Helping bright children attend some of the best independent schools in the UK


A Record Scholar will be a child who has proved themselves to be of strong academic ability and who will benefit from going to one of the UK’s leading selective day schools. We think that these schools’ independence enables them to provide the very best educational opportunity for the children we support.


The 15 schools we have chosen to work with are based in the north, south, west and east of England to achieve a broad geographical range. They are all committed to providing an outstanding education for pupils from a great range of backgrounds.

Record Scholars will have as much of their fee paid as their sponsoring school calculates is needed. It may be that the Scholarship will help a family who can afford part of the fee, but not the whole of it.


Usually, a Record Scholarship will be awarded to a child who is about to start Year 7 at their new school, aged 11, but schools are able to propose a pupil who is joining them at a later point in their school career, for example at 13 or 16.

Further information

The Record Scholarship Fund receives all of its funding from a single donor, and it is inevitably restricted.

We cannot offer more than the equivalent to seven 100% awards each year, and we cannot be approached directly by families or schools not within the scheme.
All awards are made to pupils nominated and recommended to us by the 15 Record Associate schools named on this website.
Following analysis of the nominations from the schools, the Trust will select the pupils to whom it wishes to make the awards and inform the schools.
This will be in time for schools to include details of the Record Scholarship by the time they offer a place, where applicable.

The Record Scholarship Trust Committee

The Record Scholarship Trust benefits from the support and advice of three educational professionals who, along with its director Andrew Halls, sit on a committee overseeing the awards.
Neil Record

Founder of the Record Scholarship Trust

Neil was born and raised in Oxford. When Neil was seven, his father, a university administrator, died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving him and his older brother Richard to be raised by their mother, an English teacher. Both Richard and Neil won 11+ places at Magdalen College School, Oxford, then a Direct Grant school, giving both of them a high-quality education without cost to their family (a cost which the family could not have borne).

The ending of the Direct Grant system, and the abolition of most state Grammar schools in the 1970s, has deprived generations of academically able children of the same opportunity to be fully stretched at schools with cultures which encourage learning and academic success.

Today, Neil intends to offer that opportunity to other bright children whose families would like them to study at outstanding independent schools. The Record Charitable Trust's scholarship programme is an attempt, in a very small way, to provide additional social mobility at a time when, for far too many children, the wealth of their family predetermines their own success in life.

Andrew Halls

Director of the Record Scholarship Trust

Andrew attended a large comprehensive school in Birmingham before reading English at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He was Master of Magdalen College School, Oxford, for ten years before becoming Head Master of King's College School, Wimbledon, for over thirteen years. He is currently Honorary Principal of King’s College School, Bangkok, and an educational consultant focusing on school improvement. His interests include researching the life and works of Charles Dickens and he has given lectures on Dickens in the UK and the USA. He has a broad interest in UK education and, in 2020, he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to education.

Members of The Record Scholarship Trust Advisory Committee

Julie Robinson

Julie was a teacher then head of two co-educational, day and boarding prep schools. She led education and training for IAPS for five years and has run the Independent Schools Council since 2015. ISC is a representative body working with a range of organisations promoting the independent education sector. ISC’s three priority areas of activity are: research, communications, and policy/public affairs. Julie advocates working together for the benefit of children in all schools. She is a trustee of the School Partnerships Alliance and a school governor at a state school as well as an independent school in London.

Sue Woodroofe

Sue is an experienced Head, Principal of The Grammar School at Leeds since 2016 and before that, leading The British School of Brussels. An English graduate with a Masters in Educational Leadership, she has taught in maintained and independent schools, in co-educational and single sex schools and in selective and comprehensive schools. As such, she has a wide knowledge and experience of the educational sector stretching over 30 years. Sue is an experienced school governor, serves as an ISI Inspector, is involved in several partnership projects and has recently been elected Chair of HMC for 2023-24.

Alex Frazer

Alex is the Head-Elect of Bancroft’s School and currently a member of the Senior Leadership Team at North London Collegiate School, having previously been Head of Wolverhampton Grammar School. A modern languages graduate from Cambridge University, he started his teaching career at Trinity School, Croydon, in the mid-1990s and saw the great benefits to pupils and school alike of the Government Assisted Places Scheme. Since the demise of the scheme, he has maintained a significant commitment to the identification and promotion of bursary pupils through his roles as Head of Modern Languages at Hampton and Deputy Head (Academic) at Mill Hill, and as a defining feature of his career in Headship. Alex has also been a state school governor and serves as an ISI Inspector.

Frequently asked questions

Why are Record Scholarships not available for other independent schools, or for greater numbers of pupils?

The funds we have available are necessarily limited; they currently enable us to sponsor around seven full fees (or equivalent) per annum, but not more. In selecting our school partners, we have tried to ensure each of these schools is committed to supporting bright children from a range of backgrounds. We have deliberately selected school partners from the north, south, east and west of England to achieve a greater geographical range. Of course, these schools understand that the restricted number of awards means that not all schools will be able to offer a Record Scholarship in September 2023.

How do the 15 schools decide who should be recommended for a Record Scholarship?

They will take account of two key factors:

  • The child’s ability and potential as demonstrated in the school’s own admissions process
  • The financial needs of the child’s family or carers which the associate schools are responsible for validating
If my child wins a Record Scholarship, is the sum awarded guaranteed until he or she finishes at their school?

Yes, subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between the Trust and the awarding school, all Record Scholarships are funded throughout the child’s expected career at their school. However, if the child leaves the associate school before the end of their anticipated school career (ie, before the end of Year 13), whether because they have decided to attend a different school or for some other reason, such as permanent exclusion by the associate school, the Scholarship is almost certain to be concluded at this point, too.

What are the criteria for a Record Scholarship taking effect from September 2023?
  • The child must be applying for a senior school place starting September 2023 at one of the 15 named schools
  • The child should be bright and keen to develop their academic gifts
  • Typically the child will be looking for a place at 11+, but associate schools are very welcome to propose a child sitting for a place at their school at a later stage in their school career, eg at 13, 16, or some other senior school year group; Record Scholarships are not available below year 7
  • Associate schools will be responsible for assessing the financial needs of the pupil’s family or carers. In the light of this assessment, Record Scholarships can be for 100% of the school fees. In some cases, the financial need may be significantly less, but such pupils are still eligible as Scholars if the Trust feels it is able to make a meaningful difference to a child’s opportunities with its resources
  • In some cases, the associate school and the Record Scholarship Trust may share the financial support available
Which are the 15 schools?
  • Bedford School
  • Birkenhead School
  • Bristol Grammar School
  • Emanuel School, London
  • Exeter School
  • King’s College School, Wimbledon
  • The Grammar School at Leeds
  • Leicester Grammar School
  • Magdalen College School, Oxford
  • Norwich School
  • Nottingham High School
  • RGS Newcastle
  • St Dunstan’s, London
  • Withington Girls' School
  • Wolverhampton Grammar School
How can I claim a Record Scholarship for my child?

Families or individuals do not apply for Record Scholarships. Only the 15 associate schools can propose children for these awards.

The Record Scholarship
Trust Vision

The UK has one of the worst records of all developed countries in helping children from poorer homes achieve their full potential and rise up the ladder.* Post-Covid, things are only getting worse. The Record Scholarship Trust aims to make a difference – a tiny difference numerically, but of immense significance for every child and family it supports. Record Scholars will attend one of 15 excellent independent schools across the north, south, east and west of England.

The schools have been selected because of their commitment to bringing the very best out of able and enquiring children, and because they care about providing assistance and support to children from a wide range of backgrounds. Our vision is for every Record Scholar to develop to the optimum their minds and talents at school, and to enter adulthood ready to share those gifts for the betterment of society.

Our School Partners

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