Common Time 2019

Winchester College

Public Benefit


Charitable Objects

The purposes of Winchester College were redefined in a Charter of 1986 supplementing the original Charter of 1382. The main objects of the Charity are:

  • The advancement of education through the provision of both general and specialist education of the highest class, with appropriate financial assistance as required.
  • The preservation of the ancient buildings with their contents, for the public benefit.
  • In addition the Charity has secondary objects including:
  • The advancement of the Christian religion and the practice of worship.
  • The promotion and maintenance of the choral foundation.
  • The provision of suitable recreational facilities.

To these ends the College:

  • Provides an education for boys aged 13-18, which is recognised internationally as being of the highest standard.
  • Provides substantial financial support towards fee remission, benefiting one quarter of its pupils.
  • Has a continuous programme of maintenance and refurbishment of its ancient buildings and other buildings and property.
  • Allows controlled access by the public to its grounds, ancient buildings and facilities generally.
  • Holds a variety of religious services on weekdays and on Sundays, in Chapel, in Chantry and in St. Michael’s Church.
  • Is unique among schools in supporting the education, both academic and musical, of the sixteen Quiristers who sing at its services.
  • Provides a wide range of sporting and cultural facilities, many of which are available to children from other local schools and which are also made available to members of the public through the Enterprises department and the Friends of Winchester College.
  • Demonstrates an increasing public benefit through its academic activities and the support offered to the wider community by ‘community service’ and other activities.


Within these Objects, the College, as a Christian foundation, aims to have an international reputation for academic excellence in one of the best boarding schools in the world, to maintain its independence to the greatest possible degree, and to offer the widest possible access to pupils capable of profiting from the education it offers. The College aims to encourage, train, and form confident, enthusiastic, well-rounded young adults with a strong ethical sense and a respect for the life of the mind, and who are at ease in their relationships with other people, whatever the circumstances. The College recognises that it is a community of pupils, staff and parents. It aims to foster a sense of individual and collective responsibility for the College, the community and the wider world.

The College also aims to take such steps as the Warden and Fellows consider appropriate for the preservation for the public benefit the buildings and grounds of the College, its furniture, pictures and chattels, and anything else considered necessary or appropriate for the preservation of the College.

The Warden and Fellows ensure that these Charitable Objects are carried out for the public benefit by making sure, wherever possible, that such education is available to all who can best profit from it irrespective of financial circumstances and that the College’s buildings with their contents of historic, artistic and cultural importance and the College’s environment are made as widely available to the local, national and international community as practicably possible.

Scholarships, Bursaries & Other Awards

The policy of the Warden and Fellows in respect of awarding grants is consistent with the furtherance of the Charity's objectives. Scholarships and most prizes and similar awards are awarded on the basis of merit and the individual's educational ability; bursaries and other similar awards are determined on the basis of need.

The Governing Body reaffirms its determination to maintain the Founder's intention to offer the best possible intellectual, cultural formation to boys who can best profit from it. To adhere more closely to this intention and to widen access further the Warden and Fellows are pursuing a two-fold strategy, to redirect awards out of existing resources more towards bursaries and to increase the total value of awards available by building the endowment. The 2014/2015 academic year was the last year that any scholarship carried an automatic monetary reduction in fees.

Over time and as funds allow, it is the College's aim to be in a position to fund the equivalent of 10% of the School on full bursaries and a further 20% on an average of half a bursary (i.e. about 200 boys on an average bursary of 66%).

In the year to 31 August 2015 scholarships, bursaries and other awards were given to 172 pupils and totalled £2,431,000 (2014: 161 pupils; £2,069,000). These awards represent more than 10% of gross fee income. Among these, 102 boys (2014: 86) received means-tested support with school fees worth £2,119,000 (2014: £1,679,000), the equivalent of more than sixty full fees.

In the current academic year (2015/2016), 125 pupils are currently receiving bursaries totalling £2,935,000, a significant increase and the equivalent of over 82 full fees. Nearly one in five pupils currently in the school are now receiving support with school fees.

Of the awards made for the 2015/2016 year, 84 are to existing recipients and 41 to new entrants/recipients. The new awards were made to 31 entrants into the first year, and six direct entrants into Sixth Book plus four awards made to existing pupils. Sixteen pupils are receiving full bursaries with a further 73 receiving in excess of 50% of the school fee.

The College's Statutes also make provision for sixteen boys, called Quiristers, to sing at Chapel services and this inheritance is still maintained. Quiristers currently receive 40% remission of fees at Pilgrims' School at an annual cost to the College of £196,000 (2014: £198,000). This includes bursary support of £27,000 (2014: £17,000) for four specific pupils as a result of means testing.

Community Service

All boys in the top three years take part in Community Service, which operates in two forms. School Service (SS) activities include helping to coach junior sport, helping in the School’s numerous libraries and archives, contributing to school publications, helping with various choirs and music recording, working in the QEII Theatre and Angelus Gallery, dog walking, helping with the College’s website and intranet and in designing, preparing and delivering a series of science demonstrations to primary school children in the local area.

Community Service activities extend beyond the School and currently include a wide range of activities such as visiting primary schools and acting as classroom assistants, helping at local Special Needs Schools, running a weekly Summer School Sports Club (for local primary school children on the College’s playing fields), visiting the elderly, assisting at the Winchester Churches Night Shelter, running a chess club for local children, collecting litter from some of Winchester’s streets and bottles for re-cycling, working for local charities including charity shops.

Every year up to hundred elderly people come to the College from all over Winchester, to be entertained by various music and light entertainment groups. From September 2007 boys have been helping in various ways in Winchester Cathedral – in the refectory, playing music for its customers, helping to plan the various fairs that take place in the Cathedral Close and acting as stewards at events. Future work is planned with Solent Youth Action. Community Service also supports the charity DeBra, which provides support for children who suffer from a rare, debilitating and painful skin disease. Community Service now involves some 350 boys together with forty or so members of staff.

Midhurst Rother College

Winchester is joint sponsor, with United Learning Trust and the University of Chichester, of the Midhurst Rother College in West Sussex. MRC is a merger of three maintained schools in a rural area, the first of its kind in the country. The academy opened in January 2009. This state-private partnership is based on a continuing educational dialogue between the two schools and a sharing of resources, personnel and opportunity. The Governing Body of MRC has among its members a Fellow, the Headmaster and a Don of Winchester.

Crown & Manor Club

The College provides support for the Crown and Manor Club in Hackney. Winchester’s involvement started in 1927 as a result of Old Wykehamist interest which was supported financially by the Winchester College Mission. Today it is run by an Executive Committee which meets regularly and reports to the Crown Council. The College’s representatives are the Headmaster and his nominees, old boys of the club, and its management and friends.

Ancient Buildings

One of the College’s main charitable objects is the preservation of the ancient buildings with their contents, for the public benefit. The College maintains nine grade I, 4 Grade II* and 80 Grade II listed buildings at its own expense, including medieval buildings of national importance. Grade I listed buildings include ancient buildings first established in the late 14th Century

Extensive parts of the campus are either a public access area, Site of Special Scientific Interest or Special Areas of Conservation, managed at the College’s expense. The Nature Reserve is an SSSI and the main River Itchen with its carriers is a Special Area of Conservation. There is public access via footpaths through parts of the College grounds. The College owns St. Catherine’s Hill which is designated as a public access area under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and is leased to the Hampshire Wildlife Trust.

Fellows’ Library & Archives

The College provides access to scholars and researchers to archives of national importance, and provides free loan of the College’s treasures and archival materials to local and national museums for public display.

Winchester College Society & Friends of Winchester College

The Friends of Winchester College was formed in 1989 with the objective of forming a closer bond between the College, the local community, parents, staff and Wykehamists through the arrangement of special events, the use of the College facilities, and by generally encouraging local residents to take part in College activities. These include invitations to lectures and social events, College events such as plays, films, concerts and Chapel services, and free guided tours of the College with reduced rates for guests.


The College’s Enterprises department hosts sporting and activity camps for local children, residential courses, wedding receptions, conferences, private parties, cultural gatherings, special events and functions, and film location hire. There is extensive community use of the College’s PE Centre. The College’s facilities are used in the evening for adult education classes (Workers’ Educational Alliance).


A regular programme of tours of the College is offered to members of the public.