Staff, pupils and friends of King Edward's attended Mansion House, in the presence of Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Gloucester, in celebration of donors supporting pupils’ bursaries.
Pupils, parents, and staff came together in the grand surroundings of the City’s Mansion House last month in honour of current and future benefactors of the Bridewell Foundation for King Edward’s School, which helps support bursaries for children in need of a boarding school education.
Benefactors to the Bridewell Foundation include the City of London, a number of City Livery Companies, charities and individuals, many of whom are Old Witleians themselves, keen to give back to the school which supported them through their own education.
The school was privileged to have, as the guest of honour, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Gloucester, President of Bridewell Royal Hospital, a position previously held by the late Queen Mother.
Hosted by Alderman and Sheriff Jeffrey Evans on behalf of the Lord Mayor of London, The Duchess was welcomed by Vice President of Bridewell Royal Hospital, Sir Robert Finch, Treasurer and Chairman of the Governors, Peter Estlin, The Headmaster John Attwater and his wife Victoria, and Head Boy and Girl, Oliver Hall and Anne-Kristin Sturm, who presented The Duchess with a posy of flowers.
Sir Robert Finch and Mr Estlin then escorted The Duchess and introduced her to the assembled guests, where she spent a great deal of time talking to pupils, both past and present, parents and staff about their time at King Edward’s and was able to thank benefactors in person for their generosity to the Foundation.
The Headmaster closed the event with a moving speech highlighting the way in which bursaries have been able to transform the lives of some of our recent pupils, reflecting on how he himself had benefitted from a bursary to be a boarder at school, and urged donors to continue to make a difference to young people’s lives.
After the reception, Mr Attwater said “This was a great event highlighting the depth of support and opportunity we are privileged to have through our long history and links with the City and the Royal Family”.
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Notes to Editor:
King Edward’s School
King Edward’s School in Witley, Surrey, is an independent co-educational boarding and day school for boys and girls from ages 11 to 18. The School was founded in 1553 to provide housing and education for destitute children in London. To this day the School still provides bursary support and boarding accommodation for around a quarter of its students and high levels of pastoral care are at the heart of its ethos. However, the School has moved on to become one of the top independent schools in the country, with a reputation for excellence in many areas, including its International Baccalaureate 6th Form curriculum.
The Bridewell Foundation
The school’s charitable trust, which provides bursary support for around 100 pupils, is named after the school’s original home, Bridewell Royal Palace, which was located on the banks of the Thames close to Fleet Street (and has long since been destroyed). In the 19th century, the School moved to its current site in Surrey and adopted its present name of King Edward's School Witley but the historic links to Bridewell and its church, St Bride’s, still exist today.