Partnership Week 2021

This week, like many schools around the country, we have been celebrating the impact of our bursaries, partnership and outreach programmes as part of the Independent Schools Council (ISC)’s Partnership Week and the Institute of Development Professionals in Education’s (IDPE) Giving Week  . 

Latymer has a long history of promoting social mobility through education, going all the way back to the 17th century. As well as our extensive bursary provision, Latymer is also well known and well regarded for the extensive array of ‘outreach’ programmes and events, which reflects the school’s strong social ethos. 

Thankfully, due to the work done by the Latymer Foundation over the years and the incredible generosity of our community, when the pandemic hit, we were able to increase the number of bursaries. At the start of this academic year, 1 in 5 of our pupils are here on a significant bursary – that’s double what it was 10 years ago and we remain on course to make that 1 in 4 pupils by 2024. When we reach that target, that will make us one of the most socially inclusive independent schools in the country. 

Bursary applications are increasing, but we are mindful that not every child can come to Latymer, and we are focused on complementing our bursary programme with our partnership and outreach activity. In a typical year, we work with nearly 250 local schools, charities and community groups and impact around 1,000 local children. 

The national lockdowns meant that we were not able to run some of our regular projects due to the restrictions in place but we adapted, focusing our support on what was most needed, co-designing our programmes to meet the most urgent and immediate: whether tackling digital poverty with donations for laptops and dongles; or opening our School as a hub, a safe place for children in the local area to come to study and be fed. Our holiday camps with Let Me Play, Ealing Trailfinders and Hammersmith & City Council have been a huge success. We’re running these activity camps every half term and school break for local children most impacted by the lockdowns. Through the camps we’re focussing on health and wellbeing and tackling ‘holiday hunger’ which is an issue for so many children in our local area. 

We managed to complete the first phase of our Attain catch-up tutoring programme in local schools last term. The feedback was extraordinary – 83% of teachers saw an increase in their students’ academic ability; 100% saw increased student confidence; and 100% also saw an increase in their students’ overall readiness to be back in school after lockdown. Attain is now one of our six major school partnership programmes and Phase II has seen over double the number of primary and secondary schools wanting to take part.

Students at our partner schools were eager to see the return of Primary Debating, which before the hiatus of lockdown, had run annually for the past 13 years. It’s also been joyous to watch students from our partner schools enjoy the full benefit of in-person interactions again as they get involved with our careers and networking events, university preparation courses and our Bright Sparks programme. Similarly our own students have also been making the most of being back together, running a myriad of different fundraising events from bake sales to film nights, swimathons, food donations and fancy dress days.  

Since the beginning of this academic year, it has been exhilarating to welcome back on site the many pupils from our partner schools and organisations who use our world-class facilities. At the weekends the cacophony of sound coming from Tri- borough Music Hub’s students in our music rooms rebounds around the piazza; the swimming pool is used by every level of swimmers from those new to the water to Olympians training for their next competition; our Wood Lane playing fields have taken on a whole new life with the camps Ealing Trailfinders are running, and similarly Let Me Play transform our Piazza into a hive of activity during the holidays with the camps they run at our King Street site. It felt particularly special to also be able to host Afghan refugee children at the camps this last half term and we look forward to doing more to support them. 

After the challenges of the past 18 months, this week has been a welcome opportunity to celebrate the philanthropy and community engagement that we, and others like us across the country, get involved in, and to share some of the good news and positive outcomes from the work we do.


Author: carolineroberts

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