Charity Profile

The Girls' Day School Trust

Registered Charity No.306983

The Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) is the UK's leading group of independent girls' schools, with nearly 4,000 staff and 20,000 students between the ages of three and 18. As a charity that owns and runs a family of 23 schools and two academies in England and Wales, it reinvests all its income in its schools. Founded in 1872, the GDST has a long history of pioneering innovation in the education of girls. For more details about GDST schools, please go to and follow us on Twitter @GDST.

As a charity, the GDST aims to be an access enabler: seeking out the brightest, most deserving girls for bursaries so that the largest possible number of talented girls can benefit from an excellent GDST education. In particular, we aim as far as we can to focus our support on girls for whom the chance of a GDST education would be a transformative, life-changing prospect. Overall, nearly 20% of students at GDST senior schools receive financial assistance to help towards their fees. This amounted to over £13m last year. Many of our bursaries are funded via charitable partnerships and by donations and legacies from our former pupils, their parents and other friends. For instance, the HSBC Scholarship Programme supports girls joining our schools and Sixth Forms from state schools.

We offer bursaries so that a GDST education is accessible to the best and the brightest girls, including those who are not in a position to pay full fees. A bursary takes into account academic ability but, as every bursary is means-tested, its value is directly related to the income and financial resources of the pupil's family.

GDST bursaries and scholarships are available to any student aged 11 and over at a GDST senior school. Most bursaries and scholarships are allocated on entry either to Year 7 or to the Sixth Form. Bursaries range from 30% to 100% of fees; however, the amount of any bursary depends on local demand and the funding available. Pupils who get a full bursary may also get help to meet the cost of their uniforms, lunches and travel.

To assess who is eligible for a bursary we consider a range of objective criteria including the income and capital resources of the families applying. We re-assess every year to take account of significant changes in family income and circumstances, and a bursary may go up or down to reflect these. This ensures those most in need receive our support.

"Receiving a bursary significantly affected my life – not just in terms of the great education I received, but also through the opportunities I was given and the enthusiasm and huge boost to my self-confidence I developed as a result of my school environment."

Former GDST bursary beneficiary

Similar charities that may also be able to offer support:

For further details, please visit our bursaries and scholarships page on our website: