Scholarships and Bursaries


Academic and Music Scholarships for entry in 2019 are offered to pupils who are entering S1 (Y7) at 11+ or who are planning to enter the Sixth Form at 16+.  Sports Scholarships and an Arkwright Design and Technology Scholarship are also available at 16+.

The scholarship examinations at 11+ and 16+ are designed to be equally appropriate for pupils in both maintained and independent schools and are open to pupils already at Birkdale and to those currently studying elsewhere.

Entering a pupil for the scholarship examinations presumes a firm intention on the part of parents to accept an award if one is offered.  Candidates are welcome to apply for any of the available scholarships for which they are eligible.


A limited amount of bursary funding is available for allocation to pupils who are able to demonstrate in academic assessment that they would benefit from a Birkdale education; but for whom full fee payment would be prohibitive.

If a bursary is awarded, the value is dependent on a family’s financial circumstances.  A bursary awarded to a pupil entering the school between S1 (Y7) and S4 (Y10) would be tenable until the end of S5 (Y11) in the first instance; provided that financial circumstances remained unchanged during that time.  A bursary awarded for Sixth Form entry would be tenable for two years, again provided that financial circumstances remain the same. A bursary may be awarded alongside a scholarship to increase overall fee remission.

Applications for bursary funding are by invitation following initial assessment, either in the Entrance Test or Sixth Form Scholarship and Bursary Examinations.  If further consideration is possible following assessment, a bursary application form will be provided for parents to submit the detailed financial information required.

Summary of Dates for 2019 Entry

Examination Examination Date Closing Date
11+ Entrance Examination
Wednesday 23 January Friday 11 January
11+ Scholarship
Thursday 7 February By invitation
11+ Music Scholarship
Tuesday 12 March Friday 8 February
Sixth Form Academic Scholarship
Saturday 19 January Friday 14 December
Sixth Form Music Scholarship Wednesday 6 March Friday 8 February
Sixth Form Sports Scholarship Interviews w/c 21  January  Friday 14 December
Sixth Form Arkwright Scholarship February 2019 December 2018 (see website)

Sixth Form Academic Scholarships

Academic Scholarships are available for pupils entering the Sixth Form in September 2019.  They may be supplemented by a Bursary in cases of need up to a maximum of 100%.

All candidates for an academic scholarship will sit a general paper.  They will additionally be assessed in two other subjects which they intend to study in the Sixth Form.  All candidates will be interviewed. For most subjects, assessment will be by written examination.  Candidates offering Art or Drama as one of their subjects will undergo practical assessment and an interview with the relevant Head of Department. The award of a scholarship will take into account the candidate’s performance in the two subjects offered and the general paper, and also in their interview.

Specimen papers or details of the assessment for the General Paper and the following subjects are available to view below:

Candidates wishing to be assessed in another subject not listed above, please contact the Registrar well in advance of the closing date.

Entry to the Sixth Form and the award of a Scholarship will ultimately be conditional on GCSE results. Normal entry requirements for admission to the Sixth form are a minimum of five passes (9 to 5), with at least four at grade 6 or higher. We would expect grade 6 or higher in those subjects being studied to A level.  However, scholars would usually be expected to achieve five or more 8/9 grades at GCSE, and many do significantly better than this. The award will be tenable from the beginning of the academic year following the scholarship examination.  It will be held until the pupil leaves the school provided that, in the opinion of the Head Master, satisfactory progress is maintained and the conditions of an award are adhered to.

The Sixth Form Scholarship and Bursary Examinations will be held at Birkdale on Saturday 19 January 2019.

Application forms may be obtained from the Registrar, and should be submitted by Friday 14 December 2018 together with the registration paperwork.

Sixth Form Music Scholarships

Music Scholarships, together with free tuition in one instrument given at school by Birkdale staff, are available for pupils entering the Sixth Form in September 2019.

Candidates should normally be of Grade VII and above in their first instrument, which may be the piano, organ, any orchestral instrument or voice. All candidates should be able to show general musicianship commensurate with their technical skill. These are by no means the only pointers to a good candidate so if you are unsure, please contact Mr A M Jordan (Director of Music) to discuss whether or not your son or daughter would be considered.

The successful candidates will be required to enter fully into the musical life of the school and will be required to satisfy the general standards of admission to Sixth form.

The application form and further details for the Sixth Form Music Scholarships are available from the Registrar and should be submitted by Friday 8 February.  The examination will be held on Wednesday 6 March.

Sixth Form Sports Scholarships

Sports Scholarships are available for pupils entering the Sixth Form in September 2019.  Candidates are required to submit an application form detailing their sporting interests and achievements and, if possible, a short video of their sporting performance.  Candidates will be interviewed by the Director of Sport and the Head Master.

Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate a high level of proficiency and an established record of achievement in their main sport. They should currently be at county level standard in their chosen discipline and/or be able to demonstrate the ability to make a significant contribution to school sport.  If you are unsure whether a pupil might be considered, please contact Mr Depledge, Director of Sport, for a discussion.  Successful candidates will be required to enter fully into the sporting life of the school.

Application forms for the Sixth Form Sports Scholarships are available from the Registrar and applications should be submitted by Friday 14 December 2018.  The interviews will be held during w/c 21 January 2019 and mutually convenient appointments will be confirmed nearer the time.

Sixth Form Arkwright Scholarships in Design Technology

Birkdale is one of over 600 schools affiliated to the Arkwright Scholarship Trust, which will provide a number of scholarships in 2019 in conjunction with member schools. The awards will be of £1000 over two years: the student receives £300 per year and the Design and Technology Department £200 per year per scholar. Arkwright Scholarships are available to students, both internal and external, completing their GCSEs in 2019 and who will be studying Science, Maths or Technology subjects and intend to read Engineering, Technology or another Design-related subject at university.

The website of the Arkwright Scholarship Trust contains more information about the process and the other benefits for scholars.  Students are able to apply on-line via that website.  Please note that there is an application fee.


Prep School

Senior School

Sixth Form

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