Rowing can help get state school children into Oxbridge, charity says, after Eton College success story
4th March 2019
A 12-year-old who was denied a place at a state school won an Eton College scholarship after learning how to row, as the charity that introduced him to the sport is now aiming to get more working class children into Oxbridge.
Schuyler Audley-Williams, now 14, grew up on the White City Estate in Hammersmith and failed to get into any state secondary schools of his choice due to oversubscription.
After the council eventually offered him a place at a school that was deemed to be failing by Ofsted, his parents were then left little choice but to homeschool him.
It was during this time that his father, Harry Audley-Williams, took him to visit Fulham Reach Boat Club, a charity based in west London that was set up four years ago to challenge the “very elitist” perception of rowing by offering free lessons to local state school children.
Within one year of getting in one of their boats, Schuyler broke two under-12 British rowing records and secured a full sports scholarship to Eton College.
“Stale, pale” men should be replaced on GCSE and A-level syllabuses by more female writers, scientists, classicists and composers, according to some of Britain’s top private girls’ schools.
Girls’ schools are calling for changes such as replacing Shakespeare’s Macbeth with Aphra Behn’s The Rover on the GCSE English literature syllabus, mathematician Ada Lovelace to become a household name and the Greek female poet Sappho to be on classics courses.
Philippa Terry, a sixth-former at Streatham and Clapham High School, south London, has written to Damian Hinds, the education secretary, complaining that “school is just a magical mystery tour of white men’s achievements”.
She is being backed by the Girls’ Day School Trust. They want children to be taught from books such as Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World and sweeping reforms of GCSEs and A-level syllabuses.
Gill Cross, deputy head at Streatham and Clapham, said: “Our only hope is education and that must be a just, equal education where different voices inform, guide and inspire. UK education has too long been in the hands of the stale, pale male.”