BOLTON School’s commitment to maintaining Lord Leverhulme’s philanthropic legacy has led to it working with young people across the borough to “promote educational aspirational for all”.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Bolton School Foundation after Lord Leverhulme brought together Bolton Grammar School for Boys and Bolton High School for Girls together to offer an education to all talented children regardless of their financial circumstances.

And today one in 12 children at the school receive a free education and one in five receives assistance with fees.

And for those who are not at the school, they have a chance to take part in a number of projects and schemes, including meeting some of the world’s top scientists, to being able to use the school’s first class facilities both educational and sporting.

Recently the Labour Party threatened that private schools would be stripped of their tax breaks if they did not share their facilities and expertise – and head of the boys’ division Philip Britton called on politicians to stop using education as a “political football”.

Heads of both school said that the independent schools they know and have worked at do work with the community to help raise aspirations.

Bolton School staff were drafted into Farnworth to coach children in reaching more challenging standards and the school has received a grant to help primary school children achieve level six in their national curriculum tests.

And this week saw the return on the popular SHINE — Serious Fun on Saturdays programme — programme to where children from across Bolton are encouraged to challenge themselves in traditionally academic subjects and also take modules in Russian and Japanese and other subjects they may not come across in the national curriculum.

The school called on politicians to rather than keeping bringing up fee paying schools' charity status and breaks for independent schools to actually visit them and see the work being done to raise education standards in and out of school.

Sue Hincks, headteacher of the girls’ division, said: “We want politicians to understand what we are doing, we are doing all we possibly can — and they should come to the North West and see what is happening.

“Working with children in the community is part of the ethos of this school.”

Philip Britton said: “Every school will work differently and do engage with the community — this school wants to more broadly involved in raising aspirations than in just a particular school.”

And it is not just children at state school who benefit from a closer relationship with the state sector, Miss Hincks said their young people who help run the events develop in confidence, and develop skills including organisational and time management — as well as their experiences helping them standing out from their peers while staff from different school can share best practice.

Young people at Bolton School volunteer to take part in the projects working to raise aspiration across the board.

Anaya Baksi, aged 17, said: “I enjoy interacting with different people and helping in the community.

“We helped Urban Outreach helped put on tea part for elderly people, and in the schools.

“It is really interesting to see other pupils’ interpretation of a book, so we both benefit and learn from each other.”

Soham Coomer, aged 17, added: “We volunteer to take part and I think it is important students get involved in the community, we are part of the community.”