The first £50,000 raised for the Conveniamus campaign has been matched by an anonymous OW donor in memory of inspirational former teacher Nigel Bates.


Nigel Bates taught Geography at MCS from 1976 – 2006, inspiring and motivating generations of OWs. Not only was Mr Bates an outstanding academic mentor, but he also provided dedicated pastoral support to the whole school community as a House Master, teacher, colleague and friend. Whilst Nigel passed away in 2016, his impact on the MCS community  will continue through donations in his name to our Conveniamus campaign for hardship and bursaries.



He was the person most likely to be turned to by boys and colleagues alike in times of need, in the secure knowledge that he would provide his undivided attention and unfailing support. His avuncular manner, ready sense of humour and kindliness deservedly earned him the affection and respect of a vast number of pupils over his many years at the school.

Eric White, colleague

Nigel Bates


Nigel Bates came to MCS at the start of 1976 to take up the post of head of the Geography Department.

In addition to academics, he involved himself in a plethora of extra-curricular activities here, from hockey and cricket to house athletics and CCF. He also loved choral music and was a loyal member of Choral society, singing in commemoration services, school concerts and carol services.

During his tenure, he built up the Geography department to an enviable level of success with exceptional A-level results. In 2006, when Nigel retired, The Lily attributed his success as a classroom teacher to the ‘tremendous breadth and depth of knowledge of his subject, his rapport with the boys, and his sense of humour in the classroom.’

OWs from across the decades remember Mr Bates for his charisma, talent and passion for education.

I remember feeling a bit miffed when one of my historians told me that he couldn’t meet my essay deadline as he had to complete a geography essay for Mr Bates. He had his priorities sorted and obviously felt I was a soft touch. 'Basher' Bates was incredibly thorough and, though demanding, was very popular with the boys. His lessons were spiced with good humour.

John Harrop, Former MCS Usher

[Nigel] inspired each and every one of his pupils to achieve academic success. He would always make himself available to either provide guidance or simply lend an ear. During my time at Magdalen, I treasured my Geography lessons with Mr Bates. His unique charisma, and sense of humour made his lessons a real delight.

OW 2007

I, like many boys at MCS had my life changed for the better from being taught by Nigel. I was lucky to join MCS in 1972 whilst it was still a Grammar School and was about to embark on my O level course when he arrived. I was not in his class but well remember the buzz around the school that a really special teacher had joined.

OW 1979

Every gift up to £50,000 has been matched by an OW donor in Nigel Bates’s memory, as part of our summer 2020 Conveniamus hardship and bursary fundraising campaign.

We are delighted to announce that a further OW, who joined MCS in 1945, has come forward to match an additional £25,000 in gifts made to the campaign.

We need your support to maximise this generous contribution – any gift amount will be greatly appreciated.


MAKE A GIFT in support of bursaries and hardship