Dame Alice Owen’s Foundation (DAOF) was established in 1613 in the will of Dame Alice Owen, a wealthy widow who had been married to a brewer. She entrusted ‘my friends’ the Brewers’ Company to look after this Foundation, and it has done so ever since.
Today the Brewers’ Company is the Trustee to the DAOF, which is a registered charity (No. 312703). The aim of the DAOF is to support the education of young people aged 5 to 18, specifically through grants supporting Dame Alice Owen’s School in Potters Bar and educational purposes in the London Borough of Islington.
The assets managed by the Brewers’ Company on behalf of the DAOF include a mixed residential, retail and commercial property estate in Islington (pictured below) and an investment portfolio, which between them generate the income of the Foundation distributed annually to the beneficiaries.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
The Brewers’ Company is committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are at the centre of all that it does and works closely with stakeholders from Dame Alice Owen’s School and Islington Council, as well as representatives from the projects supported, to ensure that DAOF funding is distributed in an inclusive way and reaches a diverse range of beneficiaries.
Click here to read the Brewers’ Company’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement.
As Trustee, the Brewers’ Company is supported by an Advisory Committee which includes representatives from the Brewers’ Company, Dame Alice Owen’s School, Islington Council and independent educational experts nominated by the University of London. The Advisory Committee makes recommendations for funding in accordance with the Trustee’s Grant Making Policy and monitors the performance of all funded projects.
Current members of the DAOF Advisory Committee:
- Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Leader of Islington Council - Islington Council Nominee
- Paul Filmer, Consultant Sociologist - University of London Nominee
- Gary Haigh, Vice Chair of Governors, Dame Alice Owen's School - Dame Alice Owen's School Nominee
- Peter Martin, Chair of Governors, Dame Alice Owen's School - Dame Alice Owen's School Nominee
- Hannah Nemko, Headteacher, Dame Alice Owen's School - Dame Alice Owen's School Nominee
- Dame Erica Pienaar, Non-Executive Director, Wey Ecademy - Univeristy of London Nominee
- Prof Zoe Radnor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Law - University of London Nominee
- Cllr Michelline Safi-Ngongo, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, Islington Council - Islington Council Nominee
- Andrea Stark, Director of Employment, Skills and Culture, Islington Council - Islington Council Nominee
- Clive Strowger, Brewers' Company Liveryman - Brewers' Company Nominee [Chair]
- Paul Wells, Brewers' Company Liveryman - Brewers' Company Nominee
- Billy Whitbread, Brewers' Company Liveryman - Brewers' Company Nominee
Dame Alice Owen’s School
Dame Alice Owen’s School (DAOS) was founded in 1613 at the behest of Dame Alice Owen. Now located in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire the School seeks to provide an education which is both challenging and fulfilling, equipping students with all the essential skills for life. DAOS was named the Sunday Times State Secondary School of the Year 2017 and the Sunday Times Southeast State School of the Decade in 2020. DAOF funding supports programmes and activities which help it to remain in the top flight of educational establishments in the country.
You can read more about Dame Alice Owen’s School on our Schools page.
Educational Programmes in Islington
MEI Music Centres are an ambitious bespoke music initiative aimed at improving the equity and standard of music making for primary school children across the London Borough of Islington. Led by a team of teachers and artists from Guildhall School of Music & Drama – one of the world's leading conservatoires and drama schools – the programme provides affordable enrichment and progression for students by providing them with playing and performing opportunities throughout their school life.
The programme particularly targets disadvantaged children and young people of primary school age by removing the barriers that would prevent them from participating.
MiSST works with 17 secondary schools in and around London, Warwickshire and Oldham and has reached over 11,000 students. The charity helps secondary schools that have disadvantaged and challenging student intake by providing not only funding for classical instruments but also support in the form of regular tuition, opportunities to perform and a programme of excellence that is unrivalled in the UK.
MiSST also provides ‘Pathways to Excellence’ programmes for promising students, with access to ensemble and orchestral playing. This includes Saturday Music School, Leadership Programmes, and 4-day intensive Radley College Residential courses.
MiSST was founded in Islington at Highbury Grove School, where the programme contributed to transforming the failing school to one rated “Outstanding” by OFSTED. MiSST currently supports 8 schools in Islington where an entitlement programme ensures that every child in Key Stage 3 has access to the Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme curriculum.
Science for Life is an organization and partnership whose ambition is to increase the number of pupils in Islington engaging and progressing with science from primary through to post-compulsory level.
By developing pupils’ science capital, its goal is for all children, regardless of their background, to have the opportunity to develop life skills and ways of thinking that enable them to choose to pursue science and consider STEM-related career opportunities. Supported by the Institute of Physics, Science for Life aims to target under-represented groups and improve attainment of all pupils.
The Science for Life Hub includes teachers from Islington primary schools, special settings and secondary schools. Alongside science enrichment opportunities for students, the Hub sets the agenda for the primary Continuing Professional Development programme which supports teachers to develop their subject knowledge, pedagogy and confidence, so that children have a high quality experience of science within and beyond the classroom.
Upward Bound is a program that is aimed at raising attainment and aspirations for young people studying at key stage 3 and 4 in Islington. The programme serves 200 young people a year from 9 Islington schools. It is a collaborative project, run in partnership with London Metropolitan University, City, University of London and Islington Council.
The programme runs on Saturday mornings for 29 weeks every year with an exceptional staff of group leaders, specialist teachers, university lecturers, school teachers and undergraduate students, specifically trained to inspire and motivate young people. They work collectively to deliver an exciting alternative education programme with strong links to the national curriculum that re-engages learners, builds confidence and motivates the students to achieve. The students receive academic and pastoral support throughout Year 9 and 10 of secondary school.
The community established through Upward Bound grows and supports its own, with alumni returning to give back to the project. Many of the teaching team are former pupils now at university or college, who work as the Student Ambassadors and Peer Mentors. Upward Bound is highly regarded and valued by its education partners.
Between 2013 and 2021, the DAOF provided funding to Company Three (formerly Islington Youth Theatre). During this time Company Three worked with hundreds of young people in Islington, making transformative theatre and acting as a leading force for change for teenagers in the community. Now a well-established and sustainable programme with several national and international successes to its name, including the critically acclaimed Brainstorm and Coronavirus Time Capsule projects, Company Three continues to work with Islington Council to deliver its life changing programme to young people in the local area and around the world.
Find out more at www.companythree.co.uk.