Eton College teams up with Forest Gate schools for launch of Orwell Award scholarship
- Credit: Archant
A top private school has teamed up with two others in a bid to get east London boys to apply for free places at its sixth form.
Eton College's Orwell Award will see up to 12 students a year from non-selective state schools gain places with Forest Gate Community School and Eastside Young Leaders Academy backing the move.
Eton headteacher, Simon Henderson, said: "Eton has made school places available free of charge to deserving students since our foundation in 1440, and we are very proud that there are over 80 boys currently in the school who pay no fees.
"The Orwell Award will ensure we continue this tradition by helping boys with tremendous potential but limited opportunity."
Unlike its previous scholarships, the Orwell Award recognises that academic achievement may have been held back by circumstance and so won't be offered only to youngsters with the highest grades.
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Instead, applicants will be selected based on their academic potential and whether they attend a school Ofsted identifies as requiring improvement or in special measures.
Other selection criteria include whether a boy has refugee status, is a looked after child, is the first generation of his family to go to university, or receives the pupil premium.
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The award is named after author and former Eton pupil George Orwell, who received financial aid at the school in Windsor.
It covers a sixth form place including boarding fees and an allowance.
Ray Lewis, chief exec at Eastside Young Leaders Academy in Bignold Road, Forest Gate, said: "Education is the launchpad for developing the leaders of tomorrow.
"Eton's new award is a brilliant opportunity to take advantage of the experience it can offer those with the ambition to attend one of the UK's top universities."
Forest Gate Community School headteacher, Simon Elliott, said: "As students from this school who have won places at Eton will testify, the chance to study at what is undoubtedly the world's most prestigious school brings with it truly life changing opportunities."
Forest Gate Community School, in Forest Lane, is rated outstanding by Ofsted despite two thirds of pupils being classed as disadvantaged. It has sent two pupils to Eton.
In February 2014, Ishak Ayiris and Irfan Badshah became the first students to be accepted on scholarships, winning places at Eton and Winchester College respectively.
In 2017, Kaashif Kamaly became the second student to win a place at Eton. In total, ten students have won scholarships.
EYLA, which has a focus on supporting black and minority ethnic youngsters, has helped three boys gain Eton places.
Visit Eton College's website for information about admissions.