Bursaries are usually means-tested awards made by schools to the children of parents who cannot afford to pay full fees. They can frequently be used to top up scholarships (which may be 50% of fees). Total help can be very generous – maybe up to 100% of fees or even 110% (to cover uniform, extras etc).
Sometimes bursaries may only be available to the more able and talented pupils. They are frequently earmarked for children of eg clergy, service personnel or alumni. Some funds are available only to provide short-term help for parents of existing pupils in (proven) financial difficulties, particularly to help pupils at crucial stages such as examination years.
Almost all schools have some money available for bursaries – sometimes considerable amounts. Some groups of schools (eg GDST, Friends’ Schools) have schemes which can be taken up in any member school.