The Public Benefit Delivered by Solihull
The Governors attach great importance to providing financial assistance to individuals of ability who cannot afford the fees and also to the school’s relationship and involvement with the local community. Our wider charitable obligations are well recognised. Beside financial benefits, and though there were many restrictions imposed during the year, our facilities are used for public benefit by outside organisations, local maintained schools and the local community.
The school values and promotes the ethos of service and staff and pupils alike are active members of the local community. Any consideration of the public benefit is related to our stated objectives.
The Governors have complied with the duty in Section 17 of the Charities Act 2011, to have due regard to public benefit guidance published by the Charity Commission.
Some of the detailed activities that contribute to the public benefit are shown below:
Grant Making Policy
This year the value of bursaries and scholarships made out of unrestricted funds totalled £1,420,612 (2020: £1,125,060). A further £128,236 was made out of restricted funds (2020: £82,524). Such financial assistance helps the school maintain its ethos, academic performance and achievements. The Governors’ policy, in line with that of other independent schools, is to make scholarship awards on a wide variety of abilities including academic, art, sport, music, theatre arts and design technology. Bursaries are advertised and are made to applicants on the basis of their financial circumstances. Such awards are means tested and reviewed annually. In 2021, bursaries awarded totalled £999,142 (2020: £899,514) and given to 123 pupils (2020: 125 pupils), which equates to 70 full fees or 5.4% of net fee income (2020: 71 full fees or 6.1% of net fee income).
Assistance to the Local Education Authority (LEA) and Local Maintained Schools
- The school’s outreach programme was severely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic with many activities with local maintained primary, secondary and special schools unable to take place. It is hoped that these activities will recommence in 2021/22.
- The formal partnership with the Tile Cross Academy has continued to grow despite the pandemic. 2 pupils were successful in the bursary programme and joined the Solihull Sixth Form in September 2021. Tile Cross has also started sending pupils to join CCF sessions. Planned collaborations involving Modern Foreign Languages and the choir were not able to be realised last year due to Covid-19 restrictions but it is hoped they can be resurrected in the coming year.
- Pupils from Reynalds Cross School, Solihull, which caters for pupils with severe to profound multiple learning difficulties, would typically have visited the school to take part in specially run workshops in Art and ICT. New ways were found to collaborate with an art project, supplies and instructions being designed and sent from the Art Department. These materials were also sent to Springfield Special School. In a new venture, dance pupils prepared an instructional video which was also sent for use by Reynalds Cross.
- The school extended its Oxbridge preparation procedures to a range of local maintained schools and other independent schools. Potential candidates participate in interview practice sessions and specific application preparation seminars with sessions moving on-line over the year.
- The school hosts and chairs the Local Independent Schools Safeguarding Board which reports into the Local Children’s Safeguarding Partnership.
- Donations are made to St Alphege Infant and Junior Schools, Solihull, and Sharman’s Cross Junior School, Solihull to assist in the provision of facilities for education.
- Equipment and text books no longer required by the school are donated to local schools and organisations. As part of the pandemic response, a number of laptops were donated to local schools to enable on-line learning.
- A number of staff members are governors at local maintained schools.
University & Academic Links
- The school is a member of the King Edward’s Consortium for teacher training, providing low cost training for unqualified teachers considering a career in the profession.
- Members of our teaching staff are members of national and regional educational and examination committees.
The Local Community
- The school has a group of community outreach pupil ambassadors, who help to plan and run charity events. The group also help publicise community links across the school community.
- The use of our music facilities was severely restricted this year as was a programme of community service. It is hoped that these initiatives will recommence in 2021/22.
- Our performing arts centres, chapel and other facilities are made available to local societies including charities at generous concessional rates.
- Our extensive car parking facilities are made available to local churches, charities and societies when requested.
- The school as a whole is involved in a wide range of local and more widespread charity fundraising not only to benefit the community but to develop social responsibility of those engaged in such work. Funds raised in the year exceeded £80,000 which included the Cotswold Challenge for Cataract Camps, the Tommy Godwin Virtual Challenge for Marie Curie Cancer Care and a matched funding scheme to support our ongoing charity partner in Peru. Collections of household items, toiletries, easter eggs and harvest festival donations were also sent to a range of local charities. The school also sends text books, laboratory and other equipment, including glasses and shoes, to various countries in Asia, Africa and South America. When travel is allowed, staff and pupils volunteer abroad every year, supporting educational and other development projects.
- The school has donated computer and furniture items to local charities and staff time has been given to the installation of this equipment.
- The school’s Duke of Edinburgh scheme received a certificate in recognition of the 2,418 accumulated hours of volunteering carried out by pupils between April 2020 and March 2021.
- We help the Solihull Care NHS Trust with their scheme to support adults with learning difficulties into employment opportunities.
- The Chaplain is involved with many church and charity activities around Birmingham, including work in hospices, food banks and urban priority charities.
- The school are recipients of a community action award from the charity, Remembering Srebrenica, and continue to work with the charity to promote information regarding genocide.
- We have provided art and photographic exhibits to local offices and community centres and provide judging and exhibition space to local societies.
- The local police force uses our facilities for dog training.
- Our minibuses are used on occasion by local community groups and clubs for transport to events.
- Donations are made to the Parish Church of St Alphege, Solihull and the Salter Street and Shirley Team Ministry, Shirley for the advancement of religion.