Public Benefit and Community Links – Blackwell Enterprise

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 takes its requirement to have charitable purposes or aims that are for the public benefit very seriously. The work that is done is integral to living out our values as we contribute to the community and use our skills to benefit others.

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. Volunteering is undertaken by all pupils throughout their education. Educating the young 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 diverse local schools to participate in workshops, seminars and other enriching activities. We have strong links with a number of local state 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 as chosen by the pupils themselves led by the Prefect charities team.

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

  • Providing 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 pupils’ pastoral care and all-round education via outreach programmes

Our Recent Activity

Bursaries and Scholarships

This academic year, over 30% of John Lyon pupils hold a Bursary or Scholarship (Academic, Sport, Music, STEAM, Art or Drama).

Over 13% of our current pupils are in receipt of a means tested bursary, some of which are full bursaries. John Lyon’s Charity provides substantial bursaries for 26 John Lyon pupils. We also ensure that recipients of bursary awards can access further financial support throughout their schooling, so that they may participate in co-curricular and school trips both in the UK and abroad.


As part of our work, the School is a supporter of the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham. We attend weekly to LAET to teach in person and also offers an online philosophy of economics reading group each week. Following our support, one of the LAET students took a place at Cambridge to read Geography.

Members of John Lyon staff assisted in the interviewing of prospective LAET students. A trip to John Lyon for LAET students will take place later this academic year, which will include visiting Harrow School for a talk by their Head of Economics.

The annual University Fair will be held in February 2023 with our UCAS Coordinator with representatives of Russell Group universities will partner with local schools. In addition, this year a Green Careers Fair will take place in March 2023 with local maintained schools invited to listen to and interact with green companies. The Careers Advisor also provides mock interviews and support to local maintained schools.

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.

One of the many new partnerships being fostered is with William Perkins CofE secondary school with sixth form pupils mentoring year 10 GCSE Maths pupils.

A partnership in its second year is The Photographer’s Gallery. This delivers an EPQ in photography, which use the School’s facilities for showcasing and moderating the final assessments.

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 School also conducts mock Oxbridge interviews and mock interviews for medical school to pupils from the maintained sector.

Weekly Science, Maths and Drama workshops take place for all Year 5 pupils from a local primary school, this carousel system allows the pupils to take part in each subject over the course of the year.

We continue to work closely with the Shaftesbury Enterprise at Harrow School together with Harrow carers, we are working together to offer warm hubs this winter, this will involve the use of our facilities for families for a meal and entertainment.

We were able to donate computers to a trust in Brent that includes some of the most disadvantaged postcodes in the country. We are now looking to distribute sports equipment.

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 Mock COP conferences.

Pupils from local schools join with John Lyon students in the production of school plays and local primary schools are attend the dress rehearsal of the musical annually.

John Lyon staff work with the Lumina programme, offering weekly support online to pupils as well as 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 football pitches and MUGA at Sudbury, along with the Lyon building playground, were used by charities working with the Harrow Activity and Food programme during the summer holidays.

Several local prep and primary schools use the swimming pool weekly to support their curriculum.

The Lyonian Pavilion is used on a regular basis to host training Harrow Safeguarding Children Board.

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 Drama, Maths and Science that are led by John Lyon students and 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. Sixth Formers run “Cricket Camps” in local schools, mentoring young pupils alongside teaching cricket skills.

The Blackwell Volunteering programme for the Sixth Form sees students giving their time and expertise in a variety of local settings. There has been an effort to ensure that all pupils in the sixth form are volunteering on a Friday afternoon. This will result in 3,250 hours of community service by our pupils this academic year.

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 Hill View Nursery who have children with additional needs. 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 in many local placements.

The School community supports a number of charities. In our last full year of fundraising, we raised over £10,265 in total. We have an ongoing commitment to support the Macmillan Coffee Morning, Jeans for Genes, Movember and the Christmas Jumper Day. In addition, we raised funds for Hillview Nursery School and St Luke’s Hospice. 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.

One member of staff is a chair of governors, seven members of staff serve as governors in the maintained and independent sectors and one member of staff is a Foundation Director for ASCAT (The Annual Scientific Conference on Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia).

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

The School contributed to the wider education of pupils in the UK 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. They also work on a voluntary basis in local primary schools. Pupils from local schools join with John Lyon pupils in the production of school plays when circumstances permit. These include Claremont High School, Hatch End High School, Henrietta Barnett School, Park High School, Ruislip High School, Sacred Heart High School, Watford Grammar School and Whitmore High School in the maintained sector, and independent schools St Helen’s School, Northwood College and Royal Masonic School.