Bishop Robert Gray founded the Diocesan College to provide an educational environment for boys that would nurture and create independent thinkers and dynamic leaders. Our objectives for Bishops build on these ‘keystones’ but take them a couple of steps further. The new post-apartheid South Africa requires leaders of the highest ethical standards, intellect and ability, but that leadership – across all disciplines – needs much more fully to reflect the economic and social diversity of the country than is currently the case. That applies to Bishops as well. Our vision is to create a school where all boys of ability can access a broadly-based education of the highest quality regardless of financial, social or racial background. The end point, which will take many decades to reach, is to build a sufficiently large bursaries fund to enable Bishops to award places to those boys with the potential to gain most from a Bishops education and to give back most, whether in terms of specific ability, diversity, or personality, regardless of their financial circumstances. A rigorous means testing system would be used to determine the level of bursary support appropriate for each individual applicant, ranging from a maximum 110% (which would ensure that boys from the most disadvantaged backgrounds have sufficient funding to cover all the incidental costs such as travel on school trips or sporting tours, uniforms, books etc) down to 25%.
This is a long-term goal, which will help to ensure Bishops’ sustainability and survival into the 22nd Century, but one that we can begin to work towards quite swiftly by seeking bursary funding from our friends and supporters. The more successful we are in raising funds for this the more swiftly can we increase the number of bursaries available.