About the Bursary Fund

Belfast Boys' Model School has a great history of pupil success, seen in many walks of life, from its time on both the Cliftonville Road and in more recent years, on the Ballysillan site. A group of former pupils have decided to give something tangible back to the present school and pupils in appreciation and also in honour of E W “Ernie” Davis, the legendary teacher who led the school to win the 1971 Rugby Schools Cup Final.

They have set up a fund offering bursaries of up to £3,000 for a small number of boys going on to university to help them fulfil their potential. As the bursary fund grows, consideration will be given to extending the fund to other groups.

Open Afternoon

An Open Afternoon is being held on May 12th from 4.00pm - 7.00pm. This will be an opportunity to meet up with old friends, share refreshments and see around the school. Looking forward to seeing you all here.

How you can help

If you would like to help send a Boys’ Model pupil to university, all you have to do is get in touch and we’ll set you up a direct debit so you can make easy monthly payments to the fund. If you would prefer to make a one off donation we can also arrange that.

Belfast Boys' Model Bursary Fund

R A Logan, Principal

Belfast Boys’ Model School has a long and proud tradition of providing educational opportunities for young men in north and west Belfast.  The school now occupies superb new facilities on the Ballysillan Road and has a steady enrolment of almost 1,000 pupils. There is a clear focus in the school on raising the aspirations and achievements of our pupils and evidence of success in this can be seen in the increasing numbers of boys who are applying successfully for university places.

Year on year, past pupils have made their way into successful and rewarding careers in a wide range of professions, in public service and in commerce, not only in Northern Ireland, but around the world.

It is hugely significant to the school community that past pupils who have enjoyed success in their chosen fields and who feel a sense of gratitude to the school, should set up a Bursary Fund which will encourage and support young men who may be destined to follow in their footsteps.  Many of these pupils experience barriers to fulfilling their ambitions to take up university places and these generous bursaries will make a real difference to the life chances of many through the years ahead.

It is with a great sense of appreciation that I commend and endorse the work and generosity of all those involved in bringing the Boys’ Model Bursary Fund into being.

R A Logan

Ernie Davis

Ernie Davis began his teaching career at the Model School in 1945 when it was a primary school on the Cliftonville Road. In 1957 the school moved to the Ballysillan Road and became a secondary school for boys. The Headmaster, Normal McNeilly, and Ernie fought hard for the boys to be able to sit ‘O’ Levels and eventually ‘A’ Levels. The Boys’ Model and Orangefield led the way in opening up academic routes for their pupils.

Ernie was a prolific rugby coach and was instrumental in introducing the sport to the school. In 1971 he coached and inspired the 1st XV to victory over Ballymena Academy in the Rugby School’s Cup Final, ensuring the Model’s place in history as the only non-selective school ever to win the cup.

He was appointed Headmaster the following year, 1972, and led the school with the same enthusiasm he applied to rugby. He was charismatic, passionate, unique, a supreme motivator. He made certain that all staff “went the extra mile” to ensure each pupil achieved his potential.

Ernie led from the front and demanded high standards from everyone. The word ‘legend’ is frequently overused, but not is his case. Even after his retirement in 1988, Ernie maintained a keen interest in the academic success of the school and was a frequent visitor to the school. Especially in August, at results time, the man in the white coat was often seen coming through the gates.

The Belfast Boys’ Model School has not only maintained but improved academic standards over the years. We are sure that Ernie would whole heartily approve of this bursary fund which will help “his boys “ achieve their ambitions.

Read Lindy McDowell’s tribute to Ernie Davis in the Belfast Telegraph

Ernie Davis
He was funny, witty, entertaining and will never be forgotten by the many people whose lives he touched.
— Lawrence McConnell, Former Head Boy & Teacher