Public Benefit

St Mary’s School Ascot has a long history of providing financial support to children who would otherwise not be able to afford a St Mary’s education, and we place great importance on the school’s means-tested bursary scheme. This scheme is funded by the school and the St Mary’s School Charitable Fund (Charity number: 800450), which was established for the purpose of providing funds for the St Mary’s School Ascot bursary programme. The scheme operates two types of means-tested bursary – admissions and hardship. Each case is assessed on its own merits and awards are made accordingly, subject to the school’s ability to fund these within the context of its overall budget. This year the scheme provided assistance to 23 pupils, of which nine benefited from in excess of 80% remission of fees and three of these benefited from 100% remission of fees. Information about fee assistance through means-tested bursaries is provided to all applying to the school and is published on our website.

The school undertakes work and activities for the public benefit throughout the year with children from local schools and with the local community, and these are fundamental to the Catholic ethos and spirit of the school, and in line with its charitable objectives.  They are core activities for staff and pupils alike, who welcome them as part of our day-to-day life. The significant investment in time, energy and resources into our work with local state schools reflects our 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. 

This year we have continued to develop our close relationship with the two local state schools with whom we have formal Memorandums of Understanding: Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School. Our engagement with these schools involves both the sharing of resources and the dual use of teaching staff:

·         Charters School Latin GCSE. This year St Mary’s has again provided two teachers to Charters School to take a GCSE Latin class, taking responsibility for three out of the four GCSE Latin modules for gifted year 11s. Without the support of St Mary’s, 15 pupils from Charters School would not have been able to take Latin GCSE this year.  The results were very impressive with 10 achieving A*, four achieving A and one achieving B.  In addition to the teachers, St Mary’s also provides the text books, paper, handouts and worksheets.

·         St Francis Primary School university taster events. St Mary’s has developed two four-hour courses for Year 5 and 6 pupils from St Francis to give them a taste of university-style education.  These highly successful courses are run at and entirely resourced by St Mary’s, and include contributions from Art, History of Art, Classics, Music, ICT, Drama, Science, Music and the Modern Foreign Languages departments.

This year St Mary’s hosted up to 24 pupils and 4 staff from IntoUniversity (Charity Number 1118525) for a two-night residential stay, thereby facilitating primary school children from deprived areas of west London to gain an understanding and taste of university life.  The school made no charge for this facility and indeed made minibuses and drivers available for their visit to the University of Surrey.

Other examples of activities carried out this year for the public benefit include:

  • Support for Oxbridge and medical applications, including interview practice, for pupils from Charters School and Mulberry Girls School in Tower Hamlets
  • Support to aspiring lawyers from Charters School sixth form by providing help and guidance for the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT)
  • Russian Club and Mandarin taster lessons at Charters School
  • Provision of a safe but exciting venue for the St Francis Forest School on a weekly basis throughout the year
  • Provision of facilities and resources to allow Charters School Music Department to use St Mary’s as an INSET venue.

Council planning conditions restrict the use by others of our athletics and hockey facilities. 

Details of our arrangements with Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School can be found on the Schools Together website.