Bursaries and Scholarships

Fee assistance in the form of bursaries are available from Primary 7. Scholarships can be awarded to pupils from S1

Bursaries are means-tested grants which can be awarded to pupils to help pay tuition fees. Scholarships are non-means tested awards made to children by the school and held in trust for them until they leave school. 


Means tested bursaries are available for children from Primary 7 upwards who meet our academic entry criteria and who would otherwise be unable to attend our schools. Bursaries can be awarded for up to 100% of tuition fees and the value of the bursary is determined by the financial need of the applicant.

We had hoped to move to a fully online application process this year, however this has proved to be a bigger task than we had first thought and we will carry this work forward to next year.

In a bid to reduce paper handling as much as possible, we ask that you complete our application form electronically and return it by email to fees@esms.org.uk.

You can download the application form via the link on this page.

  • Please complete your form in full and return by Friday 11th December 2020 or sooner if at all possible.  The number of bursary holders has increased significantly in recent years and if we are to ensure that your application is included in the screening process, it is essential that we receive your form by this date
  • Your application must be supported by appropriate documentary evidence, without which we will not be able to renew your bursary/bursaries
  • Supporting documentation should be provided as attachments along with the completed form. If you do need to scan paper copies of documentation, free scanning software is available for all smart phones and tablets that will allow you to create electronic copies (e.g. iPhone Notes or Adobe Scan)

If it is not possible for you to complete the form electronically and you would like to request a paper copy of the form, or if you have any questions about completion of the form or submitting documentary evidence, please do not hesitate to contact our Fees Administrators, Mrs Hazel Colligan and Miss Claire Nolan, on 0131 347 5757 or via email at fees@esms.org.uk .

Please note, we cannot consider a bursary application until we have received your application to attend the school.


Scholarships can be awarded to children entering S1 upwards. They are awarded as a result of a competitive scholarship selection process. Scholarships are not means tested or used to subsidise fees, but rather are awarded and then held in trust for pupils until they complete their sixth year. This creates a sum of money that can then be used to provide benefit in the future, such as contributing towards the costs of higher education.

Academic Scholarships

Academic Scholarships worth up to £1,250 a year are offered to boys and girls applying to enter S1 of our Senior Schools. They may be either from our own Junior School or other primary schools. They are awarded as the result of a competitive scholarship selection process, which takes place at the start of each calendar year.

  • Merchant Company Scholarships - £300 a year. Available to boys and girls applying to enter S1 in either of our senior schools.
  • ​The Cunningham Scholarship - £1,250 a year. The top scholarship awarded to a boy entering S1 of Stewart's Melville College
  • ​The Mackay Scholarship - £1,250 a year. The top scholarship awarded to a girl entering S1 of The Mary Erskine School

How academic scholarships are awarded

Parents and pupils do not apply for a scholarship. If your child demonstrates academic excellence in their entrance exam, we will invite them to sit a scholarship exam, held very shortly afterwards. Scholarships are awarded to candidates who perform especially well in the scholarship examination.

Music Scholarships

Music Scholarships of £300 a year are offered together with free music tuition. They are made to girls and boys from S1 onwards, whether they are already in our schools or have been offered a place. They are awarded on the same basis as academic scholarships.

Music Tuition Awards

Music tuition awards may also be offered to pupils from Primary 6 onwards, to cover the cost of instrumental tuition fees. They are made on the basis of assessments conducted by our Music Department.

Financial assistance can also be sought through the Pupils' Fund 

The schools are able to support a number of children through the resources of the Pupils’ Fund which provides grants to help pupils participate in extra-curricular trips and excursions at home or abroad. 

For more information on bursaries, scholarships and the Pupils' Fund, please contact the School Bursar on 0131 347 5750.