A Vision for Bursaries
After a strategic review in 2015, Council asked that the Foundation turn its attention back to one of its original goals – the generation of substantial funds that can be used for an ambitious growth in the College’s ability to provide life-changing opportunities to young people.
Support for bursaries that encourage and reward excellence has lain at the very heart of Bradfield’s ethos since the College’s foundation as an educational charity in 1850. Such an objective was one of the original intentions of the Bradfield Foundation at its inception in 1990 – a fact that is testament to the remarkable vision and foresight of its founder members. However, the necessary drive to expand the College and to improve its facilities means that over the last 25 years there has been an inspirational display of generosity towards much needed capital projects from donors to the Bradfield Foundation.
It is now vital to the next stage of the College’s long-term development that we renew our focus on generating significant funds to support and extend our bursary provision.
The College sits at the heart of an educational charity and we are determined to help girls and boys from all backgrounds to enjoy a Bradfield education. We must continue to extend our reach beyond those families who can afford the full fee and we are committed to playing our part in supporting social mobility by offering a Bradfield boarding education to those who might really benefit from the experience but might never have been able to consider it.
We are sending our pupils out into a fast changing world – and Bradfield is determined to remain a school that looks to the future while learning from the past. We want to continue to advance all-round excellence while ensuring diversity and inclusivity. If we want our pupils to really thrive and flourish in the adult world then we must do all we can to ensure that the make-up of the College mirrors, as far as possible, the make-up of that adult world.
In the past, many of our most distinguished pupils have been recipients of financial support while at school; these pupils are indistinguishable from their peers, yet the impact that they have had on Bradfield is substantial and goes way beyond any return from this monetary support. They give a great deal to the College community, not only in terms of their talents but also, and critically, in their leadership, outlook and approach. They ultimately have been part and parcel of the recent successes of the College in all areas and also a significant contributor to the Bradfield’s growing national reputation, however we want to extend this provision very significantly.
We are looking for those youngsters who will flourish and develop individually, but we are also looking for those whose presence in the College will have a positive impact on the experience of others at Bradfield.
We want to identify untapped talent irrespective of parental means, to nurture potential and to develop character and attitude. In the process, we want to change lives for the better.
To help achieve this, the College will be working closely with the Royal National Children’s SpringBoard Foundation to identify potential candidates, manage the pastoral process and deliver impact assessments to measure, amongst other things, social mobility. The children identified will come from low income families, who will best benefit from a boarding school education (they will be highly motivated, open-minded and capable of becoming positive role models in their communities).
‘SpringBoard’ works with a number of boarding schools throughout the UK, both independent and maintained; all candidates for Bradfield will be matched specifically to all that we can offer.
Key aims will be to provide such life-changing bursaries for children in disadvantaged circumstances. We are committed to securing the necessary funds to allow us to increase both the number and the breadth of awards we can make to pupils in financial and social need. Whilst at the same time we also want to be sure that middle-income families can continue to send their children to Bradfield.
To this end:
- We will continue to fund means-tested scholarships for talented children who have won scholarships and exhibitions but who require financial assistance to allow them to come to Bradfield.
- We will also continue to support a hardship fund for current parents who fall into financial difficulties.
All recipients of Foundation support are expected to meet Bradfield’s minimum entry requirements at either 13+ or Sixth Form. We have no doubt that these young people will play a significant role in the diverse breadth of future activity at Bradfield and will become leaders and ambassadors for this programme.
Together, we in the wider Bradfield family can give young people an opportunity to gain an outstanding education irrespective of family means and background.
The College has no significant endowment to assist our efforts, so we rely on the support of our friends, parents (past and present) and our alumni. Fee income alone is insufficient to realise our ambitious plans. The launch of this initiative is as a result of the momentum generated from dialogue between the Foundation and specific individual supporters of the College over the past two years. I am delighted to be in a position to say that as a result of this dialogue we will be welcoming six pupils in September 2015 whose places will be fully funded by the Foundation for the duration of their careers at Bradfield.
I am proud that the Foundation have embraced this objective with such vigour and with your help and encouragement we shall be able to build on this rich legacy of support to ensure Bradfield can continue to change lives through providing an education of the very highest quality. Over the coming months and years, the Foundation will be approaching different sections of the Bradfield community to seek your support for the creation of opportunities for others.
Together we can make a leap forward towards providing vital support for future generations of Bradfieldians, whilst also ensuring that the College remains an outstanding institution for the next 165 years.
Martin Young (C 59-64) Warden (until 2016)