A New Charity for Bolton School’s Bursary Funds
Whole School Announcement

2022 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Bolton School Foundation's bursary scheme. In the past quarter of a century, the bursary scheme has enabled over 2,000 young people to receive a first-class education that they would otherwise have been unable to access, before going out into the world to make a difference for good. 

Bolton School now offers bursary support to one in every five of its Senior School pupils, many of whom attend with a fully-funded place, meaning the School has one of the most generous bursary schemes in the UK. The growth of the School's bursary scheme to its current level has only been made possible through the generosity of the School community, particularly its Alumni, and a number of local and national philanthropists and charitable trusts.

In the past ten years, the School's benefactors – many of whom themselves benefited from a funded place here - have generously donated almost £11m to the School in support of the continued expansion of its bursary scheme. Each of those supporters shares the School's ambition to level-up the educational opportunities available to disadvantaged children in Bolton and the local area, so that every young person living locally can reach their true potential, regardless of their family's circumstances. 

It is the Governors' objective that, by 2030, one in three pupils at the School should receive bursary funding for their education.  If that ambition is to be achieved, then the future growth of the bursary funds available to support pupils at the School must be maximised. In pursuit of that goal, and marking the next exciting phase of the School's fundraising endeavours, earlier this year Bolton School's Governing Body established a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation – The Bolton School Bursary Foundation (BSBF) – which will raise, hold and grant the School’s bursary funds in the future.   

By establishing BSBF, the Governing Body seeks to ensure that the funds already given so generously by the School's supporters to the Bursary Fund are ring-fenced for that purpose in the decades to come. The primary charitable purpose of BSBF is to provide bursary funding to the School, and its  charitable objectives, in line with the School’s ethos outlined by Lord Leverhulme, are ‘the advancement of education for the public benefit of those who need financial assistance in particular but not exclusively by the provision to Bolton School of bursary support for the benefit of pupils who would be unable to continue in education at the School or who would be unable to commence education at the School despite being accepted, without financial assistance.’

Reflecting on the new charity, Ian Riley, Chair of Bolton School’s Governing Body, said:

During the past two decades, the School’s Bursary Fund has benefited hugely from the generosity of Alumni who wish to ensure that the ladder of social mobility remains in good repair for the next generation of pupils at the School. In establishing BSBF, the Governing Body is seeking to provide our donors with assurance that their gifts will only be used for their intended purpose – namely, the provision of bursary places at Bolton School.

The majority of bursary funds previously held by Bolton School have now been transferred to BSBF where they, alongside new funds raised, will be invested by BSBF’s trustees. The School has retained a modest proportion of the bursary funds in order to provide some flexibility in the future; further transfers may be made by School to BSBF in future years at the direction of the Governors. BSBF’s trustees will make an annual bursary grant to Bolton School to support pupils who need financial assistance. The School’s Senior Officers will decide how this grant is awarded, in line with the existing admissions and bursary assessment criteria. Existing and future donor-applied restrictions on the use of bursary funds will continue to be honoured by both BSBF and Bolton School. All funds held by the School which have been given by donors to provide for extra-curricular support, hardship funding, scholarships, prizes and capital projects are unaffected by these changes.

BSBF will be Chaired by John Craven (Class of 1982), who also serves on the School’s Governing Body.  He is joined by five other trustees – Suve Banerjee, Andrew Palmer and Ian Riley (all current Governors of the School), and Michael Griffiths (Former Chairman of the Bolton School Governing Body) and Nigel Wightman (former member of Bolton School’s Investment Committee). 

During the 2021-22 academic year, the School community made pledges and gifts totalling £1.71 million to the Bolton School Bursary Fund. This exceptional generosity enabled the School to spend £3.1 million on means-tested bursary assistance and hardship grants during the year, supporting 342 pupils across the two Senior Schools.

For more detailed information about BSBF, and the School’s ambitions for the growth of its bursary scheme, please visit online.

You may also be interested in...