Dame Alice Owen's Foundation

Dame Alice Owen’s Foundation (DAOF) is a charitable foundation which allocates all of its net income to projects targeted at improving educational outcomes. It has provided funding to educational projects in Islington since 2001, and provides funding for Dame Alice Owen’s School in Hertfordshire, which was previously located in Islington. The Foundation has existed since 1613.

All of the Foundation’s income comes from revenue raised from its rental properties and other investments.

In 2018 alone, working in partnership with Islington Borough Council, DAOF has distributed £697,000 to a range of educational projects in Islington proposed by the Council. These include:

– Music in Secondary Schools Trust: an organisation promoting the education of young people by providing classical musical instruments, 3 years of group tuition, and performance opportunities to over 3,700 students. DAOF has contributed £342k.

– Upward Bound: a programme providing a model for breaking the cycle of low aspiration and achievement in Islington – giving students a place on a two year course to address their academic, social and cultural needs. DAOF has contributed £206k.

– Science for Life: a partnership of 12 primary schools and two secondary schools in the borough of Islington, collaborating on a common goal: to work together to develop the science capital of the children in the Borough.  The aim is to address the problem of limited and imbalanced science aspirations among school children and young people in the UK. DAOF has contributed £45k.

– Company Three: a leading theatre company working with young people from Islington aged 11-19, all of whom are referred by teachers, youth workers or social workers as someone who will benefit from participating in the company’s weekly workshops and school holiday projects. DAOF has contributed £39k.

– Philosophy for Children: an organisation engaging students in philosophical dialogue which accelerates progress in reading, writing and maths—especially for disadvantaged pupils. Support from DAOF has brought together eight Islington primary schools in a project to develop P4C within their own classrooms and through inter-school ‘Philosothon’ events. DAOF has contributed £17k.

Property portfolio

DAOF’s properties, which generate the lion’s share of the income distributed to beneficiaries, are a mixture of residential, retail and commercial properties situated predominantly on St John Street, Friend Street and Goswell Road.

Redevelopment plans

In order to generate income to continue to fund these important educational projects, the Foundation runs an ongoing programme of refurbishment and development of its properties. As part of this programme, the Foundation has secured planning permission from Islington Council to add a fourth story to its properties at 346-348 St John Street and 2-4 Friend Street.

The proposals are deemed to be:

– Providing a greater mix of unit sizes to cater to identified local community needs;

– Ensuring a high quality of residential accommodation;

– Securing a high quality, contextually appropriate mansard roof design;

– Proposing a comprehensive package of works to upgrade the façade, fenestration and front boundary treatment;

– Retaining the green character of the site.


Image: Pupils participate in the Science for Life programme