Bursaries FAQ

Bursaries FAQ

Founded in 1512, Wolverhampton Grammar School is an award-winning independent day school, for boys and girls ages 4 to 18.

“I benefitted hugely from an assisted place at WGS. It completely changed the direction of my life.”

Sanjay Bhandari (OW 1986)

Bursaries FAQ

We want to offer a Wolverhampton Grammar School education to all deserving applicants regardless of ability to pay fees. Through our assisted places scheme we are able to help between 5-10 students joining Year 7 and Sixth Form each year. Awards are based on academic assessment as well as family financial circumstances.

Every family’s circumstance and need are different. We aim to recognise this in our bursary application process. Bursaries are available to all parents including those who can afford some but not all of the fees, these can vary in amount from 5% to 100%.

After applying for a bursary the process is very straightforward. Families of candidates who are successful in our academic assessment are interviewed by senior members of staff such as the Head and Finance Director. This meeting is both to offer you an opportunity to find out more about us, and for us to find out a bit more about you.

Please refer to our FAQs below but if you have any further queries, do not hesitate to call our Admissions team on 01902 422939.

When do I apply for a bursary?

When you submit your online registration form, you indicate on it that you are applying for a bursary, either full or partial.

What is the closing date for registrations?
Bursary applications for entry into Year 7 in September 2024 must be with us via the Bursary application form and received no later than Friday 15th December 2023. Bursary applications for Sixth Form entry must be received by Friday 9th February 2024.
When do I get the bursary forms to fill in?

On completion of the registration form and payment of our registration fee of £35, our Admissions team will send you a Statement of Financial Circumstances Form (KSB1) which seeks to establish the financial circumstances of the household.

After the entrance exams in January or Sixth Form interviews in the Spring, if your child meets the academic and financial criteria, we will invite you for a meeting at School. You will need to submit the following documents to support your application for a bursary:

  • P60 or tax return for the year 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023
  • Payslip (last 3 months)
  • any Universal Credit entitlement or proof of benefits 
  • Bank statements (last 3 months)
  • Copy of HMRC tax calculation issued under Self-Assessment (if applicable)
  • Mortgage statement/Rent agreement (if applicable)
  • Approximate market value of property if owned – this may be photo of Zoopla (or other website) valuation for a similar property
  • Copy of Company accounts (if applicable)
Is there a threshold for a 100% bursary?
As a guideline, in order to qualify for any level of assistance your household income should not exceed £60,000 per annum. To be considered for a full bursary, your household income would normally be below £40,000.
What if I can afford some of the fees but not all?

We are very aware that school fees are a significant expense and we look to make plenty of awards at all levels. Last year besides free places we awarded partial bursaries ranging in amount from 25% to 90%. These examples may help to show the type of families who have been awarded bursaries in the past:

  • Single parent family, one child, mother working in low income job, rented accommodation. Bursary of 100% awarded 
  • Family with three children, one much younger. One parent currently working with low income, own home with little equity. Bursary of 100% awarded
  • Family with two children. Both parents self-employed with low to moderate income, not always stable, rented accommodation. Bursary of 70% awarded
  • Family with two children. Both parents working with moderate income, own home with mortgage and some savings. Bursary of 50% awarded
  • Family with three children. Two parents working with moderate income, own home with significant mortgage and other financial commitments. Bursary 25% awarded
Does my child have to be a stronger candidate than anyone else to get a bursary?
The number of bursaries available is limited and therefore academic performance also forms part of the application process.
How many apply for bursaries and how many get them?
Every year is different, but it is normal for us to receive around 90 applications each year for the 9-10 places available in Year 7 and Sixth Form.
What extras do you help with, on top of the bursary?
For students joining in Year 7 in receipt of a bursary, we pay for their iPad and the Year 7 Residential Trip. Financial assistance may be available for trips to our bursary students. Further information can be sought from our Director of Finance. 
Are bursary holders identified in any way?
The School is enormously proud of its bursary holders but we do not identify them in any way. Most of the students who benefit from a bursary are proud and happy to share this information. We often find that our older pupils want to act as Ambassadors to both encourage other students to apply, and donors to be generous. We are keen to get the message about our Bursary Programme out to as wide an audience as possible.
What is a Bursary Review and when does it happen?

We review bursaries every year in case financial circumstances have changed. We ask all bursary families to undertake an annual financial review in the Spring term of every year. Reductions in bursary may occur if there is a large new source of income or a change in job which results in a substantial increase in income. Please note that adjustments to bursaries are generally by mutual agreement. If your child has qualified for a full bursary (100%) it is unlikely that this will be removed unless there has been a significant change in circumstances.

We understand that the concept of an annual review of a bursary may cause concern. In order to give this some context, of the hundreds of bursary recipients in School, following the annual bursary review in 2023 there were no changes to 100% full bursary recipients, and 2 families had their bursary increased.

In addition to a financial review, we will also check that the expectations of students have been met in terms of behaviour and academic progress. A student who is awarded a Bursary Award is required to work hard, to contribute positively to the life of the School, to be a credit to the School and to set a good example to other students and comply with the School Rules.

What happens if my financial circumstances change and I can no longer afford to pay the fees?
In addition to bursaries given at the time of entry, we make awards in some cases where the family has suffered unexpected changes leading to difficulty meeting the fees. This is very often as a result of a family bereavement, redundancy or illness. We do this to ensure continuity of a student’s education where possible in the GCSE and A level years. These awards are usually given on a short-term basis and are reviewed regularly.
Are there any awards based on academic ability that are not means-tested?

Whilst some our scholarships are also means-tested and based on family income the following awards are available and awarded purely on academic merit:

  • Year 7 Music Scholarship
  • Head’s Award (for current pupil moving up from Year 6 to the Senior School)
  • Sixth Form Music Scholarship
  • Governors Academic Scholarships

For further information please read our Means Tested Bursary Guidance or refer to our Scholarships information.


Proud to be one of the oldest schools in the country but forward-looking in our approach.