Sir Joseph Swan Endowment Launch

In this morning’s assembly we launched the Sir Joseph Swan Endowment Fund with Year 12 and 13 students.  Mr Steven Bates, Grace College school governor and financial adviser, attended the assembly where the theme was on week 1 of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent initiative, “Energy and Light”.  This was a fitting assembly theme from which we discussed Joseph Swan’s contribution to science and technology.  We went on to describe how we hope our students will become leaders who seek the transformation of society while sustaining the integrity of creation and renewing all life of the earth. The fund has been named the Sir Joseph Swan Endowment Fund to recognise the scientist’s key historic contribution and to commemorate the school’s more recent history as Joseph Swan Academy.

Steven Bates will be coordinating the school’s efforts to secure input from local and regional industries and businesses to support the work of the Endowment Fund.  This will include building links with the world of work to support the work of teaching departments, particularly those subjects with direct links to science, technology, engineering or maths.  We anticipate such partnerships will enable students to see how their studies in school are relevant to industry and the wider economic growth of the region. Steven will endevour to secure financial contributions from companies across the North East so that the Endowment Fund is in a position to make it a little easier for students to access a STEM apprenticeship or a university course in a STEM related field.

During the assembly I referred to Sir Joseph Swan, as a local innovator and scientist who demonstrated creativity, ambition, innovation and determination in his work that led to the invention of the electric light bulb. He achieved greatness for the benefit of others with qualities we desire all students at Grace College will develop and use to transform society. The science, technology and maths departments have a particular passion to empower, motivate and assist STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) students in Year 11 and Year 13 and the Sir Joseph Swan Endowment Fund will be an additional avenue for such collaboration across teaching departments . On an annual base the fund will award a bursary(s) to high achieving Year 11, who are going on to courses beyond the school, and to high achieving sixth formers.  The awards will be made at the school’s Presentation Evening and will be made following a review by a panel of governors and interested business people.  Students will be required to apply and have the recommendation or nomination of relevant teacher.

We will be putting together a short video to upload to our website so that interested students, parents and potential industry partners can find out more information about the Endowment Fund and the process of application.  It will also serve to highlight the way in which Grace College has committed to commemorate the past history of the school.

Thank you for your support.


Mr M Hall