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 its aim to place a child at an independent school on a 100% bursary for ten years, from the age of 8 to 18. Successful applicants join Cumnor House Sussex, on a 110% bursary, in Year 4 (aged 8+) and remain with us until Year 8 (aged 13+), when we support their move to an independent senior school, subject to their meeting the entry criteria of each school.  They join that school’s own 100% funded fee assistance programme in Year 9 (aged 13+) to the completion of their school education, aged 18. The Foundation Scholarship at Cumnor includes activities such as sport, music, art and DT, as well as the cost of school uniform and school trips. 

We have a range of local Sussex and national senior schools who have engaged with 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.

And we are delighted that the Foundation has been featured by Talk Education in their comprehensive guide to bursaries across the UK.

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 parents or guardians completing a ‘Foundation Application Form’ and a ‘Confidential Statement of Financial Circumstances Form’, alongside providing a copy of their child’s last School Report and Year 3 SATS results.  If the initial financial criteria are successfully met, a more detailed financial assessment will be undertaken, in strict confidence, by the School Bursar and independent external assessors, Bursary Administration Ltd (BAL).  Children from families who meet the financial requirements, will be invited to join us at Cumnor for a morning of cognitive ability tests in verbal and non-verbal reasoning. A shortlist of candidates will then be invited to return to Cumnor to attend an ‘Experience Morning’.  While their parents or guardians meet with the Headmaster, who gives them a tour of the School, the shortlisted candidates will be fully immersed into Cumnor life.  As well as participating in Maths, English, Drama and Sports lessons, they will work and play alongside their contemporaries, be interviewed in more detail by the Headmaster and, where appropriate, offered the opportunity to show any particular talents in the areas of sport, music, art or drama.

A final shortlist of candidates will be drawn up and presented to The Cumnor Foundation Board of Trustees. 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. 

We currently have seven fully funded Foundation Scholars from Sussex thriving within our School community, while five have left us to join their senior schools having reach the end of their Cumnor journey.  It gives us great pleasure to hear about their progress as they continue their senior school education journey.

Applications for Foundation Scholars starting with us in Year 4 at the start of the 2023/24 Academic year are now CLOSED.  We will be inviting applications for the start of the 2024/25 Academic year in Year 4, during  the 2023 Autumn Term.    

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.