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Rainham schoolboy wins offer from Eton

PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 January 2011

eton boy - Jonathan Belay  with parents Mikael and Elena and headteacher Christopher Hobson

eton boy - Jonathan Belay with parents Mikael and Elena and headteacher Christopher Hobson

Archant

A 10-YEAR-OLD boy and his family are celebrating after he has been accepted to study at one of the most famous schools in the world.

Jonathan Belay, of Whybridge Junior School, Blacksmith’s Lane, Rainham, has been given an conditional offer to Eton College where princes William and Harry attended.

Dad Mikael Belay, of Trafalgar Road, Rainham, said: “I am just really proud. We have been keeping the news very quiet, but I think that it is a good example for the rest of the community and it is good for younger boys, so that they can see what can actually be achieved.”

The year six student spent an intensive assesment day in September, taking exams in maths and english and being interviewed by the Windsor school’s headmaster.

The letter confirming an offer was due at the beginning of December, but because of the snow the family it arrived just recently.

Mikael said: “We were really nervous because we were told that we would get a letter by the December 12, but it ended up coming in a lot later.

“We had our fingers crossed because we knew that Jonathan was capable of doing the tests, but sometimes we know that things can happen on the day, but he did as was expected.”

The family applied for Jonathan to go to Eton in April.

Mikael, who is originally from Ethiopia, got a scholarship when he was a teenager to study at a University in Moscow, where he met his wife.

He said: “Eton is a completley different world from the one that I have come from. Their past students include Prime Minister David Cameron and Boris Johnson, so for an African man coming to England and trying to get his son in there is very rare, but a pleasant experience.”

Jonathan’s offer to Eton is on the condition the family can afford it financially and he is due to sit an exam next year to see if he qualifies for a scholarship.

Mikael said: “We have three children so if we were to push ourselves to try to afford the fees it would not be fair for the other two.”

Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI, Eton is an independent school for boys age 13-18.

Eton headmaster Tony Little said: “Jonathan has done well and we look forward to him joining Eton when the time comes.”

Chris Hobson, headteacher of Whybridge School, said: “Everyone at the school is really proud of Jonathan’s achievements and we always encourage the children to reach their full potential. Jonathan is an active member of the school community and we are confidant that he will go on and do well in the future.”


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