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Schoolboy hits back at claims Newham background won him Eton scholarship

Ishak Ayiris, 15, outside Forest Gate community school. Ishak Ayiris, 15, outside Forest Gate community school.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
12:47 PM

A schoolboy has hit back at suggestions he got into one of Britain’s top public schools because of his disadvantaged background.

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The 15-year-old said earning a scholarship to Eton is the result of “my ability and success during interview — there’s nothing else to it”.

Forest Gate Community College student Ishak Ayiris said he was disappointed with suggestions he earned his place at the £33,000 a year school due to his family being on benefits and his father being an Ethiopian immigrant.

The West Ham Park teenager has lived in Newham all his life and will be following in the footsteps of the prime minster and princes William and Harry.

He will take up his place at the elite school in September, where he will study for his A levels, Politics, History, English and Maths.

Ishak explained that drugs and crime have a big impact on the community in Newham, but it is his home and he wants to come back and improve it.

He added: “I want to help the people of Newham on an unorthodox level. I don’t necessarily want to be an MP but instead improve Newham on a grass roots level, working with people who live here to help change their lives.”

Ishak said getting into the school is something he has been working towards for a while and credits the dedication of his current head teacher, Simon Elliott, for giving him the confidence to apply.

Simon Elliot, 46, said: “He’ll go on to be a shining example to others and he’s already inspired younger students to follow in his footsteps.”

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