Scholarships are largely honorific and bursaries are means-tested.


Personal development is central to our concept of scholarship and our approach 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”. This scheme is for students (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. 


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 and Bedales Senior whose parents would otherwise would have been unable to pay the fees. Awards are based on an assessment of the family’s financial means. Parents who are resident outside of the UK are ordinarily not eligible for bursary support. 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.  

Students 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 students with particularly strong talents to attend the School, therefore a number of bursary beneficiaries also benefit from scholarship awards. Please contact the Admissions team (email:; tel: 01730 711733) if you would like to discuss suitability for a scholarship or bursary to Bedales Prep or Bedales Senior. 


Academic scholarships

Those with an Academic Scholarship at Bedales Prep or Bedales Senior 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 (Prep) or the Director of Learning and Innovation (Senior) as appropriate.   

At Bedales Senior, 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).

Art scholarships

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 students from Bedales Prep 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 scholarships

Music Exhibitions – Non means-tested in recognition of a student's musical talent/potential, these comprise one free lesson per week on a student'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. Students 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.

Drama scholarships

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 Head of Drama, along similar lines to Academic, Music and Art Scholarships.

Dance scholarships

Students who are awarded a Dance scholarship are expected to maintain a high level of dedication and commitment to their dance training. This includes attending all required classes, rehearsals and performances as well as maintaining a positive attitude and demonstrating respect for their fellow dancers. Scholarship recipients may also be required to participate in additional dance-related activities such as community outreach programmes, workshops, supporting other students with the same passion, and attending live performances both in our own beautiful theatre or at other exciting venues. For aspiring dancers who dream of pursuing a career in dance, a scholarship can be a valuable stepping stone on their journey to achieving their goals. Dance scholarship beneficiaries have access to a grant of up to £500 to support the development of the dance skills, in consultation with Head of Dance, to discuss how best to use this to their advantage. 

Sport scholarships

Those with a Sports scholarship at Bedales have access to an annual grant each year (up to £500) to support their sporting development in consultation with the Director of Sport. Students awarded a Sports scholarship are expected to be ambassadors for the School, taking every opportunity to develop their abilities and to take part in the school’s sporting events.

Overview of scholarship awards

Bedales Prep ScholarshipsAssessmentApplication
Bedales Senior Scholarships/AwardsAssessmentApplication
10+ Music (younger, exceptionally gifted musicians: please enquire)January of year of entryMid November before year of entry
11+ AcademicJanuary of year of entryNo separate application needed
11+ Academic, MusicJanuary of year of entryMid November before year of entry
13+ AcademicJanuary of year of entry30 November before year of entry
13+ Music, ArtJanuary of year of entry30 November before year of entry
16+ Academic, Art, Music, Drama, Dance, SportNovember before year of entryEarly October before year of entry
17+ Design (Edward Barnsley Workshop)Internal - see belowNo 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 Senior 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 (Year 10) 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. 

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 (Year 12), and is in memory of former Head of History, Ruth Whiting.


Awards are made to students at the end of 6.1 (Year 12) 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 (Year 12) to a Design student to benefit from mentoring during their 6.2 year (Year 13) from James Ryan, Designer-Manager of the Edward Barnsley Workshop based in Froxfield.

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Deadlines for bursary application forms (including the John Badley Foundation and the Bedales Grants Trust Fund)

ApplicationDeadlineAssessmentsOffer letters sent out
Sixth Form30 SeptemberOctoberBy 1 December
Blocks31 OctoberResidential assessments JanuaryJanuary

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 normally be seeking entry into Block 1 (Year 7), Block 3 (Year 9) or Sixth Form, but other entry points may be possible depending on circumstances. 

What is the impact of providing bursaries?

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

The impact of offering fully-funded support 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.

What is the application process?

The application process is as accessible and straightforward as possible. Potential applicants and their families will be invited to meet with the Head and Registrar and have a tour of the School with current students, before they submit an application.

The registration and application forms (which include a statement of financial circumstances) will need to be submitted to the school by 30 September (Sixth Form) and 31 October (all other entry points).  

Bedales will take up references from candidates’ current schools. Applicants should attend the January assessment either in the year of entry or in the year preceding entry (November for Sixth Form). The assessments will involve a mixture of tests and interviews (depending on entry point), with provision made to assess any special talents in fields such as Art, Drama, Music or Sport. The final decision is made by the end of February. 

The Admissions team will be happy to discuss the various options for financial support with prospective parents and students: Tel: 01730 711733; email:

What is the John Badley Foundation? 

The first fully funded John Badley Foundation beneficiary started at Bedales in 2011 when the School launched the JBF to widen opportunity beyond the School’s existing bursary schemes to transform the lives of children who are able to join Bedales Prep and Bedales Senior from difficult school and home situations in the UK and abroad. 

Bedales prides itself in its fair and equal treatment of individuals and its strong desire to provide opportunities for all. As the majority of JBF awards are for 100% bursaries (ie. full funding of school fees), parents will need to demonstrate that they would not otherwise be able to afford an independent school education. A full appraisal of financial and family circumstances will therefore be undertaken to ensure the scheme is reaching those who truly need the support. Once in receipt of a JBF award, beneficiaries will also have access to additional financial support towards the ongoing costs of a Bedales education (eg. school visits, sports kit).

We are looking for talented candidates who have the potential to make a positive contribution to the Bedales community. JBF bursary holders will therefore be students of outstanding potential who demonstrate an appetite to get involved with the wide range of activities and experiences on offer at the school. Candidates will need to display outstanding potential or ability in at least one of the following areas: Academic; Music; Drama; Dance; Art; Design or Sport. Entry will usually be to Bedales Prep at 11+ or Bedales Senior at 13+ or Sixth Form, although other entry points will be considered.

The JBF is an ambitious programme and the school is keen to ensure that it does all it can to attract the most suitable candidates. We have developed links with maintained sector schools, charities, trusts and other organisations who work with us to provide life-changing opportunities for young people.

Applications for JBF support can be made via the Admissions Office: email:; tel: 01730 711733.

What is the Bedales Grants Trust Fund (BGTF)?

The BGTF was founded in 1927 to provide financial support through bursaries for students at Bedales, particularly (but not exclusively) those with Old Bedalian connections. On average, the BGTF supports 20-25 students per year by funding up to one third of annual fees over their school career at Bedales. Over its long existence it has, through a combination of generous lifetime giving and legacies, been able to award a significant number of bursaries for students in need of fee support during their time at Bedales. 

Applications for BGTF support can be made via the Admissions Office: email:; tel: 01730 711733.

How does a student on a full bursary 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.

Individual donors supporting bursaries are not introduced directly to those benefitting from their financial assistance. This is to protect students from feeling undue pressure. However, annual anonymised updates on students’ progress are provided to major donors.

How will applicants be encouraged to settle in and make the most of their Bedales education?

Our School’s environment, although stimulating and fulfilling, can be daunting for newcomers; we therefore have comprehensive induction processes for all new students. We take great care to ensure that students are well supported, both academically and pastorally. 

Bedales Senior and Prep have both been rated as ‘outstanding’ in Ofsted boarding inspections, especially with reference to our pastoral care, so we are confident that our ethos, atmosphere and care mean that any new student, regardless of their background, is given all the help they need to settle in.

How are bursaries funded?

The School has a Development team who manage the school's fundraising for bursary support. 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 for the sourcing and funding of bursaries at Bedales which include the John Badley FoundationBedales Grants Trust Fund and other charitable partners such as Buttle UK, Royal Springboard and the Rank Foundation. Find out more about supporting the school's bursary programmes here

Scholarships Bursaries web page image
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