Top independent schools focus on bursaries


Issued on behalf of: Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) and HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference)

(23/01/2014) Heads, Bursars, Governors and Development Directors from 100 leading independent schools met last week to discuss ways of improving and expanding their bursary programmes. In a one-day conference jointly led by HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) and IDPE (Institute of Development Professionals in Education), speakers from schools and charities emphasised to delegates the importance of clear aims and benefits for their schemes and strong accountability to the donors who increasingly fund such schemes.

In the keynote address, Patrick Derham, Head Master of Rugby School, described the work of the Arnold Foundation and its partners who support bursary pupils throughout their school years.

Data provided by consultant Tim Baines indicates that the total value of independent school bursaries awarded each year is around £300m, with nearly 80% of the cost being borne by the schools themselves, with donations and charitable trusts covering much of the remainder.

Representatives from other schools, including Harrow, King Edward’s School, Birmingham, Sherborne Girls and Lord Wandsworth College shared their experience and knowledge of recruitment and assessment of applicants, financing of and fundraising for bursaries.

Children’s charities represented at the event included Buttle UK and SpringBoard Bursary Foundation and mentioned the increasing importance of measuring the impact of their work, which is a dominant theme among children’s charities today.

IDPE Chairman, Elisabeth Anderson, whose full time role is the Foundation Director of The Fettes Foundation in Edinburgh, commented, “This has been a remarkable day – collaborative, thought-provoking and ultimately uplifting.”

Tim Hands, HMC Chairman and Master of Magdalen College School added: “This event has allowed us to turn the spotlight on bursary provision in independent schools and will ensure we are doing our utmost to reach and help transform the lives and opportunities of disadvantaged children.”

For more information, please contact Jo Beckett, IDPE, on 01225 829030.

Links to photos: Photo 1 pictures girls at Lord Wandsworth College enjoying sport at the school;   Photo 2 pictures HMC Chairman, Dr Tim Hands and IDPE Chairman, Elisabeth Anderson.

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About IDPE

The Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) is the UK’s leading schools’ Development membership organisation and a registered charity. It was established almost 15 years ago and today supports over 300 schools including independent and state schools.  IDPE provides ‘hands on’, practical support, training and guidance in schools’ Development.  Through its work the IDPE is helping to maximise funds raised in UK schools to help young people benefit from the very best education.

Contact: Jo Beckett, IDPE Managing Director, tel: 01225 829030, mobile: 07775861564, email: [email protected] 

About HMC

HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) was established in 1869 and is the oldest and largest (in pupil numbers) of the UK independent schools’ associations. With 253 members in the UK and Republic of Ireland, a further 63 international members and 12 additional members, HMC is a professional association representing the Heads of the world’s leading independent schools.

Contact: Melanie Hammond, HMC communications manager, tel: 01858 469 059, mobile: 07760 889 008, email: communications

Interesting facts:

Ten facts about Development in UK schools:

  1. Total fundraising by UK independent schools has more than doubled in the last decade and has grown consistently from just £50 million in 2003 to almost £120 million in 2012.Source:  Independent Schools Benchmarking Survey 2012
  2. Professional fundraising in schools, often known as ‘Development’, is becoming increasingly important.  Independent schools’ fees have shown the lowest rise in almost 20 years (3.9%). Source: ISC
  3. The value of fee assistance has grown, with a third of pupils receiving help (33.7%) Source: ISC
  4. Many more pupils attending schools in the USA benefit from some form of assisted place. Source: MTM Consulting Ltd
  5. The annual value of bursary places at independent schools is £300m, of which 78% (£234m) is funded from the schools’ own resources, with a further £46m from endowments and £20m from donations. Source: Baines Cutler Solutions
  6. Development is about building long-lasting relationships with former pupils and parents that help the school achieve its goals, whether these be increasing bursary provision or building new facilities. 
  7. Development is most effective when done in partnership with an engaging alumni relations programme of events and communications.
  8. A good alumni relations programme will also provide other important non-financial benefits to schools such as providing good outside speakers and an active careers network.  
  9. The 2012 National Fundraising and Development Survey (‘’Building for the Future’’) showed that 40% of the total of £100m raised by participating schools is earmarked for bursaries and 35% of money raised is invested in capital projects. Source: The 2012 National Fundraising and Development Survey (‘’Building for the Future’’)
  10. The single greatest variable affecting the success of the Development Office was the attitude and commitment of the Head. Source: The 2012 National Fundraising and Development Survey (‘’Building for the Future’’)

Ten facts about HMC schools*:

  1. 204,321 pupils are taught in HMC schools in the UK and Ireland, an increase of 15% on ten years ago.
  2. One in four of all those attending the UK's top ten universities come from HMC schools.
  3. 92% of pupils in HMC schools in the UK go on to higher education.
  4. 36% of pupils in HMC schools across the UK received help with their fees, in 2012/13 totalling £122 million in assistance.  
  5. £60 million in means tested bursaries was provided by HMC schools in the UK in 2012/13. 
  6. 82.4% of HMC schools in the UK and Ireland are co-educational or have girls in the sixth form.
  7. 60% of HMC schools offer boarding in some form. 
  8. There is one teacher for every 9 pupils in HMC schools in England compared with one per 22 in the state sector. 
  9. There are now 12,802 non-British pupils, whose parents live overseas, at HMC schools in the UK.
  10. 10.  Average fees in HMC schools start from £3,100 per term/£9,300 per year.

    *Data from the ISC Independent Schools survey