Independent School Parent
Contribution to Social Mobility BRADFORD GRAMMAR
The school clinched this award for its bursary provision programme offering assisted places to hardworking and talented pupils from working-class backgrounds
For almost 500 years, Bradford Grammar School (BGS) has remained a constant in the city, loyal to the vision of our founders and 1662 Royal Charter. With economic disadvantage in Bradford deepening because of the pandemic, this vision – to provide an outstanding education to all with the talent to flourish at BGS, irrespective of background – remains an essential part of our ethos. It’s synonymous with our belief that a BGS education can make a valuable contribution to social mobility.
Bradford is the youngest local authority in England, and one of the most deprived. 22 per cent of children live in poverty. Assisted places for talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend BGS are transformative, creating opportunities which last a lifetime.
BGS spends around £900,000 on assisted places annually, supporting 10 per cent of its student community. In 2020, it launched the 1662 Fund for Assisted Places, with the aim of doubling this in the next seven years.
Thanks to the support of Old Bradfordians, £1m has already been raised. This created an additional five assisted places for entry September
2021, in addition to existing provisions.
Recent assisted-place recipients have gone on to achieve their dreams.
Blaine Thomas lived on the notorious Canterbury estate in Bradford until he was 14 and joined BGS in sixth form, thanks to an assisted place established in memory of the late Sir Ken Morrison, of Morrisons supermarkets (himself an Old Bradfordian). Blaine is now completing his first year of a law degree at the University of Oxford.
Year 13 student Charlie Kelly, who wants to be an inventor, comes from a working-class background and joined BGS thanks to an assisted place funded by another former pupil, retired businessman Roger Bowers. She’s now holding an offer to study engineering at the University of Cambridge, and says: “BGS has completely changed my life. It’s opened up the world of learning to me and it’s made me enthusiastic about education again. It’s not just about the quality of education, it’s who you surround yourself with.”
Roger attended BGS during the
Direct Grant era, when almost half of all pupils received some form of support. He says: “I’m heartened by how bursary provision has grown at BGS. Rewarding hard-working young people who wouldn’t be able to attend BGS without financial support, has long been a cornerstone of all that makes it great.”
This profound social conscience characterises why Old Bradfordians support assisted places. Current students are also getting in on the act: this summer will see its first telethon for assisted places, led by 13 trained student callers. Social mobility has, and will continue to be, part of its purpose.
Dr Simon Hinchliffe, Headmaster says: “It’s wonderful to receive this recognition. Rewarding excellence and creating opportunities are important and enduring aspects of BGS life and have been for almost 500 years. Assisted places can change lives.” bradfordgrammar.com
“IT’S WONDERFUL TO RECEIVE THIS RECOGNITION. Rewarding excellence and creating opportunities are important AND ENDURING ASPECTS OF BGS LIFE AND HAVE BEEN FOR ALMOST 500 YEARS”