The Elizabeth College Foundation Bursary Scheme is as a result of the college’s Chance of a Lifetime Appeal, which had two aims – to purchase Canada Court next door, now to be known as Perrot Court, and provide the bursary.
Parents can now register their interest in applying for a place for either boys or girls to enter Elizabeth College in Year 7 or Year 12 next September.
College vice-principal and bursary co-ordinator Rick James said the aim for the first year was to have at least five new students in Year 7 and three in the sixth form.
There may be more, however, depending on how much of the fund is used for each student. He said that, in effect, the college has a total amount available of eight full grants each year, £102,240, but if some students require less than a 100% bursary, it may be possible that others who require less will also benefit.
The Chance of a Lifetime Appeal raised almost £1.5m. on its own, but Mr James said that without a ‘tremendously generous’ legacy from the late Roger Perrot, an Old Elizabethan, the college would not have been able to launch the bursary this year.
Applications are being taken already, he said, and all those who apply will be treated the same as other students by having to sit the same entrance test.
But, unlike the old States scholarship, it is the aptitude of the student, and whether they ‘demonstrate the appropriate character and commitment’, which will help decide whether or not they are offered a bursary rather than their academic abilities.
‘It’s really important to me,’ said Mr James. ‘I was lucky enough to benefit from a similar scheme in the UK.
‘I believe in the inclusivity of this school and I believe it offers great opportunities to all the students who come here.’
Previously, the school took 23 students each year whose tuition fees were completely paid by the States in the wake of their academic performance in the 11-plus.
Since that stopped, Mr James said it was apparent that some parents who would like to send their children to the college were unable to do so because of the cost.
‘There are students in the school now who clearly have come because of the old States special place scheme whose parents wouldn’t have been able to afford to pay for them and that’s what we want to replace with the bursary,’ he said.
The ultimate aim of the bursary scheme is for the college to get close to the number it used to take from the States.
This fund is being managed by the trustees of the Elizabeth College Foundation, a registered charity, of which Advocate Perrot was once chairman as well as being a patron and director.
Although the States no longer has special place holders joining the school each year, it will continue to fund those who remain, up to 2026 when the last student to have earned a States scholarship will leave the college.