Scholarships & Bursaries

Tonbridge foregoes almost £2.5m of income each year in fee remission for bursaries, scholarships and other awards. These funds are focused upon supporting those who would not be able to attend Tonbridge without financial support. The winning of any scholarship therefore provides eligibility for means tested support of up to 100% fee remission, according to financial need. Scholarships are awarded in both Year 6 and Year 8.

Co-curricular Activities

Boys launching rocket

The school’s depth and breadth of activities is amazing – we aim to provide something enjoyable for every boy.

Read More...

In February of Year 6, Junior Foundation Scholarships are awarded annually to boys aged 10 or 11 who show outstanding academic potential (often supported by musical talent). These scholarships exist to provide access to a Tonbridge education for boys who can clearly and substantially benefit from what the school has to offer and yet might not be able to attend without financial support. Such awards therefore may provide means-tested support (up to 100% of the full school fee) when boys join Tonbridge in Year 9 and, where candidates are at primary schools in Year 6, to allow attendance at preparatory school for Years 7 and 8.

Further scholarships are awarded to boys who are in Year 8 (their final year before joining Tonbridge). In a typical year 10 or more Music Scholarships, 5 or 6 Art, Drama or Design and Technology Scholarships and 3 or 4 Cowdrey Scholarships for sport are awarded, following assessments in February. The academic scholarship examination takes place in early May, with up to 21 awards being offered. Any of these awards may also provide means-tested support of up to 100% of the full school fee.

Junior Foundation

Junior Foundation Scholarships provide means-tested support (up to 100% of the full school fee) for a Tonbridge education to boys who can clearly and significantly benefit from what the school has to offer and whose family circumstances are such that a bursary would be required in order for them to attend. Awards are made in Year 6 (for entry to Tonbridge in Year 9) and are available to boys in maintained primary schools and preparatory schools who might not be able to consider Tonbridge without financial support. 

Awards are made on the basis of academic potential, with consideration also given to strength in music. For those children currently at primary school, means-tested funding may be available to support two years of preparatory school in Years 7 and 8, in addition to the guarantee of an award for Tonbridge at age 13.

The assessment procedure includes an initial visit to Tonbridge during the autumn of Year 6 and the completion of an online test. Those who subsequently receive an unconditional offer of a place in January of Year 6, and are eligible for a Junior Foundation Award, are then invited to return for a Junior Foundation Scholarship selection day in late February. During that day they will complete written papers in Maths and English as well as carrying out short interviews with Tonbridge staff. No preparation is required in advance of these assessment days. We will also request a reference from the Head Teacher at the boy’s current school in support of his application.

  • Eligibility

The aim of the Junior Foundation Scholarship programme is to widen access to Tonbridge. We therefore offer a range of scholarships which provide between 10 and 100% fee remission. A boy who wins a Junior Foundation Scholarship, and whose family have a pre-tax income of below £70,000, might typically attract remission of 80 to 100% of fees, whilst a Junior Foundation Scholar from a family with a pre-tax income of up to £140,000 might attract some level of fee remission. It should be noted that the level of fee remission offered depends not only upon family income but also upon levels of assets and liabilities, as well as other factors such as necessary expenses.

  • Further Information

Families of boys seeking to apply for entry through a Junior Foundation Scholarship in September 2021 (i.e. those starting Year 6 in September 2018) are encouraged to contact the admissions office to discuss the scheme further and the application process. They will then be required to complete a JFS registration form by Monday 8th October 2018.

An initial indication of the extent of financial support which might be available, if successful in winning an award, can be obtained by completing the Means Tested Assessment form. Once completed this form should be sent to The Bursar, Tonbridge School, High Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1JP. The form requires limited information at this stage; we would ask that you complete it as fully as possible. We provide an exemplar form, which gives an indication of the type of information that it would be helpful to include.

Applicants who are interested in applying for a Junior Foundation Scholarship for entry to Tonbridge in Year 9 in September 2022 or later are encouraged to contact the admissions office to discuss the scheme further and the application process.

Academic Scholarships

Up to 21 academic scholarships are awarded each year to boys in Year 8 who will join the school at 13+. From 2020 onwards, all academic scholars will receive a £2,000 award on winning their scholarship; for the top award, the Ainslie Scholarship, this is increased to £4,000. Winning an academic scholarship ensures eligibility for a bursary of any amount up to the full school fee, if assessment of the parents' means indicates a need.

The 13+ academic Scholarship Examination is held at the school over three days at the beginning of May. Those who win an award are guaranteed a place in the school whether previously in receipt of an offer or not. Copies of each year's examination papers are sent to Prep schools, and are available on request from the Admissions Officer.

Honorary Academic Scholarships may be awarded to candidates who perform at a very high level in the Sixth Form Entrance Examinations. Such awards entitle the holder to the title of ‘Honorary Academic Scholar’ and to an honorarium of £100 but do not provide eligibility for a bursary. However academic scholarships which ensure eligibility for a bursary can be awarded, in very exceptional circumstances, to outstanding candidates for entry to the Sixth Form. Those wishing to be considered for such awards should register by the end of August for examinations in early November.

Download the Academic Scholarship Leaflet and Entry Form

Music

Each year Music Scholarships are awarded to boys joining the school at both 13+ and 16+. Typically around twelve such scholarships are awarded, mostly to boys joining in Year 9. From 2020 onwards, all Music Scholars will receive a £2,000 award on winning their scholarship. Such an award also ensures eligibility for a bursary of any amount up to the full school fee, if assessment of the parents' means indicates a need. A Music Scholarship may be held in addition to an academic, art, drama, design and technology or Cowdrey Scholarship, or otherwise combined. The award of a Music Scholarship includes free instrumental tuition on two instruments at the school.

Those who come close to scholarship standard may be awarded a Music Exhibition, which offers the free tuition on two instruments. Around six music exhibitions are awarded each year.

Applications to take the Music Scholarship Assessment may be submitted anytime up to the published deadline in early December. Assessments are held in late January or early February at Tonbridge with awards, which are conditional upon satisfying the academic entry requirement of the school, being made shortly afterwards.

Music, Art, Drama and Design and Technology Scholarships 

Download the Music Scholarship Entry Form

Cowdrey (Sport)

Colin Cowdrey (Lord Cowdrey of Tonbridge), 1932-2000, was one of the great sportsmen of the twentieth century. In memory of this distinguished Tonbridgian, and to promote and recognise those qualities which he so notably embodied, we have established the Cowdrey Scholarships.

Three or more Scholarships will be offered for award each year, for entry to the school at age 13, to boys of character and integrity who display both sporting excellence and sportsmanship in at least one of the main school team games: rugby, cricket, hockey and football. From 2020 onwards, all Cowdrey Scholars will receive a £2,000 award on winning their scholarship. Such an award also ensures eligibility for a bursary of any amount up to the full school fee, if assessment of the parents' means indicates a need. A Cowdrey Scholarship may be held in addition to an academic, music, art, drama, design and technology or music scholarship, or otherwise combined.

Candidates for the Cowdrey Scholarship must be proposed and recommended by the Head of their current school on a specific Cowdrey Scholarship recommendation form which is available online below and which is also available from the Admissions Office. Recommendations should be submitted prior to the published deadline in early December. Assessments are held in late January or early February at Tonbridge with awards, which are conditional upon satisfying the academic entry requirement of the school, being made shortly afterwards.

Cowdrey Scholarships Leaflet

Download the Cowdrey Scholarship Entry Form

Art

Up to three Art Scholarships are offered for award each year to candidates of suitable quality. From 2020 onwards, all Art Scholars will receive a £2,000 award on winning their scholarship. Such an award also ensures eligibility for a bursary of any amount up to the full school fee, if assessment of the parents' means indicates a need. An Art Award may be held in addition to an Academic, Music, Cowdrey, Drama or Design, Technology and Engineering Award. Candidates will be asked to come to Tonbridge for interview and practical assessment in late January or early February.

Applications to take the Art Scholarship Assessments may be submitted anytime up to the published deadline in early December. Assessments are held in late January or early February at Tonbridge with awards, which are conditional upon satisfying the academic entry requirement of the school, being made shortly afterwards.

Music, Art, Drama and Design and Technology Scholarships 

Download the Art Scholarship Entry Form

Drama

Up to three Drama Scholarships are offered for award each year to candidates of suitable quality. From 2020 onwards, all Drama Scholars will receive a £2,000 award on winning their scholarship. Such an award also ensures eligibility for a bursary of any amount up to the full school fee, if assessment of the parents' means indicates a need. Any Drama Award may be held in addition to an Academic, Music, Cowdrey, Art or Design, Technology and Engineering Award.

Candidates will be asked to come to Tonbridge for interview and practical assessment in late January or early February. Candidates for Drama scholarships will be asked to perform two contrasting monologues from published plays. Candidates are advised to choose their monologues carefully so that they demonstrate a range of mature acting skills. Other theatrical skills such as song, dance, mime and improvisation may also be offered, together with evidence of theatre design or technical expertise. Candidates may also wish to bring with them a portfolio or scrapbook of their involvement in theatre. The academic assessment will include an interview with the Head of Drama about the candidate’s interest and involvement in drama, and a written paper which focuses on the monologues performed by him and any other play(s) he has studied or seen in performance.

Applications to take the Drama Scholarship Assessments may be submitted anytime up to the published deadline in early December. Assessments are held in late January or early February at Tonbridge with awards, which are conditional upon satisfying the academic entry requirement of the school, being made shortly afterwards.

Music, Art, Drama and Design and Technology Scholarships 

Download the Drama Scholarship Entry Form

Design, Technology and Engineering

Up to three Design, Technology & Engineering Scholarships are offered for award each year to candidates of suitable quality. From 2020 onwards, all such scholars will receive a £2,000 award on winning their scholarship. Such an award also ensures eligibility for a bursary of any amount up to the full school fee, if assessment of the parents' means indicates a need. Any Design, Technology and Engineering Award may be held in addition to an Academic, Music, Art, Drama or Cowdrey Award. Candidates will be asked to come to Tonbridge for interview and practical assessment in late January or early February.

Design, Technology and Engineering candidates will be requested to provide a portfolio of their work in advance of the assessment day. The portfolio should include a written and photographic record which outlines work carried out in Product Design, Electronics, ICT or a combination of all three. Practical work should not be brought by the candidate on the day of the assessment but good pictorial evidence should. In addition to carrying out an interview, candidates will complete a practical assignment, covering all three areas of technological study, hence allowing them an opportunity to show individual ability in design and technology.

Applications to take the Design, Technology and Engineering Scholarship Assessment may be submitted anytime up to the published deadline in early December. Assessments are held in late January or early February at Tonbridge with awards, which are conditional upon satisfying the academic entry requirement of the school, being made shortly afterwards.

Music, Art, Drama and Design and Technology Scholarships 

Download the Design, Technology and Engineering Scholarship Entry Form

Other Awards

Judd Foundationer Status

Judd Foundationer Status may be awarded to the sons of parents of limited means who live within ten miles of Tonbridge Parish Church. The grant of Judd Foundationer Status confers the remission of one-third of the tuition fees. Further details and an assessment form may be obtained from the Bursar.

Third Son

A 10% remission of fees is given to the third son (and any subsequent sons) of the same family to attend the school.

In addition

The school also makes means-tested awards to parents of boys already at the school who suffer a significant and unexpected change of financial circumstances such that they would not otherwise be able to keep their son(s) at Tonbridge. Normally, these awards are made only to parents of boys who are following public examination courses, and not to parents of Novi boys. Further details and an assessment form may be obtained from the Bursar.