Questor Bursaries

Questor Bursaries are small grants given to support children and young people from 0 to 18 years old who come from low or lower-income families. This includes (but is not restricted to) families

  • in receipt of income-related benefits;
  • living in social housing;
  • whose children qualify for free school meals or healthy start vouchers
  • who would otherwise struggle to pay for their child to attend activities to enthuse their learning.

Funding is provided to enable them to take part in activities that make learning exciting and fun. The type of things we will fund are limited only by the child or young person’s imagination. Learning can be online, face to face or a combination of the two.

The average size of the grants we give is £250. We welcome one application per child or young person a year. We know this is not enough to pay for ongoing courses or lessons. However, we do hope it will enable them to

  • LEARN new things and try new challenges
  • EXPLORE existing interests or master skills in greater depth
  • MAKE new friends and have new experiences

Why our Questor bursaries exist

We want to ignite in young people a passion for learning! That feeling of excitement about learning – whether that’s something new or more in-depth or at a higher level – can last a lifetime. Starting that process at a young age can inspire potential and help boost a young person’s confidence, self-esteem and relationship to formal learning.

Yet some children can face barriers to finding their passion for learning. One significant barrier is economic disadvantage. How do we know a child has the potential to be a world-class musician or scientist or … if they cannot afford to take that first step to try?

That is where our Questor Bursaries come in.

What we fund 

  • Questor grants are available for children and young people from 0-18 years old.
  • Families applying must be UK residents.
  • Bursaries for face-to-face events must go towards activities run by UK-based providers. Bursaries for online events can go towards activity providers based anywhere in the world.
  • Where the organisation running the event is not one of The Potential Trust’s current partners, the name and contact details must be provided by the applicant.
  • Bursaries are not offered retrospectively for events already paid for, help with school fees or ongoing private tuition fees (e.g., piano lessons), although funding for ‘taster session’ may be considered.
  • The average amount awarded is normally £250 and applicants are strongly advised not to apply for more than this unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please talk to us if you feel this applies to you.
  • Funding is not normally offered for more than 80% of the cost of the event(s).
  • Funding is only provided for events and activities. Travel or other costs will not be covered.
  • Only one application per calendar year for each Questor will be considered.
  • Bursary applicants will be expected to complete a simple evaluation sheet after they have attended the event. Failure to do this may affect the outcome of future bursary applications.

Apply for a Questor bursary!

  1. Please read the information above to ensure your child meets our funding criteria.
  2. If you think they do, or if you have any questions, please contact us for an informal discussion. Call us at 01844 351666 or email Please put the child’s full name in the subject box of any emails you send us.
  3. Complete a Questor Bursary application form.

We aim to make decisions as swiftly as possible so that a place can be booked for your child on your chosen activity. If it is straightforward and there has already been a discussion with us about how much is needed, you will normally receive the outcome of your application within one month. In some more complicated cases, your application may need to go to a Trustees meeting for discussion and approval. We meet twice a year, usually in May and October.

The decision of Trustees about awarding a bursary is final. We have no mechanism to appeal a decision made. Being turned down one year will not influence our decision if you apply for a bursary in future years.

If a bursary is awarded and once its value has been agreed, you will be contacted to confirm our decision. Confirmation will also be sent to the event provider so they know how much you will need to pay when you contact them to make your booking. Once booking has been made, the organisation will invoice the Trust for the bursary amount. For overseas providers of online activities, different arrangements may need to be put in place but we will inform you of this before you book.

What happens after the event?

Once a young person has attended an event funded by a Questor bursary, we ask them to complete a simple evaluation sheet. This will help us to understand the impact of our bursaries. Once we receive this evaluation, we will invite the young person to apply to become a lifelong Questor.

Becoming a Questor

Questor Bursary recipients can apply to become a Questor for life. It is free for bursary recipients to apply. A Questor will be making a commitment to:

  • Being curious and open to learning and new experiences
  • Identifying and encouraging new Questors to come forward
  • Helping to support our work by telling others about what we do; and
  • Becoming part of our Questor Community.

We are always looking for new Questors, especially those from low- and lower-income backgrounds whose High Learning Potential is not recognised or supported. Could your child or someone you know be a Questor? Is there a Questor in your vicinity by any chance?

Bursaries – I have a question…

Once you have received an email confirming the bursary, contact the provider (who should have received a copy of the email) and make your booking.

If the bursary is for a maximum amount towards a list of events but it does not cover all the events your Questor is interested in, please make sure you book ONLY those the bursary enables you to afford.

If the provider has told you that places are filling fast, phone them and ask if they could hold a provisional place while you negotiate a bursary with the Trust (most of the providers we have worked with before are willing to do this).

You can apply for funding for more than one event from the same provider (especially in the case of the Royal Institution summer school 1-day events) but should put these in order of preference, NOT in date order.  We start from the top of your list and may be unable to offer bursaries for all the events applied for.

Questors are normally limited to one bursary during a 12-month period.

We’re sorry to hear that and we’re aware that you probably have a very disappointed Questor so please contact us to tell us:

  • the name and surname of your Questor
  • the name and date of the event(s)
  • the reason your Questor didn’t participate
  • whether there another event your Questor would like to try and book instead (please give name of event, date, and cost)
  • or whether you would prefer us to hold your funding over until next year

If you are having serious difficulty in paying the additional cost, use this link to CONTACT US and give us the name of your Questor, the name and date of the event, the original price, the amount of the bursary awarded – and the new price.  We can’t promise to be able to help, but we will see what we can do

If this is a significant amount and you can afford to do so, we would be very grateful if you could donate some or all of it back to the Trust to help more Questors to benefit from the bursaries we award.  If you would like to make a donation please click here or if you would like to discuss this further please contact us.

Thank you for being so honest with us.  Our Questors bursary scheme helps children and young people with High Learning Potential to participate in events the family would not otherwise be able to afford.  If you would like to donate all or some of the amount of the bursary back to the Trust we will use it to offer a bursary to another family.  Please click here and contact us if you would like to discuss this further.

Although we have never received a complaint since the Trust was set up in 1984, no-one can predict the future.  If you have a complaint about the Trust itself or about an event for which we have provided a Questors bursary we want to hear about it as soon as possible and we will do our best to deal with it quickly, fairly, efficiently, and effectively – and to use it constructively in planning and improving all our services.