Applications for the Orwell Award 2021 are now open: candidates should apply here.

We aim to give recipients a transformative educational experience they otherwise would not have been able to access.

This life-changing opportunity is for boys with potential; you do not need to be the finished product, but you will need to embrace the breadth of the Eton experience in and out of the classroom and have the academic aspiration, with our support, to apply to the most competitive universities. To be a successful applicant you will need intellectual curiosity, an openness of mind and character, and the willingness to step outside your comfort zone. If this is you, we want to meet you.

The Orwell Award is aimed at boys at a UK state school and recognises that academic achievement may sometimes have been held back by personal circumstance. As a result, this scholarship will be assessed both on academic potential and against specific criteria, such as if you have refugee status or are a Looked After Child, if you are in the first generation of your family to go to university, if you are in receipt of the Pupil Premium or if you currently attend a school Ofsted has identified as ‘requiring improvement’ or in ‘special measures’.

As an Orwell Award holder, you will be a fully-boarding member of our school community with allowances to enable you to fully participate in the life of the school, enjoying all the academic and co-curricular opportunities that all our students receive. Eton’s outstanding facilities will be yours, with our staff ready to support you every step of the way.

What is the Orwell Award?

Key Dates

Applications for the Orwell Award 2021 opened on Tuesday 7 July 2020.

The deadline for applications is Friday 25 September 2020.

Brochures and Events

We will be hosting two Virtual Open Days for Orwell Award applicants and their parents at 6pm on Wednesday 16 September and 3pm on Saturday 19 September 2020. Chaired by Nick Sellers, our Director of Admissions, these Virtual Open Days will be presented in a webinar format featuring a panel of Eton alumni, Orwell Award holders and our staff, including Tom Arbuthnott (Deputy Head, Partnerships), House Masters and Dames. For further information, please register your interest below.

There are two further strands of the Orwell Award, the Sixth Form Music Award and the MCM Drama Award, available to outstanding musicians and exceptional drama students who are applying for the Orwell Award.

We will be hosting an interactive webinar at 6pm on Thursday 17 September with Scott Handy (Director of Drama) and at 6pm on Monday 21 September with Leandro Silvera from our music department. They would be delighted to meet you, and will be discussing the MCM Drama Award and the Sixth Form Music Award respectively. If you are an applicant with a flair for drama or music, as well as our Virtual Open Days you can register your interest below.

We will also be hosting a series of interviews on Instagram Live with Eton alumni and staff, as they share their experiences of the Orwell Award and everything it offers.

Register for Orwell Award Updates and Virtual Open Days

Parents and candidates

Schools and teachers

Eton Orwell Award: How to Apply

Ask Our Boys

I’m from East London so it’s a completely different thing coming into a school like this, but it’s not as daunting as it seems… The best thing about Eton is that it allows you to become who you want to be. It brings out what your passions are and it gives you the chance to try anything that you think you will be good at and, if you are good at it, Eton pushes you to become even better and really brings out the best in you.

Hamza, Orwell Award holder

Personally, for me, I had my doubts as to whether I’d get in or not – and look at me now. Coming to Eton has broadened my horizons in many ways, but it has definitely made me feel anything I want to do is possible as long as I put my full effort into achieving it.

Josh, Orwell Award holder

Ask Our Parents

Speaking as a mother of a former Orwell Award holder, I can honestly say that I was sceptical when my son said he was going to apply to Eton. Now, as he finishes his Master’s course at Imperial College London, I can say – hand on heart – that it was the best thing he could have done.

Parent of an Orwell Award holder

It was the making of him and I didn’t lose my son – rather, I gained a young man who grew in confidence and independence and was well prepared to make the transition to university that parents often worry about.

Parent of an Orwell Award holder

Ask Our Staff

Those boys who were interviewed talked about the warm welcome they had received in boarding Houses and from the Eton community. A common theme in interviews was nervousness about their perceptions of what Eton would be like, which was completely different to the reality of their reception.

Nick Sellers, Director of Admissions

Whenever a new boy comes in at a senior level, it doesn’t matter what scholarship they’re on, the boys really fall over backwards to make them welcome.

Hazel Nash, Dame (House Matron)

The Orwell Award is named, with the kind consent of the Blair family, after George Orwell: Eton alumnus and himself the recipient of financial aid as an Etonian.