Give to Bursaries

Dear Old Whitgiftian

“It’s even amazing to think I’m at such a spectacular school that has everything you can think of” Matthew (Upper First)

There can be no doubt that Whitgift ranks amongst the finest schools in the country and those of us who have benefited from a Whitgift education know the difference it has made to our lives. Some of us were also fortunate to have attended Whitgift on a scholarship or bursary, in hindsight an extraordinary privilege made possible by the Foundation fulfilling John Whitgift’s edict that his schools should be accessible to all children within the Croydon community.

Indeed, for many years, the Whitgift Foundation has funded the education of thousands of boys whose parents quite simply could not afford the fees. Currently there are 147 boys (10% of the school roll) on bursaries. But this situation can no longer be sustained – or, at least, not if the many boys who deserve a place are to be accommodated.

Many OWs will find this hard to contemplate, brought up as we were in the belief that the Foundation was immensely rich, one of the wealthiest educational foundations in the country and a bottomless pit which would provide funding for bursaries – not to mention capital improvements at the School – forever. The reality is that this hasn’t been the case for several years.

“I have always wanted to come to Whitgift. I can do so many more things that I couldn’t have done at my old school” Reuben (Lower First)


So what has changed?

❋ Firstly, the old Government Assisted Places Scheme was abolished by the Labour Party in the 1990’s. This scheme provided a substantial number of places for local children at independent schools including Whitgift.

❋ Fifteen years ago fees were £9,000 a year. Now, they are double that. The bursary pot then was £200,000, which paid for 40 new bursaries per annum. This year’s pot of £280,000 for the new intake will pay for just 19 bursaries per annum, amounting to only 15% of the places available.

❋ At the same time, the number of pupils receiving other kinds of financial assistance has risen to 573 – nearly 40% of the roll – funded by the school to maintain quality by enabling them to complete their education at Whitgift.

❋ In addition, the School is now subsidising a large number of families with sons in crucial year groups, for example, mid GCSE or A-Level, but who can no longer afford the fees – money that would otherwise contribute to new bursaries and scholarships.

❋ Increasingly, we know that more and more local parents are resigned to sending their sons to non fee-paying schools even when they would wish otherwise – often without applying to Whitgift, despite them being talented enough to deserve a place.

“Whitgift is one of the greatest schools in England. From multiple activities to hard-working pupils, Whitgift never gets boring. It has amazing facilities” Dinal (Lower First)

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The result…

To sum up: because the Foundation is unable to increase its level of bursary funding beyond the present £2.1 million in the foreseeable future, and with the School’s internal budget already stretched – as well as increasing fees – it is inevitable that the number of bursaries awarded over the next three years will decrease dramatically, at precisely the time parents need help more than ever.

It is time for us to help…

In the last year, Old Whitgiftian’s have very generously donated £100,000 to the bursary appeal. Our target is £500,000, which will pay the fees for five boys or provide partial bursary support for up to 40 boys, who achieve the high academic standards required for acceptance, to be educated at Whitgift. Their education will have been made possible by the generosity of Old Whitgiftian’s.

“The teachers are just fabulous and extremely clever. For once I can enjoy learning. Sports at Whitgift are just the best. I had never picked up a hockey stick before but now thanks to the coaching I am in the C team. I just love Whitgift and everything about it. Go Whitgift!” Miles (Upper First)

Please think about it…Whitgift at Fairfield

You know what Whitgift can achieve – academically, socially, on the sports field, in the theatre and concert hall, as well as in every other area of life – the key word being‘life’. A good education provides opportunity; a great education can transform a life. Our Founder wanted every deserving child in Croydon to have this chance. Now we can help make sure his wish continues into the future.

“The first time I stepped through the Whitgift gates, I felt at home. The music is world class and the facilities are tremendous” Harry (Lower First)

Please help us by making a donation today. Don’t forget that by making your donation to the Whitgiftian Association Trust it will attract Gift Aid adding 25% to the value of your contribution.

Please download and complete a multi-pledge-form, or get in touch by emailing or telephone 020 8633 9926.

“Whitgift is a spectacular school.  It always makes me smile when I see or do something that I haven’t seen before” Daniel (Lower First)