University College School is a leading London day school that combines the highest standards of academic achievement and pastoral care with outstanding facilities for all-round education with a distinctive liberal ethos. From its beginning, the School has had at its core a commitment to access: from its foundation in 1830 with a pledge that religion should be no bar to entry. In the 21st century, we add a further commitment – that the education we provide will not be restricted solely to those who can afford it.
What fee assistance is available?
Funds are available for families new to the School to assist with payment of fees and to provide assistance with those extracurricular activities that have a direct bearing on a pupil's education. Assistance is available to pupils entering the Senior School. Occasionally, in the event of severe hardship caused by unforeseeable changes in family circumstance, fee assistance may be available for pupils who are already in the School.
Applying for assistance if you are new to the School
Parents who wish to be considered for fee assistance should indicate this on the registration form. The second stage of the application process requires detailed information about the family's financial circumstances. We will send you a Financial Disclosure Form to return to us. It will be treated in complete confidence.
Applying for assistance if your son or daughter is already in the School
If you experience any difficulties paying the fees, please raise the matter with the Finance Bursar. A limited amount of fee assistance may be available for families experiencing genuine and unpredictable hardship.
Additional support is available for extracurricular activities that benefit a pupil's education. Fee Assistance is unlikely to be offered for purely social activities, but, it can enable pupils to take advantage of opportunities such as music tours and fieldwork. For example, a pupil in receipt of 50% fee remission would contribute half of the cost of any such trip and UCS would cover the remaining expenses. If you wish to apply for fee assistance for an academic trip, please discuss the matter with the Headmaster.
The allocation of fee assistance
Fee assistance is only offered to candidates who have satisfied our entrance requirements - both in academic examination and at interview. We cannot guarantee to meet every request for fee assistance that is made. Where necessary, the allocation of fee assistance funding will take into account all aspects of a candidate's application to UCS.
Review of fee assistance
UCS reviews the level of fee assistance annually to direct funds towards the areas of greatest need. The broad criteria employed in the initial award of fee assistance will apply for the purposes of review. Changes in family circumstances will often result in a change to the amount of assistance that can be provided.
Further Information about fee assistance at UCS
If you would like to know more about fee assistance at UCS, you should attend one of the School's Open evenings (dates and times can be found on our website or by enquiry to the Admissions Secretary on 020 7433 2117). It is also possible to arrange a private meeting with the Headmaster or with the Finance Bursar, if you have more specific or personal questions that you would like to ask.
Our aim is always to target fee assistance towards those candidates and those families who would not otherwise be able to take advantage of a UCS education. So, UCS does not offer fee assistance simply on the grounds of recognised academic ability. We do not offer traditional academic scholarships.
However, we are keen to recognise the ability and achievement of the candidates who sit our admissions tests. UCS is proud to offer prizes to those candidates whose performance is exemplary. These prizes take the form of generous book tokens, with book plates inscribed to commemorate the candidate's achievement. The books will be presented at a private occasion for the pupil and his/her family, when he/she joins the school.
Music at UCS
UCS has a proud musical tradition. We believe that music, of all kinds, makes a unique contribution to the life of the school, and to the educational experience of our students (whether they are themselves musicians, or not).
We run choirs, a symphony orchestra, a chamber orchestra, wind, string and brass ensembles, a barber shop group, jazz ensembles, a salsa band, rock groups and much more. We are keen to encourage participation from pupils of every age and every standard, whether or not they learn their instrument at school.
The approach that we take to music at UCS is lively and inclusive, and encourages students to achieve the very highest standards in musical understanding and performance.
We are keen that the opportunity for a UCS musical education should be open to as many musically talented children as possible, regardless of their background.
It is for this reason that we offer Entrance Awards in Music.
These awards are available by competitive audition to boys and girls who wish to enter UCS Senior School at Year 7 (11+), Year 9 (13+) or Year 12 (16+), and to all existing UCS students in these age-groups who wish to be considered. Please visit our Music section to learn more about our Music Department.
What is a Music Award?
A Standard Music Award at UCS will entitle the holder to a reduction in the annual school tuition fee of between 10% and 25%. The precise value will depend upon the standard of applicants and, therefore, the competition in any one year.
In addition to this, parents of applicants may ask to be considered for a Supplementary Music Award. This will involve a test of parental means. A Supplementary Award may raise the value of a Music Award as high as 100% of the annual tuition fee. The difference in value between a Standard Award and a Supplementary Award will depend upon the financial need of the family concerned, as determined through a UCS means test.
All Music Awards at UCS (whether Standard or Supplementary) entitle the holder to free instrumental tuition at school on an instrument (including voice) of the candidate's choice.
Standard Music Awards remain in place throughout a student's time at UCS Senior School. The means-tested element of a Supplementary Award is subject to annual review (in common with all other means-tested fee assistance at UCS) in order to take account of any changes in family circumstances that have taken place since the award was granted.
How are Music Awards given?
Music Awards involve competitive auditions. Applicants will be required to play two contrasting pieces of their own choice on a main instrument or voice. Competition is often quite strong. We expect a minimum of Grade V at 11+, Grade VI at age 12-13 years, and Grade VIII at 16+. The age of younger candidates will be taken into consideration. There will be ear tests, sight reading and an interview. Demonstration of ability on a second instrument, or as a singer, will be welcomed.
The auditions are conducted by the UCS Music Department with the presence and advice of an external assessor to ensure complete fairness.
The final decisions are dependent not only upon candidates' musicality, but also upon a judgement of the contribution that they will be able and willing to make to the musical life of the school.
Are there any other conditions for Music Awards?
Music Awards will only be made to candidates who have, separately, satisfied the Headmaster of their academic and personal suitability for a UCS education, judged by the school's standard admissions procedures.
The holders of Music Awards are required to play a full part in the musical life of the school throughout their years at UCS. Failure to do so could lead to the withdrawal of the Award.
The application process and the timing of auditions
Applications are welcomed from students seeking entry to UCS through the standard procedures for admission in Year 7, Year 9 or Year 12. Details of these admissions procedures can be found in the Music section on our website or from the UCS Admissions Secretary.
Applications are equally welcome from students currently in Year 6 at the UCS Junior Branch or in Years 8 or 11 at the Senior School.
In order to apply for a Music Award, an Application Form must be completed. These may be obtained from the Music Administrator. It is simple to indicate on the Application Form that you would like to be considered for a Supplementary Award. In this case, further Financial Disclosure Forms will be forwarded to you. These are treated in complete confidence by the UCS Bursary Department.
Candidates currently in Year 11, applying for an Award in Year 12 should expect to complete the Application Form before November of Year 11. Auditions will be held later in that month.
Candidates currently in Years 6 or 8, applying for Awards in Years 7 or 9 should expect to complete the Application Form in January. Auditions will normally be held in early February.
Music Award Information Evening
The UCS Music Department holds an Information Evening every Autumn where families and candidates can find out more about music at UCS, and can pick up further information and advice about applying for Music Awards. Details can be found on the Music section of this website or on 020 7433 2315.