The first Community Bond for an independent school
St John’s School, Leatherhead, provides first-class all-round education for both girls and boys. In 2017, St John’s became the first independent school to launch a Community Bond with Allia – raising £1.5 million for new facilities. It offered parents and alumni an interest rate of 3.25% for a term of 5 years, which was comparable to the school’s cost of borrowing from the bank.
St John’s was looking to develop a new indoor sports complex, including a swimming pool and a dance studio. As well as providing for its own pupils, St John’s was committed to sharing the new facilities with the wider community and children with disabilities or special needs. Martin Collier, Head of St John’s, said: “With better facilities, we will be able to expand our outreach programme by working in partnership with more local primary schools.”
Allia’s Community Bonds help organisations to raise the funds they need from their own supporter network, in order to deliver a project with a wider social impact. The bond is unsecured with light covenants and fixed costs. There’s also the option for investors to waive their interest or bond repayment.
“I am delighted that the St John’s School Bond creates the opportunity for us to raise the money from our friends and supporters. It will enable us to decrease the amount of bank debt we need to take on, and thereby also decrease the value of the School’s assets that we need to give as security for that debt.” explained Martin.
KEY FACTS: ST JOHN’S SCHOOL
- Founded in 1851
- Provides education for boys and girls aged 11-18, along with boarding options
- A community of over 800 pupils
- Offers subsidised education to the sons and daughters of clergy with limited means as per its original history), as well as children from other low-income backgrounds
(Details correct as at date of bond issue)