The Highfield School Centenary Bursaries Fund was set up to celebrate Highfield’s centenary in 2007. It has been running successfully for more than 12 years thanks to the generosity of current and former parents, alumni and institutional grants. The aim of the fund is to raise enough money to support children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to come to a school like Highfield and Brookham.
In the current climate, access to private education is becoming more and more of a privilege. We recognise our responsibility to ensure we bridge this advantage gap. We know there are many children who would greatly benefit from attending a private school and there is a need to bring this opportunity to as many as possible - to those who might not otherwise consider it an option due to difficult financial or family circumstances.
The purpose of the Centenary Bursaries Fund is to make a real difference in a child’s life, not just academically but also physically, emotionally and socially. The bursaries are awarded to children we believe will gain the most benefit from attending Highfield and Brookham Schools - ensuring they reach their full potential, build life-long skills and develop long-lasting, positive experiences and relationships.
It's incredibly rare for prep schools to offer 100% bursaries, especially at the rate that we do. We want to lead the way, in good faith, so that other prep schools will follow and allow this amazing opportunity to be given to even more children.
We have awarded 17 bursaries to date and they have proved to be an enormous success. The Centenary Bursaries Fund also provides additional support for music lessons, sports equipment, school trips and uniform. In some circumstances, it has also funded travel to and from the school for the children and their parents.
Past bursary children have gone on to secure bursaries and scholarships at exceptional senior schools such as Charterhouse, Marlborough College and Seaford College. Nine children are currently still with us and because of our excellent relationships with senior schools and the outstanding support we offer, the hope is our current children will follow in their footsteps.
We have a very thorough selection process to identify children whose circumstances merit this life-changing gift. Throughout the year we build awareness of this opportunity outside of our socio-demographic to ensure relevant candidates are put forward. This involves forging links with relevant schools and their headteachers, charitable organisations, and promoting the opportunity online.
A typical candidate could be a child who is experiencing social or educational difficulties such as bullying, a challenging home life, special educational needs or someone who just needs a break, or children who have the ability to succeed academically if given the right support. We also have gifted children being put forward, where Highfield and Brookham can offer them a higher level of individual attention and can access our well-developed programme for the most talented children.
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The bursaries are funded on a 50-50 basis by the fund and the school. The school’s share is covered by ancillary income streams such as property rentals, Summer School and Swim School. Parents do not subsidise the bursaries through their fees.
We have an extremely robust fundraising plan which involves a combination of donations, fundraising events, investments and grants. Our donors are a mix of former pupils, grandparents, former parents, current parents, institutes and former staff. The Centenary Bursaries Fund is a registered charity, so Gift Aid increases donations to the fund from UK income tax payers by 25%. Donors just need to complete the Gift Aid form when making their donation.
We have partnered with Amazon Smile and Easy Fundraising to make it even easier to support the Highfield School Centenary Bursaries Fund. Both of these schemes turn your everyday online shopping into a free donation at no extra cost to you. If our aims resonate with you, just follow the simple steps to support this great cause every time you shop online.
The Highfield School Centenary Bursaries Fund is a trust that was set up as a separate legal entity in 2007 with its own trust deed and trustees. It was granted charitable Status by the Charity Commissioners in 2007. (Registered Charity No. 1114845)
- Jonathan Carey – former Highfield parent and grandson of Canon Mills, Highfield's founder
- Peter Greenwood – Old Highfieldian and former Highfield parent
- Nick Denton – a parent of three Old Highfieldians
- Simon Mason – former Highfield member of staff
- Katie Naylor – former Highfield parent