Foundation Scholarships

Each year, Cumnor House Sussex offers up to two fully-funded Foundation Scholarships to children currently in Year 3 at a Sussex state primary school, or who are being home schooled.  Parents or guardians of children who are excelling academically and performing towards the top of their Class are encouraged to apply.  The places are offered to children from families who could never afford to pay for an independent school education. 

The Cumnor Foundation is unique, in covering the entire cost of a child’s education at an independent school for ten years, from the age 8 to 18, and includes other activities such as sport, music, art and DT, as well as school uniform and school trips.  Successful applicants join Cumnor House Sussex in Year 4 (aged 8+) and remain with us until Year 8 (aged 13+) when we support their move on to one of our independent senior school partners, subject to meeting the entry criteria of each school.  There they will complete their school education to Year 13 (aged 18), as part of that school’s own 100% funded fee assistance programme.

We have a range of local Sussex and national senior schools engaged in The Cumnor Foundation, including Benenden School, Eastbourne College, Hurstpierpoint College, The King’s School Canterbury, Mayfield School, Radley College, Roedean School, Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge School, Wellington College and Worth School. New partner schools are continually being added to this list.

The Foundation Scholarships are strictly means-tested annually, and are only awarded to children from families who could never afford to pay for a private school education, either through their single or joint incomes, or the release of assets. 

The application process initially involves completing a ‘Foundation Application’ Form and a ‘Confidential Statement of Financial Circumstances’ Form.  If the initial financial criteria are successfully met, a more detailed financial assessment will be undertaken, in strict confidence, by the School’s Head of Finance and Bursary Administration Ltd (BAL).   Parents or guardians will then be invited into Cumnor House Sussex with their child to meet with the Headmaster, following which the child will undergo some academic testing while the parents or guardians are given a tour of Cumnor.  Children reaching the necessary academic standards, will be invited to attend an ‘Experience Morning’ where they will be fully immersed into Cumnor life.  During the course of the morning, they will work and play alongside their contemporaries, be interviewed in more detail by the Headmaster and, where appropriate, they will be offered the opportunity to show any particular additional talents in the areas of sport, music, art or drama.

Places are offered depending on the particular degree of promise shown by a child.  Once a place is offered, the family will be provided with appropriate on-going support in the form of a Family Mentor and the child will be allocated a Tutor. 

We currently have seven fully funded Foundation Scholars from Sussex thriving within our School community.  Our first Foundation Scholar, who joined Cumnor in 2016, left us in September 2021 to join Hurstpierpoint College on a 100% bursary and with an Academic Scholarship – a very exciting stage of the journey to reach for them, their family, and for all of us at Cumnor.  We are looking forward to keeping in touch with them, and hearing about their progress as they continue on their education journey at Hurst to the age of 18.

Applications have now CLOSED for Foundation Scholars who will join us in Year 4 in September 2022 at the start of the 2022/23 Academic Year.  Applications for Foundation Scholars starting with us in Year 4 at the start of the 2023/24 Academic Year will re-open in September 2022.    

If you are interested in finding out more, please do contact Olivia Henley, Foundation Manager, by calling 01825 790 347 or emailing

If you are interested in finding out ways in which you can support The Cumnor Foundation through a donation or a gift, then please do visit our Cumnor Foundation page.