Eton sponsors new state boarding school

Financial Times, 28/02/2014: Pupils attending a new state boarding school sponsored by Eton College will pay no fees at all, under a partnership designed to bring the best of independent education into the state sector. Holyport College, being built on the site of a former special needs school just five miles from Eton, will open this September.

Eton’s own governing board will oversee the culture, ethos and academic focus of the school, which will have a traditional system of four “houses” named Brunel, Milton, Herschel and Fawcett after eminent local figures. The parent school will also provide art, music and IT facilities, as well as access to its libraries, support from its chaplaincy team, and specialist subject talks in the evening.

Despite the many crossovers, Tony Little, Eton’s headmaster, is keen to dispel any notion that the free school is a cut-price version of its sponsor. “This is not, to coin a phrase, Eton-lite,” Mr Little says. “We envisage Holyport having an ethos and philosophy of its own . . . it genuinely is intended that [Holyport] will develop its own purpose.”

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