The Master of Dulwich College has endorsed a plan for the school to go “needs-blind”, offering places purely on merit. Families who could afford to pay would. But those of lesser means would have a proportion of their fees paid, down to those on the lowest incomes paying nothing at all. Fully-funded pupils would not be subsidised by the richer parents of fellow pupils. Instead their fees would be paid from an endowment fund, built up with donations from alumni and philanthropists.
Dulwich College is descended from the College of God’s Gift, which was founded at Dulwich in 1619 by Edward Alleyn, the renowned Elizabethan actor. He endowed it for the purpose of supporting twelve needy men and women, and educating twelve boys from four parishes in and around the City of London. He arranged that it should also accept some local boys for lessons on a fee-paying basis.
Today, Dulwich College is one of London’s largest leading independent schools. Much has changed since 1619 but, over the centuries, every effort has been made to fulfil its founder’s intention by providing fee support to successful candidates who would not, otherwise, be able to attend. Pupils come from a large variety of backgrounds and a Dulwich education reflects the ‘real world’.
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