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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.