Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds Grammar 'desperate' for Beeston bursary students

A Leeds fee-paying school which offers free places to boys from one of the city's poorest areas says it is "desperate" to find candidates.

Since 1997, Leeds Grammar School has annually offered bursaries worth £65,000 to boys who live in Beeston.

But it says applications are "rare", with only two boys ever given funding.

David Naylor, school finance director, said: "We are desperately trying to find boys who would benefit from the education that this money can pay for."

"The funding is here, waiting for students to use," he added.

Funding for the places was bequeathed to Leeds Grammar School in the will of former pupil Dr Raymond Harker, who died in 1996.

He came from Beeston and attended the school from 1938 until 1944.

'Always be grateful'

Under the terms of the bequest, the recipient must be a boy who lives in Beeston or attends primary school there.

Lee Wood, who attended Leeds Grammar School between 2001 and 2008 thanks to the bursary, said he would "always be grateful" for the chance to study at the school.

But Bilaal Javed, who attended Leeds Grammar School as a Beeston bursary student from 1997, said it had been a "50/50" experience.

Mr Javed said while the education was good, some pupils had looked down on him for coming from the so-called "slums" of Leeds.

"I wouldn't mention being from Beeston. Maybe they should just classify it as a bursary, full-stop, and not the Beeston bursary."

Leeds Grammar School said it was now writing to head teachers of primary schools in Beeston to encourage them to put forward candidates.

It said all applicants would have to sit the school's entrance examination in January and the bursary was means-tested.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites