Public Benefit and Community Links – Blackwell Enterprise

The John Lyon School is part of John Lyon’s Foundation and was established to fulfil the Charter of John Lyon, whose intention was to offer education to local boys.

As a part of this charity the School has a requirement to have charitable purposes or aims that are for the public benefit.

The primary purpose of John Lyon’s Foundation is the advancement of education for children. A part of the ethos of the School is that access to education should not be limited to those who can afford fees, so we take substantial steps to ensure access is widened to include many pupils who would not otherwise benefit from the education that we offer.

In addition to the academic curriculum, pupils are expected to participate in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities working with and for other groups of people. Community service is undertaken by most pupils throughout their education. Educating young men in their responsibilities to the community in opportunities outside the classroom – locally, nationally and internationally, is a key aspect of our aims.

The School offers the opportunity for pupils from divers local schools to participate in workshops, seminars and other enriching activities. We have strong links with a number of local maintained schools. Many local groups enjoy the excellent facilities at the School – sporting, cultural and educational – on a regular basis.

Charitable giving is an important part of the School ethos and the School supports a range of charities each year, raising substantial sums of money and giving regular generous donations to organisations such as Harrow Foodbank.

The activities that John Lyon School undertakes as public benefit and developing links within the community is known as Blackwell Enterprise. Thomas Blackwell was a noted local philanthropist and benefactor to the School and it is apt that his name should be identified with this work.

To see a growing list of case studies, visit the John Lyon profile on the Independent Schools Council’s website, Schools Together.

Our Public Benefit Objectives

  • To provide means tested bursary places and scholarship places
  • Promotion of sport to our wider community by sharing our expertise and facilities
  • Promotion of music, art, drama, science, mathematics, classics and literacy by sharing of our expertise and facilities
  • Supporting boys’ pastoral care and all-round education via outreach programmes

Our Recent Activity

Bursaries and Scholarships
During the academic year 2020 to 2021 the School has awarded bursaries and scholarships to thirty per cent of pupils. This includes bursaries awarded by John Lyon’s Charity to thirty pupils. Twenty-seven pupils benefit from fully funded places at the School. We also ensure that recipients of bursary awards are supported so that they may participate in co-curricular activities, use of equipment and school trips.


The School is a supporter of the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham. Dr Morgan White is the LAET Co-ordinator for John Lyon. We share expertise with our colleagues at LAET and invite their students to visit John Lyon. We offer support to their initiatives and arrange further opportunities for their students.

John Lyon is a partner school with the London Chamber Orchestra and Harrow Music Services in the Music Junction project that offers music tuition, workshops and mentoring that leads to a concert of a work specially composed for the event being performed by local children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Drama, department is working in partnership with the Head of Drama at Nower Hill School to share expertise. John Lyon pupils have also visited Nower Hill to work in conjunction with their students.

Each year the School runs a series of Science workshops in partnership with Gladstone Park School, Neasden. John Lyon provides the staff, facilities and transport to facilitate these.
The Mathematics department provides STEP Maths lessons for students from a local college. The School also conducts mock Oxbridge interviews and mock interviews for medical school to pupils from the maintained sector.

University Fairs and Careers Fairs held at John Lyon invite pupils from maintained schools to gain advice and guidance on university courses and the opportunity to meet with professionals from a range of fields to gain a greater understanding of the opportunities open to them. The Careers Advisor also provides mock interviews and support to local maintained schools.

Different Schools are invited to English Study Days, Authors Visits, concerts, plays and the Junior Music Day. John Lyon also partners with maintained schools in Debating Competitions and Model United Nations.

Pupils from local schools join with John Lyon students in the production of school plays.

John Lyon staff work with the Lumina programme, a course for Year 12 students in the maintained sector who are considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge, hosted by Harrow School each summer.

Sharing of School Facilities

Many groups use the excellent Sports facilities at the School. Sudbury Fields is used by local primary schools and Harrow District Schools for football trials, training and fixtures. St Georges Primary School use the facilities on a regular basis. A local Sixth Form College uses Sudbury Fields for their moderation day. Middlesex County trials for boys and girls take place there. The fields are used by Harrow Borough Cricket squads and local maintained schools, we also host; the Middlesex schools cricket county plate finals, some of the Borough cricket finals and a U14 county cup cricket competition as well as hosting the Middlesex schools cricket meetings and the AGM. The new all-weather hockey pitch is used extensively by Harrow Hockey Club, giving them a home ground for the first time in a generation, as well as for other district and county training and competition fixtures, including primary school fixtures. Several local prep and primary schools use the swimming pool.

The Lyonian Pavilion is used on a regular basis to host training days for the Harrow Virtual School and the Harrow Safeguarding Children Board.

The Music School is the venue for ABRSM and Rockschool music exams and is used by local community organisations for Music Festivals and other events.

The Cricket Montessori School use the School’s Practice Pitch as their playground on a daily basis.

Community Links

We see John Lyon as a part of a wider community and where we can contribute to the community without detriment to advancing the education of our pupils we are delighted so to do. In addition to commitment of the School to provide public benefit, the John Lyon School is committed to developing meaningful links with the local community. Our Co-curricular and Extra-curricular programmes offer a range of opportunities for this.

Each Friday afternoon primary school pupils come to the School to participate in workshops in Art, Maths and Science that are led by John Lyon students, supported by staff. In addition, John Lyon pupils visit a local primary school as part of an initiative to encourage Drama in that school. A further pupil is teaching coding to pupils at a local school. Further co-curricular activities run sports clubs and Reading. Conservation and eco-school initiatives and a beekeeping club are strengthening biodiversity in the area. Pupils from the School work with the Harrow Woodlands School to help with running outdoor activities. Volunteers from John Lyon are engaged in community projects on the Grange Farm Estate notably helping with a food share project run by ‘My Yard’.

The Community Service programme for the Sixth Form sees students volunteering in a variety of local settings. One group has devised and taught a Classics course at a local primary school. Other Sixth Formers are mentoring children in Maths, Literacy and History. Other students work with children at the Sunshine School who have visual impairments. Voluntary work is also undertaken at; Harrow Law Centre and in care homes and charity shops.

Pupils aiming to achieve a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award take part in a community service programme many local placements.

The School community supports a number of charities throughout the academic year. In 2018-2019, our last full year of fundraising, we raised over £14,000 in total. We have an ongoing commitment to support the Macmillan Coffee Morning, Jeans for Genes, Movember and the Save the Children Christmas Jumper day. In addition, we raised funds for Hillview Nursery School and St Luke’s Hospice. Our school charity was the North West London Healthcare Charity. John Lyon encourages all families within the School to support Harrow Food Bank with regular donations of food and other essential items. The School extends a warm welcome to members of our local community who would like to attend school plays, concerts, charity events and art exhibitions. In addition, choirs from the School have sung at church services.

Eight members of John Lyon staff act as governors in local schools both maintained and independent; one of whom chairs their governing body.

The maintenance department help to maintain the environment on the Hill; emptying waste bins when necessary and ensuring surfaces are gritted in winter weather.

Within the wider community, out of date library and school text books are donated to Books for Africa, a charity that sends the books overseas. For other materials surplus to our requirements, the English department has introduced a loan system for schools in the maintained sector who have need of them.

The Senior Teacher (Staff) has run a #lendatext initiative on twitter resulting in schools as far afield as Cumbria receiving materials to enable a wider range of texts to be taught. Eight schools have benefitted. He has begun a series of Skype lessons with a school in Ankara (Turkey) to support their IGCSE students and is hoping to extend this to other schools. He has also worked with Heads of Departments from maintained schools who have asked for some A level CPD.

The Senior Teacher (Staff) is leading member of an online support group @team_english1 which works to share good practice and discuss pedagogical approaches to learning.
The Head of Economics gives lectures at UCL Institute of Education. Our school choir has performed for evensong at St Paul’s and Southwark Cathedrals. The Director and Assistant Director of Music perform as organists for various community events.

The School contributed to the wider education of pupils in the United Kingdom through its work with universities in the PGCE programme for trainee teachers and through the provision of NQT training programmes. We have also welcomed colleagues from the maintained sector to John Lyon so that they can observe our practices.

Members of staff work as examiners for public exam boards, acting as Team Leaders, Senior Examiners and advisors in some cases. They also work on a voluntary basis in local primary schools.