Haberdashers’ Boys’ School and Haberdashers’ Girls’ School have vowed to award a record level of financial aid to pupils’ families in the current academic year.
The campus-sharing Hertfordshire independents will spend £3.2m over the course of 2021-22, helping 161 families who would otherwise be unable to afford to send their children to the schools.
Eighty-four students have been granted full bursaries for their fees – meaning their families’ total household income was £40,000 or less – with many also given support for coach transportation, school lunches, academic trips and music lessons.
It’s all part of a strategy, the schools said, to ensure that students are drawn from a wide range of economic, ethnic and social backgrounds.
“We want to attract bright and capable students who would thrive here, even if their families have limited financial means,” said Simon Cartmell, chair of the schools’ governing body. “That’s what Habs has always been about.”
The financial support is intended to safeguard links with the local area, said Rose Hardy, headmistress at Haberdashers’ Girls’ School.
“Given our location, there’s a risk of becoming isolated from the communities that surround us,” she said.
“One way we aim to prevent that is by building partnerships with neighbouring schools and community organisation. Another is by widening access to high-achieving local students whose families couldn’t afford a Habs education without financial assistance.”
Gus Lock, headmaster at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, added: “We know there are many local families who don’t consider Habs because they think they can’t afford it.
“We are trying to get the word out locally that, if you’re a well-rounded student with a curious mind and a love of learning, Habs might be the place for you, and your family might be eligible for financial support.”
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