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.” bradfordgr­


 ?? ?? Bradford Grammar School was establishe­d in 1548
Bradford Grammar School was establishe­d in 1548

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