Locally made resources, photo courtesy of Redearth

BFSS Name Change SGM – 7 November

Members are invited to vote on a special resolution to change our name to Educational Opportunity Foundation.

The Privy Council Office has given informal approval for us to change the BFSS name to:

Educational Opportunity Foundation

However before we request the Privy Council to formally approve the name change, we would like to ensure we have the support of the BFSS Membership. We are therefore inviting all Members to a Special General Meeting where the name change will be put to a formal vote.

The meeting is for Members only and will be held online via Zoom, at 10.30am on 7 November 2023. Everyone who is a BFSS Member (as of 19 September 2023) will receive an invitation by email with details of how to register to attend the meeting or submit a proxy vote in their absence. Registration and proxy voting will close on 31 October 2023.

Members may propose resolutions to the meeting, and these must be emailed to the Secretary to Council via director@bfss.org.uk by Tuesday 10 October 2023 at the latest.  Any resolution must be seconded by no less than five existing Members in addition to the proposer and include a supporting explanation of the rational for the proposal in no more than 200 words.


Last year we decided to review the BFSS name, in order to better reflect our work and aims of finding and funding inclusive educational projects.

BFSS was originally called the Society for Promoting the Lancasterian System for the Education of the Poor until 1814, when the name British and Foreign School Society was adopted. By that time the charity was running a large number of charity schools in the UK as well as overseas. We feel the BFSS name no longer reflects what we do and the value we place on effective teaching, learning and sharing of good practice, as well as our commitment to inclusivity, integrity, valuing and respecting others.

During 2023 we have been seeking approval for a name change, firstly from our Membership and then the Privy Council, the latter is required as BFSS has a Royal Charter. Thank you to the many Members who completed our survey about changing the BFSS name. We were really pleased to have 120 responses, and a wealth of helpful feedback and ideas. A clear favourite emerged of the two names we put forward, as well as alternative suggestions for names and for how we could finesse the proposed straplines to show the global reach of our work together.

Your ideas were carefully considered by Trustees and staff to revise the proposed new name and strapline:

Educational Opportunity Foundation
Improving life chances worldwide since 1808


We are confident this name better communicates our inclusive and life changing work, which strives to maximise education for all. Together with the strapline, it traces our work of widening educational opportunity back to Joseph Lancaster’s time in the early nineteenth century.

Next steps

If the resolution to adopt this new name is passed at the BFSS Special General Meeting on 7 November 2023, as required by our Royal Charter, we will submit a formal request to change our name to the Privy Council. We anticipate it will take a few months before the Privy Council can consider our request, so we expect to receive the decision  in early 2024.







Published: 15 September 2023