IDPE Giving Week
As schools across the country come together to celebrate The Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) Giving Week, The Manchester Grammar School is delighted to recognise all those individuals and organisations whose support and generosity help make MGS the School it is today.
This week (15-21 November) marks the IDPE Giving Week a national initiative that celebrates schools’ philanthropy and the generosity of our communities.
It is that spirit of philanthropy upon which MGS was founded more than 500 years ago by Hugh Oldham, the Bishop of Exeter, whose aim was to provide an education of the highest quality to boys of modest means.
Over the last 500 years or so, MGS has remained true to our Founder’s ethos and continues to offer life-changing bursaries to bright young men who, because of their financial circumstances, might otherwise have missed out on a place at MGS.
Since 1998, we have grown our Bursary Fund to more than £30m, and spent a further £30m on providing transformational bursary places to more than 700 MGS boys. Our most recent appeal, The Bursary Now Appeal, was launched to safeguard bursary places for the next generation of pupils.
That would not have been possible without the generosity of our 3,000+ donors who have supported the School so much over the last two decades or so.
So, as part of the IDPE Week of Giving, we would like to recognise and thank our donors for playing such a vital role in helping able boys across the North West of England access a first-class education.
This week also gives us a welcome opportunity to thank our other partners who continue to provide invaluable support to MGS.
We are proud to be members of IDPE Europe, which supports all schools in the independent and state sector to develop cultures of community engagement and philanthropic support.
The MGS Parents’ Society works tirelessly to help raise funds that support the School and provide additional services that enrich the lives of our pupils. For example, thanks to the fundraising of the Parents’ Society, we have recently been able to refurbish the School gym, provide new tents for boys’ camping excursions and provide sporting equipment for our Junior School boys, to name but a few.
We are extremely fortunate to benefit from the generosity of our Old Mancunian community, who regularly volunteer their time and resources to support our Sixth Form careers and mentoring programmes, offering – among other things – work placements and careers advice seminars. Even the Covid-19 pandemic could not dampen the enthusiasm of our alumni, who continued to provide these seminars virtually, from all over the world.
Over the past two years, we have been proud to partner with The Bursary Foundation, who are working to connect high-achieving pupils from modest backgrounds with the best educational opportunities in the Manchester area.
We would also like to thank our technology partners. Graduway power our MGS Global Connect platform and careers and mentoring programmes, and we have recently reached the milestone of 5,000 users on Global Connect, which highlights how engaging, and how powerful it is, to bring alumni together to share stories, news, business opportunities and careers advice to our Sixth Formers. Blackbaud UK provide our CRM system and SDS Heritage provide our archive systems, and our thanks to both for their support.
As well as our mission to educate the brightest young men, it is also central to the ethos of MGS that we embed within our boys a sense of service and support to those less fortunate than ourselves outside the MGS community. Through our established Community Action programme, we have partnerships with a diverse range of organisations, and our boys enthusiastically get involved with projects such as helping victims of human trafficking learn English, litter picking to keep local parks clean and tidy, donating Christmas presents to disadvantaged families and many more.
Director of Development at MGS, Simon Jones, said: “Philanthropy is part of the DNA at The Manchester Grammar School. From day one more than 500 years ago, to today, we fundraise to provide bursary places for gifted young men because it is the right thing to do. It is what our school should be. We want bright boys to come here, regardless of their financial background.
“And, once they are here, we want our boys to have the best opportunities, both in and outside the classroom, and set them on the right path for whatever career they wish to pursue.
“The lives of my school friends at MGS were transformed because of the Government’s Assisted Places scheme. Now, as Director of Development, I see on a daily basis how the lives of our boys, and their families, are indelibly changed for the better thanks to the power of a bursary, and the educational and co-curricular opportunities they receive here. Not only that, but bursary pupils also enrich the lives of the entire School community.
“That simply would not be possible without the philanthropic kindness, generosity and support of a whole host of partners. What is so striking to me is just how many individuals and organisations, from our alumni to our technology partners to voluntary groups, play a role in creating life-changing opportunities for young people. And so I am delighted that, this week, we can pay tribute to all those people and thank them for everything they do.”