St Saviour’s and St Olave’s
The Dyers’ connection with St Saviour’s grew directly out of the earlier link which had been established successfully with Boutcher Primary School; the latter has for many years been an important ‘feeder’ school for St Saviour’s and it seemed logical for the Company to have an association with both schools. St Saviour’s was formally ‘adopted’ by the Dyers in 1997. The then Headteacher, Irene Bishop, warmly welcomed this development and it has been carried forward with equal enthusiasm by her successor and current Headteacher, Catherine May.
St Saviour’s is a Voluntary Aided Church of England comprehensive school for girls and is also affiliated to the Woodard group of schools. It has very strong links with Southwark Cathedral (where two whole-school services are held each year) and these various aspects are underpinned by the importance of religious education which is taught as a core subject to all girls up to GCSE Level. In this respect, The Dyers gave important support for the creation of a Chapel at the school – funding the altar and the stained-glass window.
Over the years Dyers’ assistance for St Saviour’s has taken a number of different forms. Since 2005 a member of the Dyers’ Court has served on the Governing Body and another member of the Court has acted as a mentor to senior staff. Considerable help and advice was given by the Company concerning the growth and development of Sixth Form provision at St Saviour’s and subsequently, in support of this, the Company has provided a number of bursaries each year to enable selected girls to continue with their education at this level. In addition, further bursaries are provided to enable selected former pupils with the costs of their university education. The school is justifiably proud of the academic success the girls have achieved in recent years, not least in securing an increasing number of offers at Oxbridge.
Other Dyers’ projects have included: the provision of laptops for senior girls, finance for a new minibus and support/subsidies for a variety of school trips and towards recent drama productions. In 2003 the school celebrated its Centenary on the current site, an occasion which was marked with a visit by the Queen. To commemorate the Centenary, the Dyers provided the funding for one of the three statues by Gerda Rubinstein which were commissioned, in order to illustrate the school’s motto: Heirs of the Past, Children of the Present, Makers of the Future.