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019: Craft your bursary strategy

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In this episode, I explore how two of my passions can be combined: strategy and the importance of focusing your resources on the things that will make a difference, and bursary provision within independent schools and the way that it can impact on social mobility. I consider the questions that you need to ask and the options you have going forward as you craft your bursary strategy.

I begin by defining what I mean by bursaries and bursary strategies. I outline the differences between a bursary and a scholarship, and note the increasing shift towards means-tested bursaries in the UK and a subsequent shift towards fundraising campaigns and away from capital campaigns.

After defining bursaries, I look at the how the 'four building blocks of strategy' can help structure your thinking around strategy. I look at the strategic choices you need to make as you define your big picture, long term vision for bursaries in your school. I outline possible accelerators and sticking points: internal strengths and weakness and external opportunities and threats. I look at how you can identify the general approach to overcoming the sticking points and, finally, I reinforce the importance of an action plan.

Episode highlights

  • Defining Bursaries (01:40)

  • Four building blocks of strategy (04:42)

  • Your vision and strategic choices (05:18)

  • Accelerators and sticking points (17:14)

  • Identifying the general approach (22:23)

  • The importance of an action plan (23:26)

References and resources

Episode 004: The outlook for commercial income with Andrew Cook, Repton School at:

Episode 009: Reimagining your fundraising case for support at:

Episode 013: Strategy: Four essential building blocks (Strategy Toolkit 2) at:

‘Rethinking Strategy in Independent Schools’ research report at:

Discover all the Series 1 episodes at:

Sign up to Juliet Corbett’s newsletter at:

Find out more about Juliet Corbett’s work and discover a host of free resources at:


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