Letter from the Chairman, Mr G P Fothergill

From the Chairman:

G P Fothergill

18th May 2018

Dear Former Pupil

I am writing to notify you of a significant development in the history of Loughborough Endowed Schools. Following recommendations from the Our Lady’s Convent School Board, Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team, the Foundation’s Board of Governors have agreed that Our Lady’s Convent Senior School will become coeducational and start to admit boys, from September 2019.

The Foundation remains committed to maximising the potential of every pupil at all four of its Schools and the Nursery, where boys and girls can be educated from 6 weeks to 18 years. The Loughborough Endowed Schools Foundation has one of the largest coeducational preparatory schools in the country and yet has no coeducational senior school. To support our pupils and parents in making a choice about their senior school education which reflects the individual needs and preferences of their child, it was felt that we should seek to provide a coeducational offer for all years of education. This move does not undermine our commitment to providing single-sex education at Loughborough Grammar School and Loughborough High School; however, a new coeducational offer at Our Lady’s Convent School provides our parents across the Foundation with opportunities to make individual choices about the style of education best suited to their child.

Our Lady’s Convent School will be retaining its distinct ethos and Catholic Christian values that are central to the School: however, a decision has been taken to change the name of the School to reflect the admission of boys. From September 2018, the name of the School will change to Loughborough Amherst School. This name has been chosen to honour Mary Amherst, the first English Superior of the Convent and the actual founder of the School.

The decision has also been taken to change the name of Loughborough Endowed Schools to Loughborough Schools Foundation. By the mid-nineteenth century a number of schools in Loughborough and the surrounding villages were established, funded by endowments and other charitable giving, and the Grammar School was one such school. In 1869 the government passed the Endowed Schools Act, in an attempt to regulate the provision of schools and education. In response, steps were taken to bring together the local charitable trusts, including those left by Thomas Burton, Bartholomew Hickling and John Hickling into a single charity, the Loughborough Endowed Schools. This was when the term ‘Endowed’ was first associated with the schools. It was also at this time that the charity which supports the schools was established, to manage the endowment, which was in the form of buildings and land, rather than financial resources.

Since the 1900s the charity has been referred to as ‘the Foundation’, or the Loughborough Endowed Schools Foundation, and since this time the term Foundation has frequently been used to describe both the charity, and the schools collectively.

Following comprehensive research with many stakeholders, it was clear that despite being in use for over 100 years our current parents and pupils questioned what ‘Endowed’ meant. It was evident that ‘Loughborough Endowed Schools’ has little affinity with our current pupils, and instead pupils and parents referred by name to the school to which they belong. The word ‘Endowed’ also suggests that we have an endowment of wealth which is inaccurate and could in some cases lead to a misunderstanding of the nature of the Foundation and its schools.

The Loughborough Schools Foundation will therefore become our overarching description and each of our four schools will continue to be known by their individual names. This letter has also been sent to all parents/guardians and staff and therefore all stakeholders are now aware of the change which will come into effect in the near future.

Yours faithfully

Mr G P Fothergill

If you have any comments or questions please contact Jane Harker, Director of Development and External Relations.  Email: [email protected]