WISH you could send your child to Eton? It may not be an impossible dream.
Studying there may cost a whopping £42,500 a year but the school offers 90 free places to children from poorer backgrounds – and that’s set to rise to 140 over the next five years.
It’s not the only posh school offering means-tested bursaries.
To get one, kids must ace the school’s entrance tests – normally in English, maths and reasoning – and interviews, while parents must reveal their financial affairs.
Here’s what’s on offer from other top schools.
Latymer Upper School, West London
BOYS AND GIRLS FROM 11
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Lots of super-cool clubs to choose from here, including Ultimate Frisbee, backgammon, origami and aerospace.
There’s also a rock-climbing wall and even a boathouse overlooking the Thames.
BURSARIES: Decided on a case-by-case basis, no income threshold.
FEES: £6,945 per term.
APPLY BY: 9am on October 9 for 2021 entry.
ALUMNI: Hugh Grant, Lily Cole, Alan Rickman.
Westminster School, Central London
BOYS FROM 13, GIRLS ADMITTED IN SIXTH FORM
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Soaked in history. Boys eat in a 14th-century abbot’s dining hall, perform plays in Latin and Big Ben is next door.
BURSARIES: Only for day pupils living in London and they must be UK or European citizens. No income threshold.
FEES: £9,603 (day) or £13,869 (boarding) for current term.
APPLY BY: October 15 2020 for 2023 entry (at age 13).
ALUMNI: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Nick Clegg and Louis Theroux.
BOYS FROM 13
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Particularly lavish. There are three theatres, eight organs, 200 acres of playing fields and buildings used as film sets for Casino Royale, Shakespeare In Love and Chariots Of Fire.
BURSARIES: Assessed on family circumstances. No income threshold.
FEES: £14,167 per term.
APPLY BY: June 30 2021 for 2024 entry (at 13).
ALUMNI: Princes William and Harry, Damian Lewis, and 20 prime ministers, including Boris Johnson.
Bolton School, Greater Manchester
BOYS FROM 13
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Offers something different. The boys’ division can take Russian at GCSE and A level and both boys and girls can study Mandarin. Boys have been national water polo champs for years, too.
BURSARY: Families with income of less than £20,000 may get a free place. If income is higher, they might get reduced fees.
FEES: £4,154 per term.
APPLY BY: Early December 2020 for 2021 entry (at 11).
ALUMNI: Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Janet Smith.
Christ's Hospital, Horsham, Sussex
BOYS AND GIRLS FROM 11
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Diverse,with 75 per cent of pupils on bursaries. Tudor uniform – long blue coats, white neck bands and yellow socks. Knee breeches for boys.
BURSARIES: Assessed on each family’s circumstances
FEES: £11,950 per term (boarding), £6,170 (day) for years 7 and 8, and £7,770 per term for years 9 – 13.
APPLY BY: September 17, 2021, for 2022 entry.
ALUMNI: Comedians Mark Thomas and Holly Walsh, actor Roger Allam.
Gordonstoun, Moray, Scotland
BOYS AND GIRLS FROM 13 (SENIOR)
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Outdoorsy. Sailing is part of the curriculum and the school has an 80ft training vessel. Only school in the UK with its own fire engine.
BURSARIES: Available for children in eight categories, including Perthshire or sea-fishing families or those who show leadership potential. Decided by interviews and head- teacher references.
FEES: £9,050 (day), £12,750 (boarding).
APPLY BY: Year round.
ALUMNI: Princes Philip and Charles, and Zara Tindall.
Can you pass entrance exam?
1) I AM thinking of a number. When I subtract the number from 45, I get the same answer as when I double the number. What’s my number?
2) IMRAN notices that when he takes the digits of 652 and multiplies them together he gets 60. How many three-digit numbers are there whose digits multiply to give 60? Write down all the ones you can find.
3) AT what time between 6pm and 6.30pm will the hour and minute hands be exactly 125 degrees apart?
4) SOME bacteria are growing in a dish in a laboratory. Each day the number of bacteria doubles. On February 1 there are 200 bacteria. On what day does the number of bacteria first become more than one million?
5) A FARMER buys some cats and dogs. Two cats and three dogs cost £180. One cat and four dogs is £190. How much is three cats and seven dogs?
(Answers are further down the page)
Pals know I receive a bursary but don't treat me any different
SEBASTIAN WADE, from Essex, has a bursary to attend Eton and is in his final year.
The 17-year-old said: “I love how busy Eton is. There’s always something new to try or a speaker coming in to talk.
“The teaching is brilliant. The school always pushes us to be the best we can be, whether that’s in academics, music or wherever our passions lie.
"For me, this has meant singing in the choir and joining various societies, as well as studying subjects like Politics and Mandarin that I would have unlikely studied elsewhere.
“Most friends know I receive financial aid to attend the school, and I’ve never been treated differently for it.”
Answers to the entrance exam
2) 256, 265, 345, 354, 435, 453, 526, 534, 543, 562, 625, 652;
4) Feb 14
Questions from Latymer Upper School and Christ’s Hospital.
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WAGE HELPNew furlough scheme: What is the Job Support Scheme and how does it work?
WRAPPED UPShoppers warned to order Christmas presents early or face delivery chaos
FESTIVE FEASTSainsbury’s Christmas 2020 food includes a pigs in blankets stuffing wreath
Hang up on taxing HMRC scam
Beat the scammers: By Ashley Hart, Head of Fraud at TSB
LAST Sunday my breakfast was rudely interrupted by a call from “HMRC” and I was horrified when a robot warned an unpaid tax bill could put me in prison.
Keen to plead my case and avoid a stretch behind bars, I did as it said and pressed 1 to speak with an agent.
A very nice man answered who firmly told me “the system” doesn’t lie and that only a bank transfer would suffice to pay off my suspiciously round £2,500 bill – because I couldn’t be trusted to pay on a card, of course.
After giving me details for what was clearly a non-government account, he kindly offered to wait while I sent the cash – otherwise the police would come knocking.
I said I’d call him back on an HMRC number when my laptop was ready and he got really annoyed.
The cops were only moments away, he warned.
When I asked if he was a full-time scammer or just on Sundays, he lost it – shouting, swearing, then hanging up. No police turned up.
More than £1 million is lost to bank transfer fraud each day, according to figures released this week.
To avoid scams like this, don’t be rushed. HMRC doesn’t threaten you with recorded messages or demand bank transfer over the phone.
It’s my job to engage with the fraudster – you shouldn’t.
Hang up. If you’re worried about your tax, call HMRC using the number you can find on its website.
NATWEST has a new account with a market-leading 3 per cent interest rate to help customers kick-start savings.
Customers can put between £1 and £50 per month into the Digital Regular Saver account and will need to set up a standing order.
Interest at the 3 per cent variable rate is paid monthly on balances of up to £1,000. But anything over this earns just 0.01 per cent.
The account is instant access so customers can dip into the money at any time.
Got an ancient appliance, get a brand new one
ARE you the owner of Britain’s oldest fridge, washing machine or oven?
The Sun is searching for the country’s most ancient appliances in our mission to help our readers save the environment – and their cash.
You might think keeping your old white goods running is cheaper and greener than buying new.
But modern models are actually so much more energy-efficient that you could make back the cost of a new one within months of ditching your bygone kitchen equipment.
Decades-old appliances use more energy to run, release greater amounts of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere and increase your energy bills.
The average family could save up to £80 a year by replacing a fridge-freezer from 1995.
And getting rid of an old chest freezer from the 1980s could save nearly £100 a year off your energy bills – and stop up to 200kg of CO2 going into the atmosphere.
As well as costing more to run, fridges made before 2000 are bad for the environment because they can contain gases called CFCs or HCFCs which break down the ozone layer, increasing global warming.
Older models of dishwashers and washing machines use more water and more energy, damaging the environment and costing up to 22 per cent more every cycle compared to modern machines.
A dishwasher made in 2000 costs at least £16 more to run per year, while a 15-year-old washing machine costs around £5 a year more than new.
Your local council can safely recycle your old appliances. Some retailers will also take your old white goods away for free when you buy new ones.
Brian Spoor hit the headlines in 2011 when he revealed he was still using a fridge made in 1938.
Keeping his Fridgidaire running at his office in Sheerness, Kent, added £218 to his energy bills each year and chucked out 935kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. A new fridge would have saved him £202 off his bill and 865kg of CO2.
Could your old appliance rival Brian’s? Let us know if you think you have Britain’s oldest fridge, freezer, oven, washing machine, dishwasher or microwave and you could win a brand new one.
We would also love to see your ancient hairdryers, slow cookers, food processors or other electricals.
Send in a picture, your details and the name and age of your appliance to [email protected]
Maddy Tooke, Coupon Queen
My top five freebies this week...
1) £16 free spend on Pampers at superdrug.com. Until December 31 or first 5,000 redemptions. See bit.ly/tcbpampers16.
2) Bare Minerals Barepro foundation sample. See bit.ly/baremineralssample.
3) Online student book access from Oxford University Press. Until September 30. See bit.ly/freeoxfordbooks.
4) NHS fitness tools. See bit.ly/nhsfitnessstudio.
5) 90-day Taste Card trial. Save at thousands of restaurants. See bit.ly/freetastecard90.
My 10 best deals this week...
1) £100 off Furniture Village orders over £1,000 with code VCUK100 by October 4. See bit.ly/furniture100.
2) Save ten per cent at Cancer Research UK. Use code Winter20 by Jan 31. See bit.ly/cancerresearchuk10.
3) Get 15 per cent off full-price orders at H Samuel with code SAVE15. Ends tomorrow, so hurry. See bit.ly/hsamuel15.
4) Save £15 on orders over £60 at Crew Clothing with code 15OFF60. Ends December 3. See bit.ly/crewclothing15.
5) Get 20 per cent off over £40 at JD Williams, plus free delivery. Use code BDAY8 at checkout by October 31. See bit.ly/jdwilliams20off.
6) Get 50 per cent off takeaways at Pizza Hut on orders of £30-plus. Order in-store or by phone to collect. Not valid for online orders. Ends Wednesday. See bit.ly/pizzahut5030.
7) Get 25 per cent off six-plus bottles of wine and fizz at Sainsbury’s. In-store or online. Ends Tuesday. Not available in Scotland. See bit.ly/sainsburys25wine.
8) Save ten per cent on selected Dell orders with code EXTRA10SB. Ends Wednesday. See bit.ly/dell10off.
9) Get 30 per cent off a cordless Hoover. Use code MSETHIRTY at online checkout. Ends October 19, while stocks last. See bit.ly/msehoover30.
10) Save 25 per cent on bouquets at Appleyard Flowers with code AYDVC25. Ends Wednesday. See bit.ly/appleyard25vc.
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