Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question title below to find out more.

General Questions

Q: Do you offer Wrap Around Care?

Wrap Around Care and Holiday Care, based in our Grassmarket Campus, is offered for 50 weeks of the year. Further information

Q: How do girls perform academically at a school like Heriot's?

Girls’ results compare very favourably with the best achieved at single sex girls’ schools in the City and in fact for the last few years the results of Heriot's S5 girls at Higher surpassed those of their counterparts at all of the Scottish independent girls’ schools.

Q: How many subjects can be followed in S3/S4?

The option columns provide for pupils to take  8 subjects at National 5.  Our Senior School Curriculum page has links to documents showing the Column Options.

Q: How would you summarise the Ethos of the School?

Heriot’s has a caring ethos where each child is known as an individual.  We work within a culture of praise where each child is encouraged to work hard and do their best both academically and in the extra curricular sphere. The School's unofficial motto is 'Work Hard, Be Kind, Be Happy'.

Q: What are the arrangements for Modern Languages in the Junior School?

Modern Languages are introduced in P6 with a ‘European Cultural Awareness’ course in P5.  The languages offered are French, German and Spanish. There is an open choice of language. (Parents wishing further details about the arrangements should speak with the Modern Languages Department.)  Children joining P7 usually take up French unless they have already started learning Spanish or German.

Q: What is the S1 course?

This information can be found under the Curriculum area of this site or in the curriculum plan enclosed with the Prospectus.

Q: What is the School roll?

As at September 2018:

615 Junior School (Nursery – P7)

1031 Senior School (S1 – S6)
Total   –  1646

Q: What is the proportion of boys to girls?

In session 2018/19, across the whole School, it is 50% boys, 50% girls.

Q: What is the range of class sizes?

In the Junior School, classes will range from 4 groups of 8 in the Nursery and 22 in P1/2 to 26 in P6 and P7. 

In the Senior School:
Register classes from S1 to S5 will average around 20.  S6 Tutor Groups mostly have 10 or 11 pupils each.

For Teaching groups in S1 and S2 the practical class limit of 20 will apply to all subjects, except Maths, English and Modern Languages, which are setted with an average set size of 22.

Teaching groups from S3 onwards will continue to have a maximum of 20 in the practical subjects.  In the non-practical subjects numbers vary depending on column option choices and setting arrangements, but average around 21.  In S6 they are often less.

Questions about Admissions

Q: Are siblings guaranteed entry to the School?

All applicants must meet the entry standard but, wherever possible, priority  is given to Foundationers and siblings; however, we do not guarantee entry to  either siblings or Foundationers. If a sibling or Foundationer is NOT offered a place it would be because Heriot's would be an inappropriate school for the child.

Q: Does every child have to sit an entrance assessment?

There is no entrance assessment for entry to the Nursery, but transfer from Nursery into P1 involves a competitive entry assessment. We do not guarantee entry to P1 from our Nursery.  If public examination results are available for applicants to S5 or S6 (e.g. National 5, GCSE, Highers)  decisions on admission may be based on these. Otherwise all applicants must sit an entrance assessment.

Q: What happens if my child is offered a place on the waiting list?

We will contact you as soon as a place becomes available but prospective parents should be aware that as the School requires one term's notice of a child being withdrawn, our offer may have to be for entry the following term.  Inevitably there are exceptions when families have to move at short notice.   If we have not been able to offer a place in the year group applied for by the December of that session, and you still wish a place, your child will have to sit the assessment for the following year.  Whilst we cannot guarantee a place we will look at the application as favourably as possible given that a child was on the waiting list for the previous year.

Q: What is the best stage to transfer an Upper Primary child to Heriot’s?

Heriot’s has an intake at P6, P7 and S1.  The relevant Junior School personnel will be delighted to discuss with a parent the most appropriate stage at which their child might join the School.

In P6 and P7 children will usually join a new class.  Entry to Heriot's at P6 or P7 enables pupils to meet new people; be taught by a variety of staff, including Senior School staff, and know the campus, prior to joining the Senior School.

In S1 the School has long been used to welcoming and integrating new pupils, who will continue to form a significant intake.

Q: What is the induction programme for new pupils?

There are welcome mornings or afternoons for all groups of new pupils from Nursery to S1; welcome booklets are provided for new parents and their children; welcome evenings for all Junior School parents in the early weeks of the First Term and an early Parent/Teacher meeting for S1 also contribute to induction. Pupils entering S2 – S6 have an induction on the day before the start of session.  In some circumstances individual pupils may spend a day in school following acceptance of a place.

Q: When should application be made for entry to the School?

Nursery is the only year where applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, with sibling priority. Applications for P1 - S6 may be made at any time and not later than 1 December the year prior to entry.  We do not give any priority to early applications. 

Questions about Funding

Q: Do you offer Fee Remission for Siblings?

Fee Remission for Siblings

For new families joining the School from Session 2018-19 fee remission of 25% will be available for the fourth and subsequent children whilst four children are at the School (P1-S6) at any one time.  Families whose first child joined the school prior to Session 2018-19 will continue to receive fee remissions of 25% for third and subsequent children whilst three children are at the School (P1 - S6) at any one time. There is no third child or other remission avaible for children in the Nursery.

Q: Do you offer any assistance with fees?

Foundation, Bursaries and Scholarships

The Foundation

The Foundation provides full fee remission to the sons and daughters of widows and widowers. Places are awarded, at the discretion of the Governors, to prospective pupils from Primary Six upwards, who meet both residential and financial criteria and who have fulfilled the academic entrance requirements.  The residence criteria requires pupils to have been resident in the EH, KY or FK postcode areas for at least five years prior to the date of application. The Governors will also consider applications for prospective pupils who do not themselves meet the residence criteria but one of whose parents has a significant and long standing connection with the City of Edinburgh.  Foundation places can also be awarded to current pupils at any stage in the School whose families meet the financial criteria.

Heriot Bursaries

Financial assistance towards payment of school fees can be given to pupils of families meeting the qualifying criteria - and who have fulfilled the School's academic entrance requirements.  Heriot Bursaries are available for pupils entering Primary Six upwards.  Heriot Bursaries are also available for existing pupils from Primary Six upwards whose families meet the qualifying financial criteria. 

All Heriot Bursaries are awarded annually but families are welcome to re-apply for the following session.

The amount of any Heriot Bursary award is assessed on the basis of individual circumstances although normally a Heriot Bursary award is at least one third of the annual fees.  Higher awards including, on an exceptional basis, awards of full fees can be made.  All awards are made at the discretion of the Principal and the Governors, and are subject to satisfactory behaviour and continuing effort.

Applications should be made by 1st December each year for the following session, although parents of current pupils may apply outwith this period if their circumstances change.  For further information please contact the Bursar. NB Please note that an application form for entry to the School is required for prospective parents applying for financial assistance with fees.  Upon receipt of this form the Admissions Team will provide Bursary application forms.

Qualifying Criteria

In order to qualify for Financial Assistance awards, total gross household income must not exceed the qualifying limit set out by the Governors from time to time. 

 For Session 2018-19 this limit will be:-

Foundation Applicants                                      £45,000 per annum

Heriot Bursary Applicants                                 £58,000 per annum

These figures are adjusted to take account of additional children in the family (up to the age of 18 or 23 if in full time education) and any Heriot's School Fees being paid for other children in the family.  In assessing eligibility for Financial Assistance account is also taken of available capital assets.

Bursary Application Form

Academic Scholarships

One Scholarship award of half fees will be made to the top pupil entering Senior One from outside Heriot's. One Scholarship of half fees will also be awarded to the P7 Dux joining Senior One.  Scholarships may also be awarded to other candidates entering Senior One, external and internal; these awards will take the form of an appropriate prize and will carry no fee remission.

Scholarships may also be awarded to pupils entering the School at later stages.

Expressive Arts Awards

Application may be made for special skills awards in Music, Art & Design and Drama by parents of pupils entering Heriot’s from other schools. These are available to pupils from S1 onwards, who meet the relevant criteria in each subject. External awards will be of £1,000, and a maximum of one award will be made in each discipline each year. One internal scholarship may also be awarded in each discipline annually in the form of an appropriate prize. Further details of the basis upon which these awards are offered may be obtained from the School.

Sports Scholarships

Up to four Sports Scholarships, in the form of an appropriate prize, will be available each year to pupils already at Heriot’s. No application is necessary for these Scholarships.

Scholarship Awards are not based on any financial Criteria

For further information please contact: 

The Bursar

George Heriot's Trust

Lauriston Place




0131 221 6700


0131 221 6724


Q: How much notice do I have to give if my child is leaving?

We require at least one term's notice of the date when a pupil will leave the School.  If we do not receive this notice we will charge Fees for one additional term.

Q: What does the School fee cover?

All curricular tuition, exam fees and the costs of the Personal Accident Insurance cover.  In the Junior School all text books and most personal stationery (e.g. jotters, homework diary) are provided.  In the Senior School text books for individual subjects and some items of stationery and equipment require to be purchased separately.

Lunch is payable separately.

Q: What other costs might I have?

School Uniform

You will be required to purchase uniform, sports kit and other items of equipment.  Uniform can be purchased either new from Aitken & Niven or School Blazer who are our nominated suppliers or second hand from the Parents' Association Thrift Shop at Goldenacre.


Books on the Senior School Book Lists can be purchased from Blackwells, who often have a selection of second hand books, or other booksellers.  A Senior School Book Sale is organised in School at the end of the Summer term to allow pupils to buy and sell used text books.

School Lunch

Pupils from P3 upwards use a prepaid 'lunch card'.  Pupils are welcome to bring their own lunch to school and pupils from S4 upwards are allowed to go out of School for lunch.

Curriculuar Trips

From P4 - S2 there are year group trips for which there are additional charges.  The costs range from approximately £150 to £600.

Where trips and visits and other activities organised by the School incur external costs - e.g. activity providers, travel, entrance fees etc., a charge is made to cover these costs.  In the Junior School year group activities are charged and paid with the School fees. All other charges are advised individually and are collected in advance. 

Extra-Curricular Activities

There may be a charge to cover costs.  These vary depending on the activity - many have no cost attached.

Music Tuition

Fees are generally charged by the music teacher directly to the parent - the exception is Piping and Drumming tuition for which fees are charged by the Finance Office on a termly basis.

Wrap Around Care

If you wish to use this service this will incur separate charges.

Q: What payment options are there?

School fees are payable either in a lump sum at the start of session (by electronic transer) or in instalments collected by Direct Debit.

We do not run 'Extras' accounts.  All other charges are payable when due (curricular year group charges are paid with the school fees).  Lunch card top ups and payment for most trips and activities can be made via Parentpay (