Scholarships and Bursaries


Academic and Music Scholarships for 2018 are offered to pupils who are entering Y7 (S1) 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, but please note that the total fee reduction through scholarships cannot exceed 25%.


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 11+ 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 2018 Entry

Examination Examination Date Closing Date
11+ Entrance Examination
Wednesday 24 January Friday 12 January
11+ Scholarship
Thursday 8 February By invitation
11+ Music Scholarship
Wednesday 7 March Wednesday 14 February
Sixth Form Academic Scholarship
Saturday 20 January Friday 15 December
Sixth Form Music Scholarship Tuesday 8 March Wednesday 14 February
Sixth Form Sports Scholarship Saturday 27 January  Friday 1 December
Sixth Form Arkwright Scholarship February 2018 January 2018 (see website)


Sixth Form Academic Scholarships

Academic Scholarships up to the value of 25% of the tuition fees (typically awarded in the range of 5% – 15%) are available for pupils entering the Sixth Form in September 2018. 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.

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

If any candidate wishes to be assessed in another subject not listed above, please contact the Registrar well in advance of the closing date.

The award of a Sixth Form Scholarship will ultimately be conditional on GCSE results. Normal entry requirements for admission to the Sixth form are a minimum of 5 passes (A* to C / 9 to 5), with at least 4 at grade B (6) or higher. We would expect grade B (6) or higher in those subjects being studied to A level. However, scholars would usually be expected to achieve 5 or more A/A* grades (or equivalent) 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.

The Sixth Form Scholarship and Bursary Examinations will be held at Birkdale on Saturday 20 January 2018.

Application forms may be obtained from the Registrar, and should be submitted by Friday 15 December 2017.

Sixth Form Music Scholarships

Music Scholarships up to the value of 25% of the tuition fees (typically awarded in the range of 5% – 15%), together with free tuition in one instrument given at school by Birkdale staff, are available for pupils entering the Sixth Form in September 2018.

Candidates should normally be of Grade VII and above in their first instrument, which may be the piano, organ or any orchestral instrument. 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 may 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 Wednesday 14 February 2018. The examination will be held on Thursday 8 March 2018.

Sixth Form Sports Scholarships

Sports Scholarships up to the value of 25% (typically awarded in the range of 5% – 15%) are available for pupils entering the Sixth Form in September 2018. 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 are likely to be at or approaching ‘county 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 R Heaton (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 15 December 2017. The interviews will be held on Saturday 27 January 2018.

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 2018 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 2018 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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