Both sides of the bursary coin

If you are reading this it is highly likely that like us, you benefited from the privilege of a King’s Chester education. It would be wonderful to live in a world where all children have access to such quality schooling and not only a privileged minority. At very least, King’s bursary provision makes a huge difference to the lives of many from financially modest backgrounds.

We benefited in two rather different ways from a King’s bursary many years ago.


My mother was widowed when I was still a child and we lived on a council estate in Ellesmere Port. Money for school fees was completely out of the question. (With the exponential increase in school fees over the intervening years the money barrier is there for even more children these days. This is despite King’s successfully keeping their fees significantly lower than many independent schools.)

It is impossible to overstate the impact of my bursary-funded place at King’s. I was the first member of my family to go to University where I thrived, building on my formative years at King’s. I went on to a successful career in the corporate sector and so my bursary has not only benefitted me, but also my wife and children, the companies I have served and the communities to which I have been able to contribute. My support for the King’s Chester Bursary Appeal is to my mind repaying the fees from which I was so kindly excused all those years ago, and in the knowledge that future generations will benefit as I have.

Let me pass over to Andrew who has the tale to tell of the other side of the coin.


I was fortunate to be born into a family that was comfortably off financially and who valued the quality of education that King’s offered.

Education is not just about academic study and learning, and rich extracurricular activity, but as importantly social education and acquiring an understanding of wider society. The rarefied atmosphere of a school, with all children coming from the prosperous middle classes, is ill-equipped to deliver on this  third essential element of a fully rounded education. My huge benefit from Dave’s bursary was the good luck to forge a friendship at school that straddled our social backgrounds and which has endured over all the intervening years.

My education and my adult life would have been very much poorer  vita sine David – I’m sure shared frustration with our classical studies was but one area where we supported each other as school friends. My support for the King’s Chester Bursary Appeal is in gratitude for my lifelong friendship with Dave and to help King’s in their commitment to continue to support children from all backgrounds and foster friendships such as ours.

Many of you reading this may have benefited from bursaries in earlier years. Many from the other side of the coin. If you have like us already contributed to the Bursary Funds that’s great. If you are still thinking about it, we hope our story may encourage you to act.


Dave McCarthy King’s 1972-1978 Andrew Brannon King’s 1972-1978
Global Head of Consumer retail research at HSBC Former Executive Director at Charles Taylor Consulting PLC