We will find candidates by developing partnerships with other schools and organisations. For instance, we have already created a partnership with Denbigh High, an 11 – 16 school in Luton. Now ambitious and able pupils at Denbigh are encouraged to put themselves forward for Berkhamsted bursaries.
Moreover, we plan to develop a depth of connection where pupils on bursaries will return to their former schools to inspire younger pupils to apply.
We encourage all our bursary pupils to stay close to where they come from, because we believe the opportunities and self-belief that flow from bursaries can affect whole communities.
Candidates sit an entrance test, for which no preparation is necessary. We also interview each candidate and give them the opportunity to participate in group discussion with current pupils – to assess their engagement and ability to hold their own. In short, we are looking for latent potential.
We are also keen to find the individuals who will not only gain great personal benefit from a Berkhamsted education but will also contribute to school life.
To verify financial need we carry out rigorous means-testing and conduct home visits (which are also important from a pastoral care point of view).
In addition to the excellent pastoral care afforded to all pupils, we have created a new role of Bursary Pupil Mentor. Along with the Heads of Houses, this teacher will focus on helping bursary pupils adjust to Berkhamsted life. They will also ensure that bursary pupils and their families are supported through school events.