news

Brewers Back Education

On Monday 13 February, Trustess of the FE Cleary Schools Fund held their first bi-annual meeting of 2017 at Brewers’ Hall.

The FE Cleary Schools Fund is one of the many charities administered by the Brewers’ Company.  It was established in 1965 by Frederick Ernest Cleary with the aim of “the furtherance of education and in particular the furtherance and assistance of the schools forming part of the Dame Alice Owen Foundation”.  Frederick Cleary was educated at Dame Alice Owen’s School, which at the time included separate schools for girls and boys, and subsequently joined the Governing Body of the school on which he served for many years.  He was a member of the Court of Common Council of the City of London and was a leading light in the drive to provide gardens and open spaces within the City.  He is one of the very few people who have been admitted as Honorary Liverymen of the Brewers’ Company.

Each year, the FE Cleary Schools Fund provides funding to Dame Alice Owen’s School for educational, sporting and musical projects for which state funding is not available.  In the academic year 2015-16 this included, among other things:

Sport

The funding supported the travel costs for the extensive extra-curricular sporting programme.  In addition, the funding allows the School to maintain and improve the grounds on its 35- acre site by providing equipment both for grounds maintenance and sport training.  The Year 9s were crowned County Hockey Champions in 2016 and Owen’s athletic prowess was proven as they became both county and regional athletic finalists in all age groups.  These successes were alongside that of the Year 7 Football team and the Senior Rugby team who were both County finalists too.

Music

Funding goes towards paying for a member of staff who coordinates a plethora of music ensembles and orchestras, as well as coordinating external musicians who support these groups. This funding also goes towards new instruments as well as essential repairs.  In March 2016, the school hosted a very special concert, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Soul Band. Over the years, the Soul Band evenings have become more and more popular, so much so that the maximum capacity of the main school hall (seating 500) was no longer viable and they therefore performed at Cadogan Hall (seating 950+).  The music department offers a unique opportunity for students to fulfil their musical potential, the growing numbers applying within these criteria confirm this.  Over 500 students regularly take individual music lessons and support from the FE Cleary Schools Fund allows a number to be subsidised, and all students to be able to perform in groups/bands/choirs/orchestras at no cost.

Field Studies

The funding enabled the school to subsidise the high costs of essential field study visits for Geography GCSE and A level and Biology A level.  These visits contributed to the excellent results achieved in these subjects and ensured all students were able to take part in these essential curriculum activities.  Students are taken to Snowdonia to complete the fieldwork aspect of the course which has to span five days.  At GCSE level, students must undertake three days of fieldwork.  Over this time, they must complete a physical and human piece of coursework on any aspect of the specification in order to recall it in the exam to answer questions such as “describe the fieldwork and research you undertook”, or “describe you results and conclusions”.  These field trips are essential to the requirements of the examination but come at a huge cost to the school due to the staffing implications, especially for those taking Geography as an AS subject only.  Without the money from the FE Cleary Schools Fund, the costs to students would be prohibitive and would lead to some students not being able to choose these subjects.