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Five UK philanthropists giving big to education

Five philanthropists from our database who are transforming education.

To celebrate National Education Day, we’re looking at five UK philanthropists from our database giving big to education.

Our Wealth Intelligence Database contains information about over 270,000 high-net-worth and well-connected individuals based in the UK and is updated daily. If 2024 is the year you want to discover your fundraising potential, we can help.

Sir Rod Aldridge, OBE

Sir Rod Aldridge is the former founder and executive chair of Capita Group. Since his retirement in 2006, he’s headed up the Aldridge Foundation, supporting children from disadvantaged communities to continue their education, secure university places and professional apprenticeships, and start their own businesses. Sir Rod also set up Aldridge Education, a national multi-academy trust responsible for the foundation’s family of academy schools and colleges.

In 2018, Sir Rod published his autobiography, You’re Better Than They Think You Are, to inspire young businesspeople. Raised in Brighton by working-class parents, he worked in local government before building Capita from a one-man band into an outsourcing giant in the FTSE100.

The Sunday Times Rich List estimated Sir Rod’s wealth at £135m in 2020. He appeared on the Sunday Times Giving List 2021 with donations of £0.9m. He enjoys music, cricket and golf, but his real passion is football, supporting Brighton and Hove Albion FC.

Peter and Christina Dawson

Peter Dawson is a former executive director of Bechtel Group. Peter joined Bechtel in 1978 in London and advanced rapidly through a wide range of commercial and financial leadership roles.

Peter and his wife, Christina, are ardent supporters of education and long-term benefactors of the University of Cambridge. Founding benefactors of the University’s Foundation Year, the couple donated £5m to enable attendance by talented students from educational and socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

The couple is based in California but are Londoners at heart. Christina grew up in Brixton to parents who showed her the impact of education by juggling night school with full-time work. Peter is a third-generation Gunners fan who was the first Brit to sit on the US construction giant’s global board.

Sir Peter Lampl

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman and founder of the Sutton Trust, graduated from Oxford University and London Business School. Before establishing the Sutton Trust in 1997, he founded the Sutton Company, an investment and private equity firm.

A philanthropist who champions social mobility, Sir Peter is narrowing the gap between rich and poor schoolchildren through the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation. The Sutton Trust’s priority areas of funding include early years, schools, higher education, access to the workplace and apprenticeships.

Prior to setting up the Sutton Company in the 1980s, Sir Peter held executive positions with Boston Consulting Group and International Paper.

Sir Paul Marshall

In 1997, Sir Paul Marshall launched Marshall Wace, one of Europe’s largest hedge fund groups, and remains chairman and chief investment officer. Marshall Wace has supported several charities, including Pencils of Promise, Teach First and Minds Matter NYC

Sir Paul is a founding trustee of Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), the children’s charity and chairman of ARK Schools. He also set up the Sequoia Trust to help children and young people. He is also a trustee of the Education Policy Institute, which aims to raise standards in education through rigorous data analysis, research and knowledge exchange, and the Eureka Trust, which seeks to improve the lives of disadvantaged children.

Sir Paul’sson, Winston, is a former member of the folk group Mumford & Sons, and his wife, Sabina, is an antique dealer who previously directed Pimpernel & Partners on King’s Road.

Sir Paul appeared on The Sunday Times Rich List 2023 with an estimated wealth of £800m. He was also on the latest The Sunday Times Giving List with donations of £66.9m. He made a donation of £50m to the London School of Economics in 2022.

David P J Ross

David Ross was the finance director at Carphone Warehouse from 1990 until 1996, before becoming joint-chief operating officer of the company until 2003.

Ross founded the Ross Foundation in 2006 to help children and young people discover their strengths by offering them a wide range of world-class educational opportunities. It has funded the David Ross Education Trust, which runs 33 schools, and his foundation gives £300,000 annually to his alma mater. Ross is also the chairman of the New Schools Network, a charity which formerly supported free schools.

The Sunday Times Rich List estimated Ross’s wealth at £700m in 2023.

This is a tiny snapshot of some of the 270,000 plus high-net-worth and well-connected individuals on our Wealth Intelligence database. If you’re ready to take your fundraising to the next level, find out how to get started for free.