Financial Support

Merchiston Castle School offers financial assistance by means of a Bursary Fund designed to enable any child to have access to a Merchiston education, irrespective of their financial circumstances.

The Bursary Fund is a finite ‘pot’ and as such, funds available are limited. Bursary awards are allocated as fairly as possible, and there is an annual review of all bursaries in March.

All bursary awards are means-tested and require a financial statement from parents which is treated in the strictest confidence. A range of factors is considered in making the awards, and as a result, the number and size of bursaries can vary considerably. Bursary awards may be up to 100% fee remission.

The ultimate obligation to finance school fees lies with the parents of the pupils. Financial support in the form of a means-tested Bursary will only be considered after all other avenues for financing school fees have been exhausted.

Bursary awards are intended to facilitate access both for new pupils and also to assist existing pupils where there has been a significant change in financial circumstance which threatens the pupil’s continued education at Merchiston.

All applicants are required to complete a Bursary Application Form. The school reserves the right to request further information, should it to be necessary.

For further details, please contact the Bursar by telephone on 0131 312 2215 or by email at

In addition to the Bursary Fund, SCIS (the Scottish Council of Independent Schools) has compiled a list of trusts, available to download from their website that will consider applications for help in meeting school fees, including eligibility criteria and contact details.


Factors taken into consideration when assessing a family’s financial situation include:

  • Opportunities to release capital either through increased mortgages or sale of investments;
  • The ability to improve the earning power of the family. In the case of two parent families, both parents would be expected to be earning where possible;
  • Commitments to the education of other siblings will be taken into account, but where a family has children at other fee-paying schools, parents are expected to have made Bursary application to the other schools also;
  • Applicants have asked their extended family for support before requesting a means-tested Bursary;
  • The financial circumstances of both natural parents. In the case of re-marriage the application should include the step parent’s financial information. The obligation of the step parent to his or her natural children will be taken into account;
  • Where families are resident locally there is an expectation that parents consider the option of day fees where boarding fees are beyond their means.

Further reading about Bursary Qualifications.


All applications are required to be submitted by the February half term preceding the start of the next academic year. The applications are assessed by an external third party to ensure transparency and fairness and their findings remain strictly confidential.

The Bursary Committee meet in March and comprises: one Governor, the Headmaster, the Bursar and a representative from Scott Moncrieff, the School’s financial advisors. Decisions are based on the external means -tested analysis of the applications and the admissions process.

As financial circumstances can change, all Bursaries are subject to review. Successful applicants can expect to have to provide updated financial information at any time, at the sole discretion of the school.

Bursaries are conditional on the recipient playing a full and active part in the life of the School.

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