The provision of means-tested Assisted Places is a central part of the purpose of the School to enable able boys, whatever their financial circumstances, to attend the School. The scheme is available to boys who live in the West Midlands region (West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire).
The scheme supports up to 30 pupils in each year and about 15 of these are free places. These places are awarded to successful 11+ candidates whose parents could not otherwise afford to send their son to the School. The funds are provided both by the King Edward Foundation and by donations from former pupils.
Although the School spends over £1m on Assisted Places each year, there are not sufficient funds to provide for all the successful 11+ candidates who apply for Assisted Places. Thus, the standard of performance in the examination is also a factor in the distribution of the funds.
The amount of support is calculated on the basis of the family income.
- If your family income is less than £19,500, you might qualify for a free place.
- If your family income is £30,000, you might only pay about £1,000 per annum.
- If your family income is £50,000, you might only pay about £4,500 per annum.
Parents must apply for this scheme before the examination and it is necessary for parents to complete forms about their financial situation.
There are also a few Assisted Places available at 16+ entry.
There are no Assisted Places available at 13+ entry.
Pupils on full Assisted Places may be entitled to free school meals, free travel, a uniform grant and payment for compulsory educational trips, for example GCSE field trips. Parents may also receive help with other educational trips, for example Shell camp at the end of Year 7.
If your son is not awarded an Assisted Place but has done well in the entrance examination, he may be offered a full fee place. Before we make a full fee offer to a family which has requested ﬁnancial assistance through the Assisted Places programme, they will be asked to make an appointment to meet the Bursar to consider whether full fees will be affordable in the long term based on the ﬁnancial information already provided. If so, then they can go ahead and accept the place, bearing in mind that it is a signiﬁcant ﬁnancial commitment for any family.
We understand that some families may have unusual financial circumstances which mean that although their annual income is low, they are still able to enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle. The following circumstances may mean that a family is ineligible to apply for an Assisted Place:
- Opportunities to release capital, significant capital savings, retained profits in a business, investments and equity in houses.
- Proven ability to borrow, where families have been able to secure additional mortgages on buy to let properties.
- Contributions to household costs and school fees by wider family members, any adults unrelated to the child or by outside sources.
- Other indicators of wealth, for example: frequent or expensive holidays, new or luxury cars, investment in significant home improvements, second property/land holdings.
The underlying ethos of the Assisted Places programme is to support the brightest children in Birmingham to come to this school who could not otherwise afford to come, so should it become obvious that a pupil's lifestyle is inconsistent with the level of the Assisted Place award provided, the school reserves the right to investigate further and to use other alternative methods to assess affordability of fees.