My St John's
Skip Navigation LinksSupport Us > Widening Access

Widening Access

We are passionate about widening access to St John's.  We think it is vital that schools like ours are accessible to as many young people as possible, regardless of their background or ability to pay fees.

St John's was founded to provide a free education to some of the poorest members of society.  Over the last 160 years, with help from our donors, we have continued to provide this support.  It is central to our ethos and an important part of what we do.

Each year we provide places at St John's for children from low income families.  Our education, our excellent teaching and state-of-the-art facilities open doors and create possibilities for young people.

We encourage our pupils to be active and engaged citizens, leaders of tomorrow.  Enabling children from different backgrounds to come to St John's can really make an impact.  It enriches our School, creating a diverse and inspiring pupil community.

Nearly one in ten pupils at St John's today receives some kind of help with fees.  Over the next few years we will be significantly increasing the amount of money the School allocates to providing this support.  We also hope St John's community will support us financially, making a donation to help promising and inspirational young people through the School.

We are particularly looking for funding for two types of support:


Foundationers (the sons and daughters of clergy) are at the heart of our school.  We are proud to have funded over four thousand since we were founded in 1851.

Until the late 1960s, the majority of pupils at St John's were clergy children.  Since then, the number has been in decline.  Social trends and the changing nature of boarding are partly responsible, but when Foundationer subsidies were capped in the 1990s, the School became unaffordable for many members of the clergy.

Foundationers are hugely important to St John's and increasing their numbers is a priority. We are embarking upon a comprehensive recruitment campaign to rebuild Foundationer numbers with help from the Bishop of Dorking and local diocese. As part of this, in September 2013 we reinstated 100% free places for Foundationers.

This means St John's will once again be an option for clergy parents, even those on the lowest stipend.

We need your help to re-establish the importance of Foundationers at St John's.  Please consider making a gift to support a Foundationer through the School.

To read the annual update on Foundationers' places, click here.

Albany Awards

Albany Awards are free places for children from very low income backgrounds.  They help us attract pupils who would not normally be able to consider a school like St John's.

Albany Awards are for non-clergy families with a gross income of less than £20,000 and no (or minimal) assets.  We look for pupils who share the values and ambitions of the School, who will contribute fully and take advantage of the opportunities that St John's offers.

Families who are eligible for Albany Awards are not normally in a position to consider private education.  Attracting them to St John's requires a tailored recruitment strategy.  We work with a number of local organisations to help identify candidates including local state schools, the council, youth groups, sports clubs and other educational charities.

Albany Awards can be made at up to 105% of school fees as families may need extra help with uniform, equipment and school trips. With the help of Leatherhead Trinity School we have reached out to disadvantaged children who under normal circumstances would not be able to consider St John's. The number of pupils receiving Albany Awards has increased to 6 pupils.

Demand for places is high and we would love to be in a position to transform the lives of more young people.  We need substantial support in order to do this.  Please make a donation to help us offer more Albany Award places at St John's.

To read the annual update on Albany Awards, click here.