Eton College

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Eton College's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Eton College is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Head Master Simon Henderson
A group of Eton boys
Founded by King Henry VI in 1440, Eton College is a
boarding school for over 1,300 boys aged between 13 and
18. It aims to promote independent thought and learning
in the pursuit of excellence, through providing a broadly based
education, with equal focus on life within and beyond the
classroom. The strong pastoral ethos seeks to engender respect
for individuality, difference and the importance of teamwork
as well as to foster self-confidence, enthusiasm, perseverance,
tolerance and integrity. Head Master Simon Henderson, who
was appointed to the role in 2015, and Director of Outreach
and Partnership Tom Arbuthnott, tell
The Parliamentary Review
more about Eton’s work with regard to social mobility.
A particular focus in recent times has been on broadening access to Eton and on
extending the breadth and depth of our partnership work. We have many links
with other educational establishments, notably through the research work of the
Tony Little Centre for Innovation and Research in Learning and also through our
sponsorship both of state boarding school Holyport College and of state sixth form
college the London Academy of Excellence.
Eastside Young Leaders Academy
Ray Lewis is a former prison governor and priest who, in 2002, set up the Eastside
Young Leaders Academy for pupils at risk of exclusion from school. Eastside is based
»Head Master: Simon Henderson
»Director of Outreach and
Partnership: Tom Arbuthnott
»Founded in 1440
»Based in Eton, near Windsor,
»Type of school: Independent
boarding school and sixth
form for boys aged 13 to 18
»No. of students: 1,325
»No. of teachers: Around 185
Eton College
Highlighting best practice
in a converted church near Forest Gate;
the walls echo aspiration andsuccess.
To date, over 160 young people have
gone on to attend a range of boarding
schools, independent and state, often
emerging from challenging individual
circumstances. These are aspirational
and determined young people with
a high level of boarding need. As
Ray puts it, “we work ruthlessly
towards levelling the playing field for
children who experience social and
Forest Gate Academy
Simon Elliott is the principal of Forest
Gate Academy. It is an “outstanding”
school in Newham, East London.
In 2016, faced by a culture of low
aspirations in his school, Simon
introduced the Prestigious Colleges
programme, which sought to
challenge pupils from disadvantaged
backgrounds to apply to top
independent schools.
That year, he had two exceptional year
11 students, and he found himself
having daily conversations with them
about politics, culture, religion and
science.He said: “I realised that, with
the right guidance, both of these
two would thrive in academically
challenging private schools like Eton
and Winchester.When both of these
students were successful, we realised
we were onto something.”
Hope Opportunity Trust
Debbie Wait co-ordinates the Hope
Opportunity Trust in Chester. This
group emerged from a letter written
by Martin Carey, currently regeneration
adviser at Everton FC, to Tony Little,
my predecessor as Head Master of
Eton. They knew a number of boys
in disadvantaged parts of the North
West whom they thought would excel
A very talented pupil, Andrew Isama,
came to us and made an enormous
success of his time here. Debbie now
works across five schools in the North
West of England. HOT find young
people, particularly in schools for
students aged 11 to 16, who would
benefit from the opportunities of
boarding education and then work
to place them in the right school. We
seek to take at least one boy from
Merseyside every year.
Eton: A social mobility charity
since 1440
Students from all three organisations
are currently flourishing at Eton. We
could give numerous examples, but
among them are Marcel, our vice-
captain of football, who came from
Blacon through the Hope Opportunity
Trust last year, and Kash, a fellow year
13 boy from Forest Gate. Look then
at Daniel, a year 9 boy with significant
boarding need from EYLA, who is
thriving in an Eton boarding house.
Eton has been a social mobility charity
since 1440; we were founded by
Henry VI to give an education to 70
poor scholars. That number of 70 has
been consistent within the school for
much of the intervening time and
remains central to our ethos. Today,
we spend more than £7 million a year
The Tony Little Centre
for Innovation and
Research in Learning
Eton has been
a social
mobility charity
since 1440; we
were founded
by Henry VI to
give an
education to
70 poor
on financial aid and have 83 boys
in the school in receipt of means-
tested free places; these numbers are
We aim to target these places where
our help is really needed, for boys
like Kash, Marcel and Daniel for
whom coming to Eton is going to be
a transformative experience. What is
even more telling, though, is not just
the success of the individual boy, but
the aspirational power of partnership.
Ray, Simon and Debbie will all tell you
that their partnership with Eton helps
to challenge and push students to
achieve ever more highly.
Marcel’s photo, wearing his Eton
football kit, is in the lobby at Blacon;
Kash used to be featured in a giant-
sized photograph in the atrium at
Forest Gate. Debbie describes the first
visit to Eton from HOT: “When the
coach departed,” she says, “families
and members of the public lined the
streets to see them off, as they could
not believe that children from their
communities were being offered
Other partnerships and
What we are trying to do when a boy
comes to Eton on a free place is to
establish a multi-dimensional, mutually
beneficial partnership with his sending
community – which might involve
some volunteering work or fundraising,
enable pupils to attend our universities
summer school or provide access to
the suite of online courses that we run
through EtonX.
Each partnership is different and suited
to local needs. But what we want,
in all cases, is for a steady stream of
pupils, year-on-year, to feel that they
can come to Eton, and to understand
that we are then giving something
very meaningful back to their
Most of these partnerships have been
enabled through an extraordinary
foundation called Royal SpringBoard,
which supports young people from
challenging backgrounds and matches
them up with appropriate boarding
schools. SpringBoard has unrivalled
knowledge of the boarding sector,
both state and independent, and
guides and supports families through
the experience.
This philosophy underpins a new
award that Eton is launching this year.
The Orwell Award is on offer to any
boy in the country. If they are from a
disadvantaged background, in need of
a full boarding place and succeed at
interview, we will find the money for
them to attend Eton for two years in
our sixth form. We already run a similar
programme for entry into year 9.
Our thinking has been inspired and
humbled by Simon Elliott’s words: “For
students at Forest Gate, Eton isn’t just
a school; it is a symbol of what can be
achieved and what is possible. It is a
dream made reality.”
Eton isn’t just
a school; it is a
symbol of
what can be
achieved and
what is
Marcel Aziamale (left),
vice-captain of football

This article was sponsored by Eton College. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development