Public Benefit

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.


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 value of means-tested bursary awards totalled £494,866. This provided assistance to 28 pupils, of whom eleven benefited from in excess of 70% remission of fees, and eight of these benefited from 90% or more 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.

Shared Resources

This year we have continued to develop our close relationship with two local state schools with whom we have formal Memoranda of Understanding – Charters School and St Francis Catholic Primary School. St Mary’s engagement with these schools is a matter of normal day-to-day school life and involves both the sharing of resources and the dual use of teaching staff. Our Estates department provides a broad range of help to St Francis, including grass and hedge cutting, leaf clearing and servicing of grounds equipment. St Francis have also used our grounds and pitches for running after school clubs and activities.

Charters and other schools

Charters pupils attend a Mandarin course at St Mary’s, as well as an after-school Russian club run by St Mary’s teachers for their benefit. St Mary’s provided 11 funded places for pupils from Charters to attend the Medic Portal’s university applications preparation day. Pupils from St Francis come to our science laboratories for a demonstration and workshop run by our staff. The Maths department hosts pupils from St Francis and Holy Trinity for the Primary Maths Team Challenge. St Mary’s provides a safe and exciting venue for the St Francis Forest School on a weekly basis.

Sports Facilities

St Francis Primary School have the use of our swimming pool (plus four staff) throughout the year for their Year 3 to 5 pupils, and the use of our athletics facilities for their annual sports day. Throughout the hockey season we host tournaments for Berkshire maintained schools at U12, U13, U14 and U15 age groups. In addition, the school provides sports staff to act as lead organisers for the District and County athletics for all schools in the Bracknell district and Berkshire, which involves over 20 schools. 

The Thames Valley Learning Partnership

St Mary’s continues to develop its role within the Thames Valley Learning Partnership (, an equal partnership of state and independent secondary schools in Berkshire. Our annual International Women’s Day conference is hosted by St Mary’s for all partnership schools. TVLP pupils have also joined talks and presentations at St Mary’s in fields such as Maths, Psychology, journalism, and university applications.

Further Support

  • The Classics department provides a weekly after-school Greek Club at St Bernard’s Catholic Grammar School in Slough, exploring the alphabet, basic grammar and stories of the ancient world. Pupils can elect to pursue Greek further, and one of these went on to achieve the Intermediate Greek Certificate in 2023. The study of Greek at GCSE is also offered. 
  • Our annual International Women’s Day conference is hosted by St Mary’s for all partnership schoolsSupport is provided with Oxbridge and medical applications, including interview practice, for 40 pupils from Charters School and Mulberry Girls’ School, Tower Hamlets. Oxbridge interview practice is provided for pupils from All Hallows Catholic School, Farnham.
  • Funding is provided for 8 Charters School pupils to take part in a UCAT online training day for aspiring medical students.
  • St Mary’s hosts a Model United Nations conference for local schools.
  • Significant fund-raising and other charitable activities are undertaken by pupils for charities both in the UK and around the world. 

Council planning conditions restrict the use by others of the Orchard Centre (sports centre) and 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.

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