Scholarships and Bursaries

What is the difference between a scholarship and a bursary?

Academic and music scholarships are awarded on a strictly competitive basis and parental income is not taken into account.

A bursary may be awarded to help parents who are unable to pay some or all of the fees by granting a remission on the fees.  Pupils must first win their place on academic merit by doing well in the entrance examinations and interviews (note: there are no separate places set aside for bursary pupils).  Parents must complete a financial assessment form designed to establish the level of fee remission required.

13+ Scholarships

Queen’s Scholarships (13+) 

  • Eight Queen’s Scholarships are awarded each year in the Fifth Form.
  • Candidates for the scholarships must take The Challenge (scholarship examination) in the May preceding their entry to the School.
  • Queen’s Scholars are required to board in College.
  • From 2017 the monetary value of the Queen’s Scholarship is set at half way between the day fee and 50% of the boarding fee. 
  • If required, a ‘top-up’ bursary will be awarded on a means-tested basis.
  • Candidates who reach the standard of a Queen’s Scholarship but are not prepared to board are awarded an Honorary Scholarship which brings no remission of the fees. Honorary Scholars may board or be day pupils.
  • Five exhibitions (minor scholarships) are awarded to those who come close to scholarship standard. An Exhibition brings no remission of the fees. Exhibitioners may board or be day pupils.

Click on the links below to download the 2015 Challenge papers

Click on the links below to download the 2014 Challenge papers

Click on the links below to download the 2013 Challenge papers

Music Awards (13+)

  • From 2017 up to eight music scholarships are awarded in the Fifth Form. 
  • Candidates should offer at least two instruments and will be expected to demonstrate general musicianship and potential for development.
  • Auditions are held each January or February.
  • Before the music award auditions candidates can seek advice from the Director of Music and arrange an informal audition. Please contact the Music Administrator on 020 7963 1017.
  • Candidates must subsequently qualify academically for admission through The Challenge (scholarship examination) or the Common Entrance examination.
  • From 2017, a Music Scholar will receive a 10% remission of the day fee (whether he is a day pupil or boarder).  He will also receive free tuition on up to two instruments.  
  • An additional ‘top-up’ bursary will be provided for those in financial need, up to 100% of the day fee.

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16+ Scholarships

Queen's Scholars: From September 2017, four girls will be elected annually to Westminster School as Scholars at 16+. The girls will be known as Queen’s Scholars just as the boys are and will have the post nominal ‘QS’. To find about more about becoming a Queen's Scholar as a girl at 16+ click here.

Music Awards: Four scholarships worth 10% of the day fee and free tuition on up to two instruments, may be awarded annually at 16+. Auditions will be held on Friday 25 November 2016 for those candidates who are invited to interview and TSA testing. A good Grade 8 standard on the candidate’s first instrument is usually expected. The Director of Music is very happy to discuss this process with prospective candidates. The Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey also kindly support a Henry Purcell Organ Scholarship at Westminster School worth 10% of the current day fee. For further information, please contact the Music Administrator on 020 7963 1017 or email musicoffice@

13+ and 16+ Bursaries

A number of means-tested bursaries up to 100% of the day fees are available at 13+ or 16+ entry. They are awarded on the basis of academic ability and financial need. To be eligible a child and a child’s parent(s) must be a British citizen or citizens of the EEA or Switzerland, AND must also live in London. We aim to act as sensitively as possible and very few members of staff and none of the other pupils will be aware that a boy or girl is receiving financial assistance. When a full bursary is awarded it will cover the cost of uniform, equipment and compulsory school expenditures

Bursaries are awarded only to candidates whose parents would not be able to afford the full fees.

To see if you are eligible for a bursary please click here.

11+ Bursaries

A number of means-tested bursaries up to 100% of the day fees are available. Boys who are awarded bursaries at 11+ spend two years at our Under School and then move automatically into Westminster School at the start of Year 9.