Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ishak Ayiris, the son of Ethiopian immigrants has won a place at ETON with £76,000 scholarship

  • Ishak Ayiris, 15, is the son of Ethiopian immigrants who rely on benefits
  • He has won a scholarship to do his A-levels at Eton starting in September
  • The teenager plans to enter politics to help residents of his home borough of Newham in east London

A schoolboy from one of the poorest areas in Britain is set to follow in the footsteps of David Cameron and Boris Johnson after winning a scholarship to Eton worth £76,000.
Ishak Ayiris, the son of Ethiopian immigrants who are dependent on benefits, will swap an East End council estate for the 15th-century school which has produced 19 Prime Ministers.
The 15-year-old is set to arrive at Eton in September, entering in the sixth form to study A-levels in politics, philosophy and economics.
He is currently a pupil at Forest Gate Community School in Newham, east London, where he is supported by the 'pupil premium' payment which gives extra support to disadvantaged children.
When he starts at Eton, which is situated across the River Thames from Windsor in Berkshire, he will board in one of the school's 25 boarding houses.

'Leaving will be hard for my family - not so much for me,' Ishak said. 'Windsor is much quieter than Newham. Newham is loud, vibrant.
'It is a wonderful opportunity for me. It will be very different because the people I have grown up with in Newham and at Forest Gate Community School don't have the same background as the people I will mix with at Eton.
'When my dad found out he said he had two dreams in my life - coming to England, and for his son to go to the same school as the Prime Minister. Both of these dreams have come true.'
The school, founded by Henry VI in 1440, has produced a host of leading public figures, including the current Prime Minister, Mayor of London and Archbishop of Canterbury.
Other well-known Old Etonians include cultural figures such as Percy Bysshe Shelley, George Orwell, Hugh Laurie and Damian Lewis.
Ishak hopes to study at Oxford after his two years at Eton, and says he plans to enter politics in order to help people in areas such as the one he comes from.

'Drugs and crime have a big impact on our community here in Newham,' he said. 'I see Newham as my home and I want to live here for the rest of my life.
'I want to go and get the best education I can and come back and improve it. The people who live here, who were born here, know this area, they know the situation, they know the problems and they are the best people to solve these problems.'
The talented schoolboy attributes his success to head teacher Simon Elliott, who gave him the confidence to apply to Eton.
'He talks to us not like we are pupils but as equals,' Ishak said. 'He is an unorthodox character in the sense that most head teachers are hard to access.
'He is out walking around the school every day. He wants us to discuss things with him and make us think about things.'
Two of Ishak's classmates, Irfan Badshah and Alexis Marinoiu, also won prestigious scholarships to leading public schools.
Irfan will study politics, history, English and philosophy at Winchester College, while Alexis will study maths, further maths and physics at City of London School.
Mr Elliott credited the pupil premium for his school's impressive results, saying: 'There is a great deal of poverty in this area, extreme poverty. The pupil premium has given these boys the opportunities they might not have had.'