Reception: 01235 520173

Admissions: 01235 530593

Executive Assistant to the Headmistress: 01235 546502

Bursary: 01235 520657

Joint Bus Service: 01235 546565

St Helen and St Katharine, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BE

How to find us

How we can help bursaries at St Helen's

Financial assistance is available to those families with daughters entering St Helen and St Katharine from the age of 11 through to 18.

Opening up access for families who would not otherwise be able to afford the fees has always been central to our ethos. This means that we offer a support of up to 100% of fees to families who can demonstrate through a means testing process that they could not otherwise send their daughter to St Helen's.

What is a bursary?

Bursaries can be any value up to the full amount of the fee, and may include assistance with school bus travel, uniform and curriculum activities. They are awarded to candidates whose performance in the entrance assessments suggests academic strength and where the application satisfies the financial criteria agreed by the Governors, and at the Headmistress' discretion. Subject to significant change in financial circumstances until the end of Year 11 and there is the possibility it will continue into Sixth Form, however the amount is reassessed annually.

Sixth Form subject-specific bursaries

Subject-specific bursaries are available for candidates currently in a state funded school applying to join St Helen's Sixth Form. These bursaries cover 100% of school fees as well as additional costs such as school bus transport and any Sixth Form/subject-related enrichment activities. In addition to the standard bursary application process, applicants will be required to undertake an aptitude assessment in the relevant subject. For more information, visit the webpage.

How bursaries differ from scholarships

Means tested bursary provision is completely separate from the scholarships programme. Scholarships are awarded to recognise excellence, ability and potential in one or more academic or extracurricular areas. The financial value is modest and they are not subject to means testing. Visit the scholarship webpage for further information.

How do I qualify for a bursary?

Bursary support is based on an assessment of financial circumstances and considers both capital assets as well as income and makes allowances for household expenses. Where fees are being paid to other schools, the award will take these outgoings into account, although the Bursar would expect to see evidence that bursary applications have been made to the schools and an award made by St Helen's would be in line with that given to siblings by other independent schools.

The School considers that the following examples would not be consistent with the receipt of a bursary:

  • frequent / expensive holidays
  • new / luxury cars
  • investment in significant / expensive home improvements
  • a second property / land holdings
  • excessive pension contributions
  • capital overpayments on mortgages


How do I apply for a bursary?

Parents of candidates registered for entry to the School will be requested to complete a bursary application form and to supply supporting documents. Forms may be downloaded, using the application form link on this page, or from the School Bursary Office. Completed bursary applications should be submitted to the Bursar by the published closing dates. No applications will be reviewed after the offer of a place.

Bursary applications - how we use your information

In order to process your bursary application we require information relating to your personal and financial circumstances. Your signing the application form is taken as your consent for us to process your data for the purpose of assessing your bursary application. Information may be shared with a third party assessor, Bursary Administration Limited but only with your agreement.

All information is treated in the utmost confidence and is handled only by those individuals directly involved in processing the application. Original supporting documentation will be returned to you and copies retained on our files which are stored securely in the Bursary. This data will be destroyed within 12 months of your daughter leaving the School.

Reports produced by Bursary Administration Limited are the property of the School and have been confirmed by the Information Commissioner as exempt from subject access requests.

Other support for school fees

Sometimes the School is not able to assist to the extent required or in the necessary timeframe. For those parents who are experiencing financial difficulty, we suggest contacting the charitable organisations listed on the Educational Grants website.

Please get in touch

We would be delighted to hear from you if you are considering applying for a bursary. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us - we are here to help.

01235 520657

Completed bursary applications for entry in September 2021 need to be received at the Bursar's Office by the closing dates shown below. 

Year 7 by Friday 13 November 2020 

Year 9 by Friday 6 November 2020 

Lower Sixth by Friday 16 October 2020 

Application form