The School Fees Charitable Trust has announced that families with children in their last year at prep school now have the opportunity to apply for a grant if they suffer a sudden and unforeseen change in circumstance – such as the death of a parent – and are unable to pay their fees.
Previously, only children in their final year of GCSEs or A-levels qualified for grants.
Launched in 1991, the trust has paid out grants totalling more than £2 million to over 1,000 families.
Simon Caunt, a pupil at Wellingborough School in Northamptonshire, was one of its beneficiaries. “It would have been a massive, life changing blow to leave my friends, teachers and sports teams behind,” he said.
“My world would have shrunk, and I could have lost my whole support network,” added Caunt. “I’m convinced I wouldn’t be enjoying the life I am today without the trust’s intervention.”
School Fees Charitable Trust is funded by SFS Group, through sales of their school fees insurance, paying out a predetermined sum to cover fees if a parent dies or becomes critically or terminally ill.
SFS Group’s managing director, Clare Cave, said: “We are thrilled that grants from the School Fees Charitable Trust can now help even more families who have suffered a serious ordeal.
“We hear first-hand from parents and children what an enormous difference grants from the trust make to their lives. I’m proud to work for an organisation who believes in giving back in such a positive and long-lasting way.”