Bursary Programmes

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The Charity’s aim is to raise international awareness of the benefits of a Montessori education and its effectiveness in a child’s development, through exciting charitable projects which have significant social impact. The Bursary Programme provides financial support to those students who intend to apply for courses at Montessori Centre International (MCI) or who find themselves in financial difficulties part-way through their MCI course.

We have 3 bursaries available, which are criteria dependant, as detailed below – Birts Bursary, Maria Montessori 150th anniversary Bursary and the Barbara Isaacs’ Bursary Fund.

Bursary Deadlines and Meetings for 2020

Deadline for Receipt of Bursary ApplicationsMeeting DateBursary Session


13 March 2020

20 March 2020Session 1
7 August 202014 August 2020Session 2

Applications must be received by 12 noon on the deadline date. Late applications cannot be considered.

Important Conditions for each Bursary

  • The Charity can only accept one application from each candidate;
  • Only in exceptional circumstances will the full cost of the course be awarded as a bursary;
  • Any bursary awarded must be taken up within one calendar year of the date of the offer letter. Thereafter the award is void;
  • If a candidate withdraws from the course within three months of the start date, the whole of the bursary must be repaid. If a candidate withdraws after three months the balance of the fees must be paid back to the charity;
  • Your referees cannot be employees of Montessori St Nicholas;
  • The Charity may wish to use the names of successful applicants for publicity purposes. Please contact us if you do not wish us to do this.

The Birts Bursary

The Birts Bursaries are awarded bi-annually in memory of Bridget Birts who was a student and later, lecturer, at the St Nicholas College (the precursor of Montessori Centre International). Her husband, Kenneth, became a member of the Board of Trustees of the Montessori St Nicholas Centre in 1981. In 1983 Kenneth Birts passed away and Bridget set up a bursary fund to provide for the training fees of a UK graduate from any discipline who wanted to become a Montessori teacher. In 2000, the trustees of MSN joined forces with the bursary fund to create the Birts Bursary. These were enlarged from one per annum to the current discretionary number of awards each year. The awards are now open to non-graduates too.


The Birts Bursary is subject to the following criteria being met:

  1. A demonstrable household income of under £40,000
  2. Completion of the application process, including interview, and hold an unconditional offer on one of the following courses:
  • Cache Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator) Level 3 or Level 4
  • Integrating Montessori Practice: Montessori Professional Specialism
  • BA (Hons) Montessori Early Childhood Practice*
  • Foundation Degree Montessori Early Childhood Practice*
  • Cert HE in Montessori Early Childhood Practice*
    * BA (Hons), Foundation Degree and Cert HE are designated for support from Student Finance England, including tuition and maintenance loans. Applicants for these courses would need to explain why they are not eligible for student finance. You must be planning to study at MCI London College or an approved External Centre.

Applications can only be accepted from those holding unconditional offers to study at MCI London. Applications cannot be accepted from students studying at MCI sub-sites or external centres.

Maria Montessori 150th anniversary Bursary

To celebrate 150 years of Maria Montessori’s birth, a special bursary has been created.

Dr Maria Montessori was a respected expert and pioneer of child development in the 20th century. She believed every child is unique and that a child’s natural interests should be nurtured.

As a trained medical practitioner whose work was deeply rooted in science, Dr Montessori began her career in children’s education with a specific interest in helping children with special educational needs. In the early 20th century there was little in the way of educational support for these children, and this inspired and underpinned the development of her unique approach. Her techniques were developed through studying the child’s behaviour and ability to learn, and were originally intended as a teaching approach for children who had struggled under mainstream education. In time, it became apparent that her profound understanding of children and their development had helped to create an approach which in fact helped all children reach their full potential.

Her innovative classroom practices and ideas have had a profound influence on the education of young children all over the world. Montessori gives children the tools to develop life-long skills which allow them to be both independent and contributing members of society.


Maria Montessori 150th anniversary Bursary is subject to the following criteria being met:

The bursary will be given to those who are currently studying with MCI and require additional financial support, due to hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances. They should:

  • Have a demonstrable income of less than £30,000

And/or meet any of the additional criteria below:

  • Have an assessment of additional learning needs or specific learning difference
  • be classified as disabled
  • be a Carer (including dependent children)
  • be a Care Leaver
  • be in receipt of Income Support, or Universal Credit

A limited number of bursaries will be given each year, to a maximum per bursary of up to £2,000
Applicants can apply at any time for this bursary.

Applications can only be accepted from those holding unconditional offers to study at MCI London. Applications cannot be accepted from students studying at MCI sub-sites or external centres.

Barbara Isaacs’ Bursary Fund

To celebrate Montessori Global Ambassador Barbara Isaacs’ 70th birthday this year we are launching a bursary in her name. Barbara is well known throughout the Montessori community as a passionate, inspiring leader, and champion of all children. She has travelled the world, visiting schools to challenge and inspire them to offer the best provision they can for their children.

The Fund will be open to all prospective students wishing to study at Montessori Centre International, the UK’s leading training college for Montessori teachers and where Barbara has worked since 1991.


Barbara Isaacs’ Bursary Fund will be given to those who have been offered an unconditional offer on any of our MCI courses and is also subject to the following criteria being met:

  • You must be a person who has left their home country as a political refugee and is seeking asylum or have refugee status
  • or be the partner of an asylum seeker or someone who has been awarded refugee status
  • A demonstrable household income of under £30,000
  • You have been granted Discretionary Leave to Remain (DLR) or some other form of temporary status.

Applications can only be accepted from those holding unconditional offers to study at MCI London. Applications cannot be accepted from students studying at MCI sub-sites or external centres.