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Scholarships and Bursaries Policy

Climbing PoleIntroduction

Rendcomb College offers a limited number of bursaries (age 4-18) and scholarships (age 11-18) for candidates demonstrating potential, talent and who would flourish and benefit from the ethos and life at the school. Our Founder, Noel Wills, had a clear vision for Rendcomb College. Although the School has changed, evolved and grown over the years, it remains true to the Founder’s vision for an inclusive and broad-ranging education for its pupils. The School has benefitted from the stewardship of the Wills family for almost a century and from the two-tiered Governance of the Trustees and Governing Body.

This policy should be considered alongside the College’s Admissions Policy.


No applicant will be treated less favourably during the application process or during assessment on the grounds of their skin colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin, gender, religious faith, disability, orientation or socio-economic group. The School is keen to meet families from all backgrounds to discuss whether a child’s needs and aspirations can be best supported through education at Rendcomb. Generous bursaries are offered in order to make it possible for as many as possible who meet the school’s admission criteria to attend the school.

Special Education Needs and Disability

Rendcomb does not discriminate in any way regarding entry; the School maintains and drives a positive culture towards inclusion of disabled people and those with special educational needs, and it will not treat an applicant less favourably on these grounds without justification. We welcome pupils with special educational needs, providing that our Learning Support Department can offer them the support that they require. We welcome pupils with physical disabilities provided that our site can cope with them. However, at present, the School’s facilities, physical and otherwise, for the disabled are limited, but it will do all that is reasonable to comply with its legal and moral responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 and the Equality Act 2010) in order to accommodate the needs of applicants who have disabilities for which, with reasonable adjustments, the School can cater adequately.

We advise parents of children with special educational needs or physical disabilities to discuss their child’s requirements with Rendcomb before he or she sits the entrance exam so that we can make adequate provision for him/her. Parents should provide a copy of an Educational Psychologist’s report or a medical report to support their request, for example for extra time or other special arrangements. We will discuss thoroughly with parents and their medical advisers the adjustments that can reasonably be made for the child if he/she becomes a pupil at the school.

Bursaries and Scholarships

Scholarship candidates are assessed for their suitability for an award. This takes place during the scholarship days publicised by the college. Scholarships may or may not be means tested.

All scholars and bursary holders are expected, as a condition of their award, to show commitment and good behaviour in college and stay at the college from the point of the award until the end of the sixth form. Scholarships are reviewed annually and students’ academic and behavioural record is taken into account as well as their commitment to their field of excellence.


The purpose of a bursary is to widen access to the college for children, whose parents would otherwise not be able to afford a Rendcomb education. This is in keeping with the original charitable aims of the Founder who set up the college in 1920. Bursaries are assessed and awarded according to financial need. Obviously, the ability to offer bursaries is limited and all applications are assessed alongside each other in the Lent term for the following academic year; awards will be prioritised for those likely to gain most from, and contribute most to, the educational provision. Parents wishing to apply must complete a simple financial circumstances form to allow the school to assess the level of bursary against need. If bursary support is a requirement for entry to the College, the financial circumstances form should be presented with registration documentation. The information submitted is treated in the strictest confidence. The school will utilise the services of Bursary Administration Limited in order to discuss new applications and reviews fully with parents and gather the necessary information to assist the decision making process. Accordingly, all applicants' details are passed to them and they will contact to meet and complete the process. Bursaries may be awarded in conjunction with scholarships. Bursaries will be reviewed by the college regularly.

Each pupil to whom support is offered must, in the opinion of the Head, be likely to make sound academic progress following admission and possess the potential to develop the quality of his or her work, and benefit from and make significant contributions to their participation in the wider, extra-curricular activities on offer at the School.

The school encourages all pupils to benefit from the extra-curricular activities which take place. However, it would not necessarily be considered appropriate for a pupil to go on an expensive optional school trip which is unrelated to the pupil’s studies (for example ski trips), if they are in receipt of a significant bursary.

The amount of the bursary 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, subject to the School's ability to fund these within the context of what is viable within its overall budget. It is recognised that judgments about what sacrifices a family should make to pay school fees will be personal. However, the School has a duty to ensure that all bursary grants are well allocated and so, as well as current earnings, other factors which will be considered in determining the necessary level of grant may include some or all of the following; these points are not exhaustive:

 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 significant equity values in houses.

 In cases of separation, the contribution made by the absent parent.

 Contribution to household costs by other, wider, family members, any adults unrelated to the child or by outside sources.

 Where fees are being paid to other schools (or universities) the School's grant will take into account all these outgoings.

 Acknowledging that others might have a different view, the School considers that the following would be items of expenditure inconsistent with the receipt of a bursary: frequent or expensive holidays; new or luxury cars; second properties or land investments; expensive optional leisure activities.

Forces Bursaries

Rendcomb College has always had extremely strong links with forces families and is able to offer generous bursary support for families who are with HM Armed Forces or Diplomatic Services where applicable under the rules of the scheme. Rendcomb is pleased to accept payments under the CEA scheme in respect of pupils from Forces families. This can be either the Boarding or the Day CEA, depending on personal circumstance. Should additional bursary support be requested this may be available following the assessment process as outlined above.


It is expected that candidates wishing to be assessed usually nominate one area at which they excel for consideration. Successful candidates will be sent a copy of the Scholarship Conditions of Award document which must be signed by the parent or guardian.

The Noel Wills’ Scholarship

Owing to the support of the Trustees, the Headmaster has the ability to give one 100% scholarship each year. This award is intended for a student from a Gloucestershire state school with particular promise, usually, though not exclusively, of an academic nature. This award is in keeping with the Founder’s original educational vision. Both the Headmaster and the Chair of Trustees, Major M T N Wills monitor the progress of Rendcomb’s Noel Wills Scholars throughout their time in the School.

Academic Awards

Candidates sit an examination assessment during a scholarship day. For Senior School applicants, the examination may be based on Mathematics and English, with verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Potential academic scholars will have an interview with the Headmaster as part of the process.

Creative Awards

Candidates are invited to present a portfolio of their artistic endeavours. This may include visual art, creative writing or poetry.


Candidates are invited to present a singing, musical, dance or dramatic performance. Certificates of musical/dramatic/dance grades already gained may be presented as evidence to support an application.

Sporting Awards

Candidates are expected to demonstrate an aptitude in the College’s mainstream sports, currently rugby, hockey, cricket (boys) and hockey, lacrosse, tennis (girls) and should present evidence of their achievements therein. This may be in the form of testimonials from current schools or a sports club. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate their sporting skill or potential during a scholarship day which will look at specific sports as well as general skill levels.

The Dutton Sixth Form Music Scholarship

The Dutton Sixth Form Music Scholarship allows one student per year to take up a subsidised place at Rendcomb College in the Sixth Form. Applicants will be assessed on their performing skills, composition ability and theoretical knowledge. On the day of the Scholarship audition, candidates will be required to perform on either two instruments, or on one instrument and voice. Creative musicians with an interest in developing their ability in composition or improvisation are particularly encouraged to apply and applicants will be assessed as much on their creativity and musical potential as on their current grade level. It is expected that applicants will study either A-level Music, A-Level Music Technology, or both, and will be expected fully to contribute to the extra-curricular musical life of the school.

International Awards

International Exhibitions (Honorary Scholarships):

Although having no financial value, Exhibitions (Honorary Awards) do not carry any less esteem within the school, or to wider communities such as universities and to future employers. Being awarded this exhibition is extremely important to any student and is a prestigious addition to their academic career. The intended recipients for these awards are first-time international student applications although in certain circumstances, Exhibitions may be made to those who are already members of the school who have progressed to such a standard that their achievements merit wider recognition.

The Exhibition is awarded on merit, based on the all-round ability of a student and would best-suit a student who has the potential to be an integral part of the school body who shows a proven academic track-record as well as aptitude in sport, music, drama or art.

International Scholarships:

A limited number of financial awards are given by the Headmaster for excellence in one or more academic or extra-curricular areas.

Assessment Procedures

11+ Candidates

Assessment takes place normally in January in the year preceding entry to the senior school.

13+ Candidates

Assessment takes place with candidates being offered the opportunity to take an assessment in February in the year preceding entry to the senior school.

16+ Candidates

Assessment takes place by assessment in area of excellence and by interview with the Headmaster. In the case of academic awards, reports and predicted examination results are taken into consideration; in some cases, an examination paper will be offered to assess suitability for an award.

Levels of support


All bursaries are means tested, allowing the school to assess the level of bursary against need. Bursarial support ranges from 10% to 100% of the standard tuition fees.


These are set annually by the Headmaster; the maximum award is currently 40%, with the exception of the Noel Wills’ Scholarship.

The Friends of Rendcomb

The Friends of Rendcomb is a charitable organisation which is sometimes able to offer some modest help to current Rendcomb parents who find themselves in times of crisis. Applications for support should be sent in writing to the Headmaster in the first instance.

How to Apply

Please complete the Scholarships and Awards application form, making clear the type of award for which you wish to apply. Where means testing applies, the school will send you the financial circumstances form, once the application form has been received. Therefore please contact the school to request a financial circumstances form to complete along with the standard application/enrolment forms.

Once we have received the completed forms the college will contact you about the next step.

A confidential admissions record will be completed for each applicant.