NHEHS Bursaries: Making a Difference – Clare’s Story
Ensuring that talented and academically gifted girls from all backgrounds have access to education at Notting Hill & Ealing High School is integral to the school’s vision and ethos. Our students, staff, current and former parents and alumnae represent all backgrounds and reflect the culture and community of our school. We know bursaries change lives and benefit the whole school community. At NHEHS, we have a long history of providing bursary awards and our bursary pupils have contributed hugely to the diversity and endeavour of the school.
However, each year we turn away many talented applicants, currently we have around 6% of our students on bursary awards but our ambition is to do much more.
In 2023/4 we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary, such an important milestone feels like the right time to extend our bursary programme to anyone with the ability and potential, regardless of background of wealth.
Over the summer we will be sharing some stories from our alumnae and their families showing what a difference a bursary can make. Here’s how financial assistance helped alumna Clare, Class of 1973:
‘Another teacher I remember fondly is the firm but fair Miss Mellers in my 4th primary year. Unlike with my earlier class teachers, I can’t recall her telling me off or ever complaining to my mother about my behaviour, which had often been found wanting in a social context due to my unrecognised Asperger’s syndrome. This type of autism is more common among girls than generally assumed, with many girls masking the condition more effectively than boys can. But that year, Miss Mellers proved the amazing difference a teacher can make through encouragement rather than condemnation.
I was very relieved to be awarded a Direct Grant because it meant I could continue attending the school I knew. It helped so much to be able to stay at the same school because familiarity and stability were very important for me, especially during my unsettled secondary years throughout which my father’s health was declining.
If I hadn’t received financial assistance my life might have been very different. Attending NHEHS helped me to gain wider horizons, a less parochial viewpoint, and to meet a greater variety of people than would have been possible otherwise. It gave me enough confidence to be able to regard myself as equal at heart with others. It encouraged many interests which have brought beautiful enrichment into my life and it has helped me to continue developing an open-minded attitude and a love of learning.
For me, receiving a bursary meant stability, continuity and the opportunity of a broad academic education which has stood me in good stead all my life. The funding of bursaries opens windows to the fresh air and clear light of knowledge and opens doors to children’s lifetimes of adventure.
In today’s world, when girls and women are still second-class citizens in many places and ways, I’d say that the GDST offers girls excellent opportunities rarely available anywhere else. It helps prove that girls do shine through!’
Clare Johnson, Class of 1973Back to news