Edna Mathieson – Founder of SCEC
Life-long Southwark resident, activist, retired sociology lecturer and sometime elected member of the old Inner London Education Authority (ILEA), Edna Mathieson founded SCEC in 1992. Her background in educational research at the London School of Economics (LSE) and work as a Southwark LEA supply teacher led her to become concerned by the way good, average, motivated children in local schools were at risk of being short-changed educationally in their very large, often mixed-ability classes despite the best efforts of their hardworking teachers.
-Edna Mathieson approached Dulwich College to enlist help with providing supplementary education lessons for children from maintained schools in the London Borough of Southwark. Dulwich College offered to provide accommodation rent-free on Saturday mornings.
-Pilot scheme started at Dulwich College for some 40 Year 6 children from half-a-dozen primary schools in less affluent areas of Southwark. Lessons in English, mathematics and science taught by volunteer teachers from the College’s academic staff.
-Scheme enlarged to cater for 80 children from 10 primary schools. Drama added to curriculum. SCEC began to recruit its own teaching staff (tutors). Expansion of fundraising to cover tutors’ salaries.
-Family Literacy Scheme for Year 3 children started at James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS).
-Mathematics Scheme for Year 5 children started at Alleyn’s School. SCEC employing 13 tutors.
-SCEC attracted 3-year funding from National Lottery. Computing added to Year 6 curriculum at Dulwich College.
-Alleyn’s School, Dulwich College and JAGS widen their in-kind financial support to include on-site Saturday morning facilitation, payroll and general administration.
-Elements of Citizenship built into schemes of work of all Year 6 subjects.
2002 – 2003
-Working closely with SCEC, Brunel University Able-Children’s Unit ran a research project designed to raise achievement of mathematically promising pupils through parental support.
2004 – 2009
-SCEC and SHINE (Support and Help In Education) won funding from DfEE under its Building Bridges initiative supporting co-operative ventures by maintained and independent schools.
-SCEC constitution amended to reflect changes in organisation since foundation; Charity Commission approval received.
-Year 6 scheme at Dulwich College changed to provide clear focus on science.
-SCEC granted Charitable Incorporated Organisation status by the Charity Commission.