Eton pupil on a scholarship for boys from deprived areas is thriving as a free scholar
29th March 2019
Schuyler Audley-Williams, attends Eton College. He is a talented rower, all-round sportsman and recently helped Eton's rugby sevens to second place in a 32 team inter-schools competition
‘I love it here,’ he says of the £40,000-a-year boarding school founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, taking a break from learning his lines for a production in which he has been cast as God, no less.
What’s not to love? Excellent teachers, top-notch facilities, an atmosphere of high achievement plus an alumni that reads like Who’s Who, including 19 former British prime ministers and Princes William and Harry.
Every third weekend, Schuyler, who is on a New Foundation Scholarship for boys from deprived areas, goes home to his parents Harry and Stephanie — not to some stately pile, however, but to a council estate in one of the most deprived pockets of London.
Until he left to board at Eton last September, the sprawling White City Estate in Hammersmith, West London, was the only community he’d ever known.
Eton works closely with the UK’s largest boarding school bursary charity, Royal SpringBoard, which helps children from some of the UK’s most deprived communities attend some of the country’s top boarding schools, state or independent. Around 120 students a year are placed, of which Eton takes about four.
In 2012, Eton, along with five other independent schools, opened the London Academy of Excellence, a sixth-form college in Newham, one of London’s poorest boroughs.
Primary school pupils are set to learn about LGBT relationships after an overwhelming majority of MPs voted in support of it.
In what has been hailed as an ‘historic’ day, the government’s new LGBT-inclusive regulations for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) was won by 538 votes to 21.
The vote came as a row continues in Birmingham where parents have protested outside a school giving lessons in same-sex relationships. Complaints were also reported at schools in Greater Manchester, where Mayor Andy Burnham said it is ‘right’ children have an LGBT-inclusive education.
The proposal put forward by Education Secretary Damian Hinds now has to go to the House of Lords but looks likely to become law in September 2020.
The lessons will be tailored so that they are age-appropriate. Faith schools will be allowed to carry out the teaching from a ‘distinctive faith perspective’ and a ‘balanced debate may take place about issues that are seen as contentious’ according to the Department for Education.
Under current framework, from September 2020 pupils in primary will start learning about various family models, including same-sex relationships. Secondary school pupils will learn about LGBT issues, including the negative effects of sex and gender-based stereotyping.