Magdalen College School has always benefited from a diversity of excellence.



MCS was founded in 1480 with the aim of giving pupils the best possible education, with Founder William of Waynflete wishing it to be open to all pupils whomsoever. The school offered, as it does today, a transformative education in our global city.

In line with Waynflete’s ideals, we know that our success is secured in large part by the excellence and diversity of our pupil body.

With pupils of great character, we can retain excellent teachers who love and foster the inclusive culture and energy of MCS.


Governors and successive Masters have worked hard to retain a broad mix of pupils at MCS.  Oxford as a modern city is socially diverse and we know that pupils who can flourish here and contribute to the unique MCS family can come from any part of our community.

Oxford, of all global cities, should never allow the potential of suitably able and motivated boys and girls to go unfulfilled. It is by being true to our past that we secure our future path.

The challenge in our current world

As the global population faces the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, the need for bursaries and hardships funds – to secure that diversity of excellence so inherent to MCS – will likely grow.  We know that financial hardship is unevenly distributed amongst our current families and also those who may hope to join us in future.

It is of course likely that this is not going to be a short term problem for our current families, and we may lose pupils who would otherwise have applied to us. Our challenge is to minimise this risk, so that MCS can continue to enjoy the diversity of excellence which sits at the heart of its success.

For this reason, hardship and bursaries will be the focus of our fundraising in the years to come.

How we support our pupil body


Each year approximately 10% of the Senior School has financial support to attend, which equates to about 75 to 80 pupils who have some help with fees.

It will cost roughly £140,000 to fund a child through Magdalen College School on a 100% bursary.

Donated funds contribute between £70,000 to £100,000 yearly to support current pupils, with further hardship gifts helping on costs such as school trips and visits.

We are grateful to all OWs who have in the past helped us build a fund of £80,000 to address hardship, which commenced use in Trinity Term 2020 to support pupils.

Visit our Bursary Stories page to find out more.

The next generation


In the longer term, the only way to make such opportunities a sustainable reality is to create a re-foundation of the school.

The school became independent of Magdalen College in the 1980s with no endowment, unlike similar schools of such age and standing. While the school allocates a small percentage of fee income to an endowment fund, protecting the current position of 10% of the Senior School on bursaries will take more than thirty years to achieve.

We have the ambitious aim of accelerating this timescale.

Endowing a named bursary in perpetuity requires a capital sum of £450,000.

Our immediate goal has been to name a bursary in memory of former teacher Nigel Bates. Through the generosity of an OW who was Nigel’s pupil, the support received in the 2020 Conveniamus campaign allowed us to do that and we expect the first pupil to start in September 2021.

Gifts towards endowed bursaries are the focus of the 1480 Society, which recognises those who give more than £1,480 a year to this cause. It would take 300 such gifts to endow a bursary.


To learn more about the Society, please follow the link below.



Gift Aid allows all gifts to be increased by 25% and all the figures here include Gift Aid.



Legacy gifts are a way to support the school without impacting your current income.  We welcome into the Bob Stanier Society those leaving a gift to MCS in their will – find out more below.




For insight into how your gifts have made an impact at MCS, please visit The Impact of Giving page or read our most recent donor report below.