Bringing diversity to exclusive British schools

Some of the nation's most elite places of learning, concerned about polarisation in society, are taking in more students from disadvantaged backgrounds

Rugby, England

PATRICK Derham remembers the moment in October 1973 when, age 14, from a troubled home and planning to join the navy, he saw the course of his life changed, rather miraculously, for the better.

Out of the blue, he was offered a free place at an expensive private school. He took it, went on to Cambridge University and then served as headmaster of two of Britain's most famous educational institutions. He was never told how he had been selected for the scholarship, but he has since tried to repay that faith in his potential by bringing more students from disadvantaged backgrounds - including young black teenagers - to some of Britain's most elite places of learning.

Few institutions...

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