Fully-funded place at grammar school's sixth form available for one pupil

Chris Staley (right) is the head of Wisbech Grammar School.

Chris Staley (right) is the head of Wisbech Grammar School. - Credit: WISBECH GRAMMAR SCHOOL

A fully-funded place at Wisbech Grammar School's sixth form is being offered for one "academically gifted pupil" from a state-funded school.

The Foundation Scholar scheme is being run by the school's charitable governing body, which was reformed a year ago as the Wisbech Educational Foundation (WEF).

As the foundation no longer runs the school, the WEF say it has allowed them to "focus on its core charitable aim of allowing gifted and talented local children to access the benefits of an independent education through the provision of grants".

"When it ran the school, the foundation had a history of providing bursary support to help children attend the school who would have otherwise not been able to due to fee affordability," added a WEF spokesman.

As the scheme develops, WEF hopes to "consider providing bursaries for younger pupils and to ensure these funded places enable children to reach their full potential.

"Discretionary funding for the extra expense of attending an independent school may be awarded, for example exam costs or school trips."

In January 2020, Wisbech Grammar School headmaster Chris Staley revealed that the school - but not the buildings - had been taken on by Access Education, an Anglo/Chinese body that aims to make Wisbech Grammar its flagship UK entity.

Run by Chinese nationals who have been based in the UK for the past 15 to 20 years, Access Education say they will "provide the seeds for the expansion of the grammar school 'brand' into mainland China".

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Under the terms of the agreement, a new charity under a board of trustees oversees the freehold of the school and its associated buildings and land.

Access set up a limited company to run the school with the agreement that any profit/surplus is ploughed back and will be used to increase bursaries and upgrade existing facilities.

The head said that he was aware that "75 kids from Wisbech jump on a bus each day to go to Spalding Grammar School (state run) - if I can talk to my governors and take away the cost of some of them doing that it will do more for social mobility than ever before. It is a win, win on both sides".

According to Wisbech Grammar School's website, the senior school fee (including sixth form) is £13,737 per year or £ 4,579 per term. 

Applicants for the Foundation Scholar scheme will need to present their academic achievements through grades and references.

Contact admissions@wisbechgrammarschool.com if you are interested.