Scholarships are largely honorific and bursaries are means-tested. 

Scholarships - 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 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, Dunhurst and Bedales Senior 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 Admissions Team (email:; tel: 01730 711544) if you would like to discuss suitability for a scholarship or bursary to Bedales Prep, Dunhurst or Bedales Senior. 

Deadlines for bursary application forms

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


Bedales Grants Trust Fund (BGTF)

31 October Residential assessments January January
John Badley Foundation 31 October    

Academic Scholarships

Those with an Academic Scholarship at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst 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 (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, 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 Senior 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 (Edward Barnsley Workshop)

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. 

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.

Scholarships Bursaries web page image