Since 1995, the Weavers' Company has developed a long-term relationship with a number of schools around the boroughs of London. The schools all present different and challenging issues but inevitably have a high degree of free school meals, high levels of mobility and have, or have experienced a poor position in league tables.
Whilst some funding is provided to each of the schools it is the personal involvement of members of the Company that has the greatest impact on the adopted schools. One Company member is designated as the lead relationship holder and, wherever possible, is a member of the school's governing body. Additional support is provided by other members through initiatives such as assisting children to read or supporting individual school projects.
Members of the Primary Schools Committee meet regularly with the Head Teachers to establish priority areas where the Company's support may be most beneficial. Grants have included:
- Playground developments
- Sound and lighting systems
- Library refurbishment, including the provision of books and stock lending systems
- A Writer in Residence
- Coaching about inclusion
- Nursery furniture
- Resources, including specialist maths equipment, ipads and musical instruments
- Financial support for school trips
- Support for gardening, drama workshops and after school clubs
Financial support has been provided more recently through an annual awards scheme that promotes Aspiration, Attitude and Achievement amongst pupils. The awards are presented by the Upper Bailiff and Clerk and the end of the summer term.
The Company recognises that shared learning and knowledge dissemination of best practice in the primary sector is important. In 2007 the Company sponsored a lecture to launch the interim finding of the Cambridge Primary Review, the first independent review of England's state of primary school education since the 1960s. The final report - Children, their World, their Education - was published in October 2009 and remains the definitive text for students, teachers, researchers, educational leaders and all who are interested in primary education. http://cprtrust.org.uk/
The Company is committed to the ongoing support of primary school education.