individuality’) and are expected to be leading members of this group. Provision for these students and appropriate differentiation of activities in and out of the classroom are made as a matter of normal working practice. Students’ progress is monitored by the Director of Learning and Innovation or Head of Academic Enrichment.

Students with Sixth Form Academic Scholarships will usually complete the Extended Project Qualification in 6.1 (year 12) or fulfil another extension activity that has equivalent academic challenge (eg. enter an essay prize).


Students awarded Art Scholarships are expected to take part fully in the school’s Art Society, visiting exhibitions and attending lectures, and hosting visiting professional artists. They are also encouraged to exhibit their work each year in school, and also to share their expertise and skills with pupils from Bedales Prep, Dunhurst and other visiting feeder schools. Students awarded Art Scholarships, like Academic, also have access to a grant each year (up to £500) to support their artistic development in consultation with the Head of Art.


Music Exhibitions – Non means-tested in recognition of a pupil’s musical talent/potential, these comprise one free lesson per week on a pupil’s principal study (instrument or voice).

Music Scholarships – Offered two periods per week of free tuition on principal study (instrument or voice). Further funding for support on a second study is means-tested. Pupils awarded Music Scholarships, like Academic, also have access to a grant each year (up to £500) to support their out-of-school musical development in consultation with the Director of Music.


Students awarded Drama Scholarships are expected to be ambassadors for their subject, taking opportunities to develop their abilities while they are here. Those opportunities that make up the minimum expectation for drama scholars include auditioning for all plays, supporting (or producing) student dramatic work, taking actor training (vocal) sessions, and seeing performance work that visits our beautiful timber-framed theatre (whether international, national or our home-grown work). We are proud of our exceptional scholars as they exemplify the student appetite for drama here at Bedales, whether that is in class or in the rehearsal room outside curriculum hours. Drama Scholarship beneficiaries have access to a grant each year (up to £500) to support the development of their drama skills, in consultation with the Director of Drama & Dance, along similar lines to Academic, Music and Art Scholarships.

Overview of Scholarship Awards:

Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst Scholarships

Assessment Application
10+ Music (younger, exceptionally gifted musicians: please enquire) January of year of entry Mid November before year of entry
11+ Academic January of year of entry No separate application needed
11+ Academic, Music January of year of entry Mid November before year of entry
Bedales Scholarships/Awards



13+ Academic January of year of entry 30 November before year of entry
13+ Music, Art January of year of entry 30 November before year of entry
16+ Academic, Music, Art, Drama November before year of entry Early October before year of entry
16+ Sport

Internal - see below

No application required 

17+ Design Barnsley

Internal - see below

No application required

Internal awards

In addition to the scholarship awards outlined above, there are also a number of internal awards across a range of disciplines for current Bedales students:

Block 3

Kadian Harding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) award – financial award (£100 each) to a student demonstrating academic excellence in STEM and to a student for outstanding project work in STEM at the end of Block 3 (year 9).

Block 4

Any Block 4 student can apply to become a Research Scholar; applications can be from individuals or groups of students to the Research Fund for financial support to complete one-year scholarly projects (up to £500 per student).

Block 5

Bedales Sixth Form Sports Award – Awarded at the end of Block 5 (year 11) in recognition of outstanding contribution to school sport and held by the student for two years in the Sixth Form, subject to satisfactory progression through the Sixth Form. Beneficiaries will have access to a grant of up to £500/year to support their sporting development, in consultation with the Director of Sport. More information.

Ruth Whiting History Award - Book token awarded for strongest all-round performance in the History Bedales Assessed Course taken in Block 5. Award is made in the Autumn term of 6.1 (lower sixth), and is in memory of former Head of History, Ruth Whiting.


Awards are made to students at the end of 6.1 (lower sixth) for their contribution in particular areas:

  • Dance & Drama - financial award for student(s)
  • Design award - financial award for student(s)

The Design Barnsley Scholarship – Awarded at the end of 6.1 (lower sixth) to a Design student to benefit from mentoring during their 6.2 year from James Ryan, Designer-Manager of the Edward Barnsley Workshop based in Froxfield.


Cecily Eastwood prize – financial award for student(s) for outstanding service to the community with particular reference to achievements in academic, social, sporting, acting or musical areas of the school; awarded at the end of 6.2 (upper sixth).

Gabriel Bruce book prize – award of book token for student(s) for outstanding work in the areas of Theatre, Art or general contribution to the community; awarded at the end of 6.2 (upper sixth).



What is Bedales looking for when assessing bursary applicants?

Bedales seeks to support children who display the strength of character that Bedalians would admire and who show a willingness to make the most of the range of opportunities available at the school.  Candidates will also need to display an existing talent or clear potential in at least one of the following areas: academic; music; drama; dance; art; design or sport. All bursaries are means-tested.

What is the impact of providing bursaries?

The provision of bursaries gives more young people the chance to benefit from the transformational opportunity a Bedales education can provide, and provides healthy diversity within the school’s student population.

The impact of supporting a child to come to Bedales can be far reaching. Family members and young people in their home community often aspire to follow in their footsteps. All students at Bedales will experience local, national and international awareness projects which builds further their inspiration and determination to make a real difference in the world.

After students leave Bedales and begin their adult lives, those who have received bursary support are often inclined to help children growing up with similar challenges to the ones they faced.  They know what a difference being given one chance can make and are equipped with the capability and passion to help many others.

How does a successful applicant manage the transition between their home life and Bedales?

In awarding a bursary, Bedales recognises the delicate balance that needs to be maintained in offering a potentially transformational opportunity, whilst at the same time, helping a child to maintain their roots and strong links at home.

Bedales has provided a unique education, support, understanding and a positive nurturing environment, encouraging my son to develop strong relationships with many teachers, find acceptance, and most importantly, be true to himself

Parent of a bursary beneficiary

Whilst confidentiality is paramount, children may choose to tell their friends they receive bursary support.  They may also choose to play down how difficult their home life is, but whatever they say, current students play an integral part in making all newcomers welcome and settle into the Bedalian way of life.

100% bursary recipients are also given additional pastoral support from experienced tutors and the school works very closely with their families.

Donors supporting the John Badley Foundation are not introduced directly to those benefitting from their financial assistance. This is to protect students from feeling undue pressure. An annual anonymised update on all of the students’ progress is provided however for regular supporters of the Foundation.


How are Bursaries Funded?

Whilst the application process is under way, work will be going on behind the scenes to plan how to fund the bursary if it is awarded. There are several different options as outlined below and in the links listed at the end of this page.


Bedales Schools

Bedales allocates just under 6% of fee income every year to help fund bursaries. This allocation of funds, which is approximately £1million per annum, supports students by awarding up to 75% of the annual fees. But, the school wants to do more to broaden access, increase diversity and offer full financial support, so has therefore established the John Badley Foundation as a separate charity, to provide 100% funded bursary places and help fulfil the school’s ambitions.

John Badley Foundation

In founding Bedales, John Badley had the courage and vision to create a learning environment that still inspires teachers and parents today. 

Just five years after the school opened in 1893, it became fully co-educational.  A boarding school for both boys and girls was seen as a highly a radical concept at that time. 

The John Badley Foundation echoes Badley’s vision to create outstanding educational opportunities for more young people by offering financial support, through bursaries, to students whose family circumstances mean that an independent school education would normally be far out of reach.

The John Badley Foundation (JBF) provides 100% bursaries and it also works closely with partner charitable organisations such as The Springboard Bursary Foundation and Buttle UK, to provide boarding places for vulnerable children. 

Find out more about the John Badley Foundation.
View more information on the application process for John Badley Foundation bursaries.

The John Badley Foundation is the working title for Bedales School Development Trust, Registered Charity Number 1138332. 

In addition to offering financial support through bursaries, the John Badley Foundation exists to support capital improvements on the Bedales estate, student enrichment projects and the sustained work of the Bedales community in helping good causes. Donors are encouraged to specify which area they would like their contribution to benefit from.

The Bedales Grants Trust Fund

The Bedales Grants Trust Fund (BGTF), was founded in 1927 with the aim of providing financial support for students at Bedales. The Fund gives preference to students with a family connection to Bedales: this includes children of OBs and those who have other OB relatives even if their parents are not OBs. The Fund also supports students without an OB connection who are likely to benefit from the unique learning environment at Bedales.

Currently the BGTF is supporting 22 students at all levels of the School, with grants evenly divided between those with and without OB connections.

Registered Charity Number 1036179.

Other Charities

There are many organisations established specifically to support young people and it is well worth exploring potential sources of bursary support.

The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation; Buttle UK; The Rank Foundation; Royal National Children’s Foundation; The IAPS Prep School Access Scheme; HMC Projects; The Royal Pinner School Foundation; The Emmott Foundation and The Schools Fees Charitable Trust are just some examples of the organisations established to provide assistance.  Each Foundation or Trust has its own set of guidelines / criteria which can be found on their websites.

We have worked successfully with the following Trusts and Foundations to offer bursary support for pupils at Bedales Senior School and Bedales Prep, Dunhurst.

The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation

The SpringBoard Bursary Foundation transforms the lives of disadvantaged children through full bursaries at state and independent boarding schools.  Working closely with its accredited schools and partners, SpringBoard ensures that its pupils benefit from comprehensive, year-round support to help them to achieve their potential. SpringBoard pupils raise aspirations in their home communities by sharing their experiences and are also an inspiration to the boarding school communities they join.  See their eligibility criteria.

Buttle UK

For over 50 years Buttle UK has funded boarding school places for vulnerable children.  Some families face serious issues, where parents or carers are struggling to cope and which mean that the child may be at risk of going into care. Buttle believes that boarding can offer an environment where some of these children can flourish and gives grants to help with fees at independent or state boarding schools for children and young people who have a boarding need. Buttle does not fund day fees. See their eligibility criteria.

Royal National Children’s Foundation

The Royal National Children’s Foundation (RNCF) is a charity that helps children facing abuse, neglect or trauma, by enabling them to attend state and independent boarding schools, or day school if more appropriate. As part of their Assisted Boarding, these children receive tailored care and structured living support in a safe environment. The RNCF also funds counselling, educational school trips and holidays for these vulnerable children, many of whom have never had a holiday in their life. See their eligibility criteria.

HMC Projects

HMC Projects gives students from Central and Eastern Europe an unparalleled opportunity to study for a year in a British school. The programme has nurtured excellent contacts between young people as they advance in their careers and retain a deep understanding of other countries' traditions and culture. See FAQs on the scheme.

The Rank Foundation Leadership Awards

The Rank Foundation School Leadership Award is one of the Foundation’s earliest structured programmes, having supported around 1500 young people through their education since its inception in 1978. The Award follows the Foundation’s guiding principles around young people and leadership. The Foundation’s Director of Education works with the Heads of around 40-50 schools across the UK: these are schools from both the independent and maintained sector, including Bedales. Heads apply on behalf of students in their GCSE year, young people who are showing outstanding leadership potential and who need financial support to complete their education. This financial help comes in the form of assistance with school fees in independent schools or university tuition fees if in maintained schools.

How to apply for a bursary

Step 1

  • Contact the Admissions Team ( or 01730 711544) for an initial conversation regarding the student and the family circumstances. 
  • If the Registrar considers that applying for a bursary may be an option, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2

  • Student and families to visit the school to meet with the Registrar and the Headmaster, Magnus Bashaarat.  If applying for Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst, they will also meet with the Head, Colin Baty.  They will be given a tour of the school by current students. 
  • If it is considered by all parties, that it would be mutually benefical for the student to attend Bedales, proceed to step 3.

Step 3

  • Submit a completed application form, which includes a statement of financial circumstances. The Bursar, Richard Lushington, will make an assessment and may undertake a home visit.  If the financial need is confirmed by the Bursar, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4

  • Student to undertake the standard school assessment which involve a mixture of tests and interviews, with provision made to assess any special talents in fields such as art, drama, music or sport.  

Step 5

  • If applying for a 100% bursary, there is an additional layer in the process, where the student is invited for an additional familiarisation day when they will meet the Head Girl and Head Boy, and a Trustee of the John Badley Foundation  (John Badley Foundation is the working title for The Bedales Schools Development Trust, Reg Charity No. 1138332, and has been established to provide 100% bursaries).

Step 6

  • If the student passes the assessment - and all the other steps described above - they will be advised they have a place at Bedales.