In 1908, James Smith a local Wine Merchant bequeathed a sum of money in memory of his late mother, Margaret Bryce Smith to make annual awards of scholarships to Liverpool secondary school children. The awards to be known as The Margaret Bryce Smith School Scholarships in her honour.

For many years the Corporate Trustees were Liverpool City Council, but in August 2002 a scheme drawn up by the Charity Commissioner came into effect amalgamating the main fund with a number of small associated scholarship funds. The scheme superseded the original trusts of the charities and henceforth the charity is to be administered as one fund.

The object of the charity is to further the education of pupils attending any secondary school in the City of Liverpool by the reward of prizes (or other suitable rewards or marks of distinction).

Since 2005, grants totalling 446,151 have been awarded to secondary pupils attending Liverpool schools.

The prizes must be awarded on the recommendation of the Headteacher.

For clarification the definition of a secondary school in the City of Liverpool includes secondary aged pupils attending a special school in the City. Only secondary aged pupils attending schools in Liverpool can receive awards, this does not apply to pupils attending schools in Knowsley, Sefton, St. Helens, Wirral or Cheshire.