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Eton College offers free places

Photo credit: James Mcnaught 

Eton College has announced that it will offer 12 free sixth form places to boys as part of the Orwell Award.

Places will be offered to boys with “tremendous potential but limited opportunity”. The school which counts Princes William and Harry, David Cameron and Boris Johnson as alumni said it would be offering the places to Year 11 pupils from non-selective state schools and will also cover all boarding school fees.

Headmaster Simon Henderson said that the school has had an ongoing tradition of offering free places “to deserving pupils” since it was founded in 1440, adding that there were more than 80 pupils currently in the school “who pay no fees”.

“We are not targeting boys who will do well anyway…We’re looking for applicants with vigour, talent and industry who, without proper support, will not be prepared for or even apply to the country’s top universities.”

The Orwell Award is named after author George Orwell, a former scholarship pupil at Eton and is aimed at providing an educational experience to boys who would not otherwise have had access. Eligibility is often assessed against criteria such as pupils from schools which require improvement, rather than simply those achieving top grades from state schools. It also considers those from council or foster care and those with refugee status.

Read our feature on grants for private and state school partnerships

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