Philanthropy at Taunton School, then and now

Posted: 7th January 2021

An update from the TS Foundation

The Taunton School Foundation was founded nearly 20 years ago with a mission to engage a global community of Old Tauntonians, parents and friends to support children at Taunton School. However, our culture of philanthropy is rooted in a history that long predates the establishment of the Foundation. Almost every building and facility was built with the benevolence of others.

The Science building for example, was created thanks to a sizeable contribution from the Headmaster at the time- Dr Whittaker- who donated his entire annual salary to help build a centre of scientific learning and hope for the future in an era after the First World War when so much had been lost.  During the Second World War, Major Ronald Gerrard, one of the most talented sportsmen the school had ever known, was killed in action aged 31. His son, Duncan Gerrard– who never came to Taunton School or knew his father, left over £750,000 in his will to celebrate his fathers’ legacy and to support children through sports scholarships.

Taunton School was once a grant aided school where ordinary local children who worked hard, were able to gain a place. We were once dependent on the generosity of our alumni to develop our facilities and to support bright and able children through scholarships. We have a reputation as a one of the best schools in the South West thanks not only to generations of talented teachers and staff, but also because we maintained a strong partnership with our community for over 130 years.

We continue to engage Old Tauntonians and to seek financial support for children at Taunton School. Over £4million has been raised as an endowment, with a legacy portfolio of pledges amounting to over £5million. Since 2015, we have been fundraising to support means-tested bursaries- augmenting the school’s own provision through Assisted Places and £1.7million has been raised, helping hundreds of families, including 70 sixth form students- many benefitting from 100% philanthropic support.

In this fragile time of hope during arguably one of the most devastating global events in recent history, it is clear that we need to look to our school community. More than helping parents who may be going through financial difficulties, bursaries are a driver for societal change.

An education at Taunton School is out of reach for most ordinary working families and without support for our bursary programme, we are at risk of losing our socio-economic diversity which benefits the whole school. We are therefore unapologetic in our commitment to strengthen our culture of giving.

The 100 Campaign – to raise over £5million to support over 100 children with bursaries throughout the school – will be launched in 2021. We are looking to our alumni and friends to support children now as they have always done.

the 100 campaign logo

 

Nadine Latte, Foundation and Alumni Director

To find out more about the work of the Foundation, click here.

Image below: Major Ronald Gerrard.major ronald gerrard
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