Public Benefit

St Mary's has taken part in a wide variety of activities in order to carry out the school’s aims for the public benefit.  The school educates 390 children at no cost to the state. By providing an environment which is academic, residential, single sex and Catholic we are providing an environment not generally available in the maintained sector.  We deliver academic results which are excellent, placing the school in the top 50 schools in the UK league tables.

 

The St Mary’s family, including Governors, staff and pupils, believe that the work and activities that take place throughout the year with children from local schools and with the local community is fundamental to the Catholic ethos and spirit of the school.  These activities which are widely perceived as a core activity for the school are a focus for staff and pupils who welcome them as part of day to day life. The significant investment of time, energy and resources into our school partnership programmes reflects the Board of Governors’ belief that these activities are the most effective way of broadening and widening access to St Mary’s resources to the public, including those in poverty. 

 

Reflecting this ethos and belief that our school and community work is at the core of the Charities culture, the Board in November 2015 agreed that the hitherto informal school partnership programmes should now be placed on a more formal footing.  As a result Memorandums of Understanding are now being agreed with Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School. The Governors believe this will be further evidence of the importance of these outreach activities with the local community.  

Details of these programmes can be seen on the Schools Together website (click on logo or link below and search Ascot).

 www.schoolstogether.org

 

St Mary’s engagement with these schools is a matter of normal day to day school life and involves both the sharing of resources as well as the dual use of teaching staff.  Examples include sharing the use of the school’s sports facilities including the all-weather hockey pitches, athletics track and swimming pool, the provision on a weekly basis of a teacher for a Latin GCSE class and teachers to run a weekly Russian Club and a series of Mandarin Taster lessons.  The Politics Department hosted 100 students from 31 schools from the local area to a cross party Political Conference; the keynote speaker was the Home Secretary and contributors included members of the House of Lords, House of Commons and journalists from the BBC, Sky and national newspapers. 

 

Outside of the wide-ranging programme of work with Charters School and St Francis School, St Mary’s engages with the local community in many different ways.  This includes use of the swimming pool by local swim schools, use of the Rose Theatre for amateur productions, charity concerts such as that at a local care home, provision of a venue for ABRSM examinations for local children and the design of websites for local community groups and businesses such as a local charity fete, a local HR business, a World War 1 commemorative site and a site for a local artist.  All these activities are recorded in the school’s internal public benefit audit.

 

In 2014/15 the value of means-tested bursary awards totalled £330,957. This provided assistance to 22 pupils of which 4 pupils benefitted from a full remission of fees and 4 pupils from 80% remission of fees.  This year there are 45 scholars in the school who enjoy a modest fee discount.  The means-tested bursaries were funded by the school and St Mary’s School Charitable Fund, which was established for the purpose of providing funds for the St Mary’s School Ascot bursary programme.  The school makes a donation to the Charitable Fund each year of about £90,000.