Bursaries: Transforming Lives

A Charterhouse education is a transformative experience, and increasing the number of bursaries for highly gifted pupils who would not otherwise be able to come to Charterhouse is a key objective. Bursaries provide life-changing opportunities, help to raise standards across the School through an infusion of bright young talent, and ensure all of our pupils benefit from studying and living in a diverse and dynamic community.

When Thomas Sutton founded the School in 1611, he made provision for forty scholars to receive a free education funded by the endowment he created. Today, the School is committed to extending its bursary provision to provide more places for the brightest and best children from diverse backgrounds.

The number of Bursaries awarded by the School has trebled over the past decade, from 20 in 2001-02 to 58 in 2014-15, but Charterhouse’s rising academic status means that demand far outstrips our capacity to support highly deserving candidates. Every year we have to turn away pupils who would benefit hugely from all that Charterhouse has to offer and who would make an immeasurable contribution to School life.

It is important to note that we distinguish between Bursaries awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need, and Scholarships which are awarded solely on merit. We will spend almost £1.3 million on Bursaries this year, representing 5% of the School's turnover. But there is more to be done.

Our short term goal is quite simple but ambitious. We aim to increase the number of Bursaries we are able to award each year to 100, equating to approximately 12% of pupils overall, whilst at the same time increasing the value of the average award in line with parents’ ability to make a contribution. We estimate the cost of this enhanced Bursary provision will be in the region of £1.75-£2 million per year. In the longer term our aim is to ensure we have sufficient resources available to support as many highly qualified candidates as need assistance: any pupil who wins a place at the School through competitive examination and interview would be admitted, regardless of his or her parents’ ability to pay.