There is a long history, across RGS and AOS schools, of supporting pupils from families with limited resources to help them meet the cost of their children’s education. Funds provided for this reason are known as bursaries. In the past, this was done through means-tested bursary awards from the respective School budgets and during the 1980s and 1990s both RGSW and AOS were very active in securing support from central government through the Assisted Places scheme until it was stopped in 1997. Some alumni and parents also chose to sponsor individual pupils directly and this work continues at RGS today with the School providing bursary support from its operating budget and additional support being secured from voluntary donations.
The Board of Governors has set the goal of widening accessibility to the School for academically able local children, irrespective of their family’s financial resources. The Foundation has been asked to focus on this mission as its top priority. The funds allocated each year for bursary places are transformative for the children who require that support but demand always exceeds supply. The 20/20 Bursary Campaign was launched to provide twenty additional bursary places by September 2020.
Since 2013 ten pupils have either had or are currently receiving an education because of bursary support funded through voluntary donations and at least three more will receive support in 2019. It is hoped that alumni will feel able to provide additional support to reach the target of 20 pupils by September 2020.
Donors who wish to offer a bursary award outside of the two bursary funds should contact Scott MacDonald in the Foundation Office. It is possible to set up named bursary awards or to sponsor pupils for specific periods such as a Sixth Form entrant who wishes to join RGS for his/her final two years of School. Recipients are subject to the same means-testing and academic entrance requirements as other bursary pupils.