Eton College has announced that we will invest at least £100m, over the next five years, in educational opportunities for young people.
This new social vision, known as ‘Eton2020’, will be implemented through four key initiatives: further access to financial aid for pupils; expanding Eton’s online education platform EtonX; growing the College’s network of partner organisations; and setting up new selective Sixth Forms.
Head Master, Simon Henderson said:
“There is no doubt that the inequality gap within education is widening as a result of Covid-19 and we must play our part, as an educational charity, in helping to address such inequality where we can. After this pandemic has receded, we cannot continue as is nothing has changed. As Mark Carney recently wrote in The Economist, institutions will be judged by ‘who shared and who hoarded’. Our governing body has now approved a plan which is both ambitious and demanding, but which builds on much of what we already do.”
One key initiative involves increasing financial aid so as to enable more young people from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds to study at Eton, including Looked After Children. In 2019-20, 90 pupils were in receipt of 100% fee remission. By 2025, Eton aims to have increased this figure to at least 140 pupils, more than 10% of the school.
In addition, the College will develop and expand its online education platform EtonX. Over 1,600 state secondary schools have signed up to EtonX self-study courses, free of charge and we have well over 125,000 pupils registered. Further investment will go into developing new courses, many of which will be made permanently available to the state sector for free and revenue from paid courses will go towards financing our wider initiative.
The College’s vision includes growing significantly Eton’s existing network of local and national partner organisations – particularly in areas of social disadvantage. This will involve further opening up Eton’s facilities and resources in a range of ways, including residential summer schools; offering access to the six strands of the new Eton Virtual curriculum (which we will continue to develop); and collaborating on educational research and teacher professional development through The Tony Little Centre.
The College has also begun discussions with government about setting up a number of new selective Sixth Forms similar to the London Academy of Excellence. By offering pupils an outstanding education, these institutions will aid social mobility in a number of locations outside of London and the South East.
Eton’s existing partners have welcomed the announcement. Ray Lewis from Eastside Young Leaders Academy said:
“Eastside is honoured to be working with Eton College in this endeavour. With nearly twenty years of success and experience in the field of community education and empowerment we are excited to be involved in reimagining the world to come.”
Head Master, Simon Henderson said: “I believe passionately that this is the right thing for Eton to be doing – it is the right example to set our boys; the right ambition to set our staff; the right development of our charitable goals and the right contribution to our national need.”