Funds for parents in difficulty

  • 10th July 2023

Andrew Maiden sets out a list of grant-making charities that specialise in helping parents who are struggling to pay school fees

Armed Forces Education Trust

The trust supports children and young adults of parents who have or currently serve in the armed forces whose education has been compromised or put at risk.

Buttle UK
The charity gives grants to help with fees at independent or state boarding schools for children and young people who have a boarding need. It does not fund day fees.

Canon Holmes Memorial Trust

The trust provides financial assistance to parents who, on account of a change in family finances, find themselves unable to continue to meet their financial commitments to their children’s education within the independent sector.

Deakin Scholarship Fund
This is a fund to support pupils attending Independent Schools Association member schools. It considers applications for one-off grants towards additional costs of schooling. The pupil must already be in receipt of substantial means-tested bursary funding from the school and/or another fund (at least 50% of published full school fees).

Naval Children’s Charity
The charity is the only one dedicated to supporting children whose parents work, or have worked, for the naval service.

Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution
The institution is one of the largest independent grant-giving organisations that helps those families that have lost a seafaring parent. It supports families by providing grants for the children throughout their education.

Royal Medical Foundation
The foundation assists General Medical Council-registered doctors and their families who have a proven financial need. It provides assistance with school fees for children of GMC-registered doctors to help them maintain educational stability in times of distress. Assistance is mainly considered for those in their GCSE/A- level years.

Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation
The foundation is a national children’s educational charity which provides funding for British children of Merchant Navy seafarers, professional sea-going fishermen and RNLI lifeboat crew members who have served or are serving at sea and who are unable to meet their children’s educational needs.

Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation
The foundation considers direct referral applications from an accredited school for an educational bursary for children with one or no parents, and whose home circumstances are seriously prejudicial to the child’s normal development. Boarding only.

St Marylebone Educational Foundation
The foundation provides educational grants for individuals under 25 years of age who have lived or attended school in the City of Westminster for at least two years. It also gives grants to schools based within the City of Westminster. The school must already be assisting people who live in or attend school in the area to qualify.

The Emmott Foundation
Grants are made to enable students to remain at their present fee-paying school for their sixth-form years when parents or guardians are no longer able to meet their financial commitments as a result of a sudden or unexpected family crisis.

The Ewelme Exhibition Endowment
The charity provides assistance to young people resident in Oxfordshire,
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and parts of Wiltshire and Hampshire with bursaries to accredited schools. Email contact only:

The Lloyd Foundation
The foundation awards means-tested bursaries towards the costs of an English-medium education, in the UK or overseas, for the children of British citizens who are living and working abroad.

The Mitchell City of London Charity and Educational Foundation
The foundation makes educational awards for single-parent families when the child is over the age of 11, and for sixth-form students with one or both parents. There must be a connection with the City of London either via the pupil attending a City-based school or a parent having lived or worked in the City. Email contact only:

The NFL Trust
The charitable object of the trust is the promotion of girls’ education at independent schools and colleges in the UK in accordance with Christian principles, primarily by awarding
bursaries to help parents of girls aged 11 to 18 to pay the fees.

The Ouseley Trust
The trust makes grants to choir schools by (primarily) endowing choristerships, financing courses and providing endowment grants. It can also assist with the cost of school fees at choir schools in England, Wales and Ireland (but not Scotland). Email contact only:

The Royal Pinner Educational Trust
The trust supports educational costs for children where at least one parent is, or has recently been, a sales representative, selling business-to-business, with a significant element of travel and whose family circumstances have been affected by adversity.

The School Fees Charitable Trust
The aim of the trust is to assist those parents who, having selected independent education for their child with reasonable expectations of being able to meet the costs from their own resources, find themselves unable to pay the fees as a result of genuine hardship, arising from an unforeseen change of circumstances. Email contact only:

Thornton Smith & Plevins Young People’s Trust
The trust provides financial assistance to sixth-form students in independent
education whose families no longer have the sufficient means to pay the fees. Email contact only:

Wispers Trust
The trust was founded following the closure and sale of Wispers School for Girls in Haslemere, Surrey. An investment portfolio was created to provide assistance to pupils whose
education in the GCSE or A-level years would be compromised by parents or guardians being unable to pay the fees, through no fault of their own. Recipients have to be resident in Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey or London.








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