Dunottar School is able to award Assisted Places through the United Learning Assisted Place Scheme. These assisted places are means-tested and may be awarded in the form of a discount on tuition fees payable.
Assisted Place Application Process
Assisted places may be made available to parents/guardians of children entering at Year 7. Parents/guardians seeking an Assisted Place are required to complete an application form to establish the financial circumstances of the household. On receipt of a bursary application form, United Learning's assessment provider, Bursary Administration Ltd (BAL), will contact you to arrange a home visit. At this home visit, BAL will review your application in more detail and discuss your financial circumstances (you will be supplied with a list of documentation which you will need to make available at this meeting). BAL will inform Dunottar School of its findings and, when offers of places are made following the entrance assessments, we will inform you whether your child has been offered a place and whether financial assistance can also be offered (and, if so, at what level). Parents/guardians are required to sign a letter accepting the place at the school and an acknowledgement agreeing to any conditions relating to the Assisted Place Award. Please note that applications for financial assistance must be made prior to sitting the entrance exam. For 2019 entry, the deadline for submitting completed application forms is 30th November 2018.
How Applicants are Considered
A number of factors when making the judgement as to the justification for support, and the extent of such support. In assessing a child’s suitability, attention will be given to the academic assessment result of each applicant and potential will also be considered as well as actual achievement. Assisted Places funds are limited and those judged most suitable will be given priority as those likely to gain most from the educational provision. The amount of the Assisted Places award is not influenced by the level of the academic ability of the child but by the extent of need. Each case is assessed on its own merits and awards are made accordingly.
It is recognised that judgements about what sacrifices a family should make to pay school fees will be personal. However, the School has a duty to ensure that all awards are well focussed and so, as well as current earnings, other factors which will be considered in determining the necessary level of grant will include:
- The ability to improve the financial position or earning power of the family. For example, where there are two partners, both would be expected to be employed unless one is prevented from doing so through incapacity, the need to care for children under school age or other dependents, or the requirements of their partner’s work.
- Opportunities to release any capital. Significant capital savings and investments would be expected to be used for the payment of school fees, as would equity values in houses.
- In cases of separation, the contribution made by the absent parent.
- Contribution to household or education costs by other, wider, family members, any adults unrelated to the child or by outside sources.
- The number of other dependent children in education and related financial circumstances.
All awards are subject to testing of parental means each year and may be varied upwards or downwards depending on parental circumstances. Current holders will be informed of how to complete the relevant information updates each year.
All awards are confidential and recipients are required as a condition of granting the assistance to maintain this confidence.
Other Sources of Fee Assistance
In addition to the United Learning Assisted Place Scheme, there are a number of educational and charitable trusts which provide assistance with tuition fees. In the majority of cases, these are to assist children who are already attending a fee-paying school and due to a change of circumstances may be unable to remain. Dunottar School encourages parents/guardians to apply for support where it is felt a good case can be made for assistance. Further information on how to pursue such assistance may be obtained from the school.