The Thomas Clarkson (OP) Award

Thomas Clarkson (28 March 1760 – 26 September 1846), was educated at St Paul’s School and Cambridge University before making his name as the leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire.

He helped found The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade (also known as the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade) and helped achieve passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which ended British trade in slaves.

In his later years, Clarkson campaigned for the abolition of slavery worldwide; it was then concentrated in the Americas. In 1840, he was the key speaker at the Anti-Slavery Society’s (now known as Anti- Slavery International) first conference in London, which campaigned to end slavery in other countries.

The Thomas Clarkson award is made to a pupil who has consistently demonstrated traits and attitudes the School deems exemplary, including but not limited to exceptional leadership, bravery, support of others and commitment to voluntary service and/or charity work.

The prize will have a cash value of £1,000 and will be awarded to one Sixth Form or Lower Eighth pupil each year in order to fund or part-fund a worthwhile service-oriented project proposed by the student. In exceptional cases, the prize may be shared between two pupils.

Pupils can be nominated by any member of the School (pupil or staff) and must be submitted by 5pm on Monday 26 April. Nominations can be made by sending a letter or email to the PA to the Surmaster ( providing the name of the nominee and setting out the reasons for the nomination. Nominees will be expected to submit a one-page proposal as to how the funds will be used.

The Surmaster’s PA will collate nominations and the Director of Partnerships and Public Service will convene a panel to consider nominations and make a recommendation to the High Master, who will make the award.

The prize will be announced at the relevant year group assembly (Sixth Form or Lower Eighth) by half term. It will be publicly announced at the assembly of the whole school in the September of the recipient’s Lower Eight/Upper Eighth year along with any emergent details of the project that the award will be used to fund.

The recipient may involve other members of the School in the project; staff and/or pupils. The project may take place at any time up to and including the end of the Summer following the recipient’s Upper Eighth year, but it is expected that a large part of the project is complete before September of their U8th year. The recipient will be invited (and expected) to report back on their project to the 4th/5th /6th year group assembly to help raise awareness of the award and inspire other boys to aim for the award.

Clarkson Award Poster 2021