Widening access to pupils from all backgrounds is of central importance, and The Ashford School Foundation is committed to expanding the School’s bursary scheme so that more students may benefit from a life-changing Ashford School education, irrespective of family circumstances.
The Ashford School Foundation currently awards means-tested bursaries (formerly known as Assisted Places) to support high-ability students to join the Senior School, as well as emergency bursaries for families facing unexpected hardships. These bursaries vary in value dependent on the family’s individual circumstances, and are specifically designed to give students from families with limited means a transformational journey, leading them to a successful life and career.
This academic year, the Ashford School Foundation are supporting 14 students with a bursary.
Every donation helps us to provide life-changing opportunities to pupils who could not otherwise benefit from an Ashford School education. If you share our vision and passion for education, and would like to give to our bursary fund, please visit our Support Us page.
If you are interested in leaving a gift for the Bursary Fund in your will, please visit our Lilian Brake Legacy Society page.
Our Testimonials from Current Recipients
After suffering the sudden & traumatic loss of a parent in 2020 I was concerned for the emotional well-being of my children, particularly my son who was in the middle of applying to secondary schools. It was suggested by a family member that I apply for Ashford School and a Bursary, something I had not even considered. This was a life-changing moment for him. He took the entrance examinations in January 2021 and was awarded a Bursary soon after.
He started Year 7 in September 2021, and the pastoral support he has received at Ashford School has been amazing. Academically, his engagement & enthusiasm in all subject areas has rocketed, with credit to the fantastic teaching team. Sport has also had an enormous impact and his persistent energy is poured into an abundance of cricket, rugby, and hockey matches, not to mention athletics events, tennis & basketball. This has not only channeled his inner sportsman but has also increased his confidence in his abilities.
There has yet to be a day go by when he does not come home from School with a huge smile on his face as I receive a very animated description of his day at Ashford School. We are both very grateful to the Foundation for the ongoing support, and the generous donors who make the bursary possible, and know we are in a very privileged position. Thank you.
Emily ends her time at Ashford School this year and like me, she has benefitted hugely from her education there. Ashford School has inspired Emily to reach heights in both her academic achievements, aspirations and self confidence. She was so lucky to be able to continue her studies there despite us facing unexpected unfortunate circumstances. Emily has gained so much, we never dreamed she would in the position she now finds herself with an offer of a place at a Russell Group University to study Psychology. It has been a privilege to watch her grow and we cannot thank the school enough for the support you have given her and our family as a whole, throughout her time there.
Sienna started at Ashford School Nursery at the age of 6 months and is just about to start Year 13 in September. We are so grateful to the Ashford School Foundation, and for the support offered by the Bursary Fund, which has truly been unbelievable. After we unexpectedly lost Sienna’s father, I knew that I would not be able to keep Sienna at Ashford. However, after such a traumatic event, I wanted to ensure as much stability in Sienna’s life as possible, and so applied for the bursary. Without the bursary support offered by the Ashford School Foundation we would have had to move away from the area and start over.
Studying at Ashford School has truly allowed Sienna to flourish academically, passing all her GCSEs last year. Sienna is currently studying BTEC Sport, Psychology, and History at A Level and wants to study Psychology at University.
Ashford School has also enabled Sienna to pursue Sport to an elite level. She won the United Learning Best In Everyone Award for Best Sport Student in Years 7-9; came second in the National Tetrathlon (shooting, swimming, riding, and running) two years ago; second in National Biathlon; has competed for Kent in Swimming; and was picked to ride for GB Pony Club. All of Sienna’s sporting achievements have been made possible by having the support of Ashford School, the PE Staff, and all her teachers. Not only this but the pastoral support Sienna has received throughout her time at Ashford has been brilliant – the School truly has a family feel, and her teachers are always quick to notice if something isn’t quite right. Sienna’s confidence has grown exponentially, and Ashford School has made her into the person she is today.
When she finishes at the end of Year 13, we will be sad to see this chapter come to an end, but we are both incredibly grateful to the Foundation for allowing Sienna to stay and benefit from an Ashford School education and all the opportunities it affords. Sienna knows she is in a very privileged position. Thank you to all those who make the bursary fund possible.
Current Parents – Mr & Mrs Beckett
The opportunities and exposure that Ashford School have provided Yoris during the past 6 years have been a tremendous benefit to his personality and wellbeing. As a young, developing man his ability to communicate with people his senior, stems from the confidence that Ashford School has instilled in him.
Current Parent Testimonial
My son had to go through a very difficult time when his parents began to separate when he was just 6 years old. During the separation, a significant amount of parental conflict began to turn the separation in to an ordeal for him, so much so that it began to affect him at school.
He was 8 years old when he came to live with me, and it was clear that his academic performance and development was arrested. He was subjected to numerous interviews with social workers, received counselling and support throughout. He found it very hard to read, and his grasp of basic numeracy and literacy was not where it should have been. Even more concerning was a complete absence of confidence, resilience and self-esteem. He didn’t want to try anything new; he didn’t want to leave my side nor join in with any after school clubs.
It was a real worry. I therefore changed his primary school to give him a new start from everything – so he joined a new school in Year 4. This new school tried hard to help him as much as possible, and to a larger extent he did start to improve.
Then came the decision in Year 6 around which secondary school to apply to. I had given up work to support him full time, so he was going to go to a state secondary school which was local to where we lived. However, his Headteacher mentioned to me that “he would get lost” if he went there, and that I should think about sending him to Ashford School, and I should apply to the Bursary scheme to help us as we wouldn’t be able to afford the fees otherwise.
This was the moment that transformed my son’s life.
We took part in a taster day – which he loved, and he ‘on his own’ studied for the entrance exams – such was his desire to go to Ashford School. I hadn’t seen this in him for years.
We then got the news that we had been awarded a bursary, and that he would be going to Ashford School.
When he started in September 2019 – although he was excited – he would cry every morning as it was a completely new environment for him and he did not know anyone there. I was worried about how he would cope, and about how he would be at the residential at the end of the month (we had not had a night away from each other for 4 years!). But he was fine, and after those first few months, he started to settle in and relax.
He has grown in confidence; he has taken on new challenges and his reading has come on leaps and bounds. He is willing to try new things; he’s made some great friends and he even likes his sport now – which is singularly the most incredible thing!
Whilst he may be lacking in academic prowess for now; I believe all of this will follow in time – because he now has confidence in himself, and for me, that is the most important thing.
I cannot thank the Ashford School Bursary Scheme enough for what they have given my son. You had a frightened, anxious, nervous child and the school has given him back his confidence. He has slowly triumphed over adversity, and is growing in to a well behaved, articulate and curious boy.
I cannot put into words the difference Ashford School has had on him from when he started to how he is now. Don’t get me wrong there is still a long way to go – but what we have now, is what we didn’t have before – and that is hope for a better future.
To see the huge transformation and how far he has journeyed over the last 2 years has been the most wonderful of things to experience and is fills me with a huge sense of pride.
It is often said that children are born hostages to their parents’ hopes and fears; and with him I have always been so worried about how he would develop as he became older, and whether he would be able to surmount and overcome those inner fears.
But to see him now, and his willingness to embrace the upcoming adolescence which lies before him, with renewed confidence and character – I should not have worried.
Just saying ‘thank-you’ doesn’t feel enough really – but he would not have been able to achieve what he has without the dedication of your team and teaching staff at Ashford School, and the phenomenal opportunity that the bursary scheme has given us.
With my sincerest best wishes – thank you!
Our Testimonials from Alumni
Nicholas Smelt (Deputy School Captain, Yeoman, 2015)
As I come to the end of my University years, I realise the indelible impression my Ashford School education has left on me. The School gave me a warm, yet intellectually challenging, environment in which to grow and impressed upon me the importance of striving to achieve all you can in every aspect of life.
I have tried to do just that during my years at St Andrews through my curricular learning, but also by volunteering as a tennis coach in Zambia and becoming the Chair of Scottish Student Tennis.
As I embark on my new career, I am very aware of the strong foundation for life attending Ashford School gave me, whilst also instilling the belief that with desire and passion anything is possible. I look back fondly on my memories of school and will always be grateful for the wonderful opportunity to have been an Ashford School pupil.
Robbie Boxall (Franklins, 2013)
When I joined Ashford School in Year 7, I was quiet and with little drive to achieve my best. Through my seven years at Ashford School, I grew in confidence and ability. I applied for Veterinary School, was accepted, and have now achieved my childhood dream of becoming a vet. I have no doubt that without my Ashford School education, made possible with the bursary fund, I would not be where I am today.
The small year groups, forms, and classes meant I felt my teachers really knew me, my interests, and needs, allowing them to support me in pushing myself to be the best I could be. The staff were always willing to give their time to help, whether in revising for exams or writing my university application and they all sparked an interest in learning which stayed with me throughout university.
Extra-curricular activities were an important part of life at Ashford, as a Music Scholar I spent a lot of time in the music department playing the flute giving me an escape from academic work. Through the regular concerts I grew in confidence had the opportunity to develop new skills with activities to suit all interests. Having hobbies outside of work is important and Ashford encouraged that from an early stage.
If you are thinking of donating to the bursary fund, I would like to say thank you. Someone made a gift to the bursary fund which supported me in realising my dream – your donation might change a life too.