Former pupils reunited in support of Pocklington School’s major new fundraising campaign for bursaries


Two former pupils paid a special visit to Pocklington School recently to meet the outgoing Head Boy and Head Girl and show their support for the School’s new ‘Shape the Future’ campaign to raise money for bursaries.

Tom Nash and Howard Holmes were in the same class from the age of eight and the visit was the first time they had met since they left the school in 1977.  Tom, who is past President of the Old Pocklingtonian Association, has been appointed as an Ambassador for the new Shape the Future campaign and Howard has designed the campaign’s distinctive promotional materials at his design agency, The Beyond.

Pocklington School’s outgoing Head Boy, Kobby Fofie and Head Girl, Grace Beckett, welcomed them to the School library and archive room, where they were able to look through old photographs and a range of memorabilia from their school years.  They reflected on the life skills and opportunities they had been given at the School and were interested to hear from Kobby and Grace about what it is like to be a pupil here now.

Tom was particularly keen to become an Ambassador for the new campaign as he had benefited from funding to enable him to attend the School in the 1970’s via a direct grant from the local authority. He went on to study Land Management at Reading University and has had a long and varied career as a Chartered Surveyor.  The first of his family to attend University, Tom then sent his two children to attend the school.

Tom said: “I was very fortunate to attend Pocklington School, and have many fond memories of my time there.  We were given the freedom and encouragement to develop our own interests and benefited from fantastic teaching and experiences. I was only able to attend because of the funds provided by the ‘direct grant scheme’, which was later abolished.  Nowadays the only financial assistance available to pupils is through bursaries.  I know how both I and my children benefitted from attending Pocklington School and I am keen to support the Shape the Future campaign to help raise funds so that more young people can experience the life changing opportunity attending Pocklington School provides.”

Howard Holmes studied graphic design at Northumbria University and has had a successful career in marketing and design.  His design agency, based in Hebden Bridge, works with a range of clients in the education and manufacturing sector.

Howard commented: “Being invited to design the promotional materials for the Shape the Future campaign has been a fantastic experience, and has given me the chance to not only have a trip down memory lane, but also to reflect on the impact Pocklington School has had on my life. I was given such a rich well of experiences and opportunities to draw from, and we had an exceptionally high level of camaraderie and collaboration which I still see evident in the pupils at the School today.  I learnt to develop communication skills which have served me so well throughout my life, and I am delighted to be involved in this campaign which will enable more young people to benefit from the education and experiences Pocklington School offers.”

The ‘Shape the Future’ campaign is part of the School’s Strategic Education Vision and its objective to ‘nurture a culture of giving back and increase accessibility to the school’.  The campaign seeks to raise £10 million for the John Dolman Trust endowment fund in 10 years to provide bursary places at the school in perpetuity.   The Campaign also wishes to raise £50,000 every year for the Annual Bursary Fund, which is used for immediate need.

Bursaries are offered to students whose families cannot afford the full fees and are offered on a strictly means-tested basis.

Toby Seth, Headmaster commented: “This campaign is central to our ethos. I know this from listening to members of our community from across the globe, and the visit from Howard and Tom has strengthened my belief in the importance of this initiative.We want to continue to develop the skills and nurture the talents that Howard, Tom, Grace and Kobby discussed and at the same time prepare our students for a world that has changed significantly over the past few years. And we want to do this for as many students as possible, regardless of their background. That’s why this campaign is so important for our current and future community.”

The fundraising campaign is currently being rolled out to the Pocklington School community with information also available on its website at

To find out more about applying for a bursary to Pocklington School’s Sixth Form contact Fiona Lambert on 01759 321200 or download the booklet and information at

Photograph, left to right Kobby Fofie, Old Pocklingtonians Tom Nash and Howard Holmes, Grace Beckett.

For further information contact Susan Kay, Development Officer on 01759 322626 email

Pocklington School Foundation, West Green, Pocklington, York YO42 2NJ




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