Grant-making trusts

MEET THE FUNDERS Anonymous, remote, secretive; it is often thought funders occupy

ivory towers away from the real world. In fact, behind those imagined ‘walls’ sit people keen to hear about and fund your projects...

by Cheryl Chapman

The Wolfson Foundation Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive

The Wolfson Foundation’s Secondary Education Programme currently allocates approximately £1.75m each year to fund projects in science, information or communications technology directly related to libraries, languages, music, or the arts, with the aim of encouraging ‘excellence’. Grants do not usually exceed £40,000 (or £100,000 for large sixth form colleges). Grants are awarded in June and December each year.

When was the Foundation set up? The Foundation was set up in 1955 by Sir Isaac Wolfson. Born to a refugee family who had ed persecution in Poland, he joined his father’s picture-framing business at 14, making his fortune with Great Universal Stores. Isaac established the Foundation with his wife Edith and son Leonard. His son succeeded him as Chair until 2010. Leonard Wolfson’s daughter is now Chair.

Why do you support schools? Support of education is at the heart of the Foundation’s endeavour to engender excellence in British society. Formally constituting one of four areas supported by the Foundation (along with science, health, and the arts), education is a central theme that underpins much of our work.

What types of project do you particularly welcome? We look for ambitious projects that will have a signicant impact on teaching and learning at the school, and particularly those that enable pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to access high-quality education. We are particularly keen to encourage applications from geographical areas that are currently under-represented within the programme, such as Wales. Applicants should read the criteria on our website and contact our team. Projects that are well researched, and show attention to detail and careful costings have a greater chance of success.

Can you share an example project you have recently funded? In June 2015 we made an award to The Priory Academy LSST in Lincoln towards equipment for their new Robotics and Innovation Department. This state-of-the-art centre provides cutting-edge facilities to promote excellence in technology education to all years, and to encourage more young people to study STEM subjects. This was an ambitious project to reinvigorate pupils’ study of technology and ultimately to inspire the next generation of engineers. See case study on p31.

Wolfson Foundation Secondary Education Programme

32 SPRING 2016 FundEd

The Royal Society Cathy Brown, member of the

Partnership Grants allocation panel

The Royal Society’s priorities are education and public engagement. It supports

science in education through partnerships and networks,

working to give everyone the opportunity to engage with science and appreciate its value.

When was the Royal Society Partnership Grants Scheme set up? The Royal Society set up the Partnership Grants scheme in 2000. Since then it has awarded over £1.3m to more than 800 schools and colleges, igniting enthusiasm for STEM and enabling students aged 5-18 to carry out projects.

CASE STUDY: LIBRARY IMPROVEMENTS Tregolls School in Cornwall (202 pupils): In 2015 The Foyle Foundation awarded £5,000 to improve the library. Tregolls School has a high number of pupils with Special Educational Needs and children from low- income households. The library area lacked appeal and the book stock was outdated. The school has since overhauled the library and involved pupils in choosing new fiction books.


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