Saturday 4 March 2017

This Teenager Swaps The Entire East End For Eton After Winning Scholarship

Kaashif Kamaly

Kaashif Kamaly will swap Forest Gate in Newham, east London, for the world-famous public school after winning a two-year, £76,000 scholarship.

The 15-year-old, who will study A-level maths, chemistry, English literature, biology and history in September, says he is looking forward to the challenge but won’t forget his roots. “I have this extraordinary opportunity that I will grab with both hands but it won’t change who I am and where I have come from, nor would I want it to.”

Kaashif credits his “hero” father Shah Mia, who works as an immigration officer at Heathrow despite a disability, for instilling the work ethic that has helped him succeed.

He added: “My dad has a lot of injuries, shattered knee and slipped disc, but has instilled morals and ethics that you have to work, you have to pay your way in the world. He crosses London every day to work at Heathrow. He is always at work trying to make life better for his family. He is my hero.”

Kaashif Kamaly

He is predicted A* in all his GCSEs. Kaashif’s mother Sheuly Begum was born in Bangladesh and he has a 21-year-old brother and sister, aged nine.

He said: “Eton is a fantastic school, probably the best in the country, but what the teachers have helped me achieve at Forest Gate Community School is even bigger. The pupils at Eton are sons of kings and queens, lords and judges. In my area there are many, many social problems.

“Gangs, drugs, crime, poverty, these are common issues in Newham. Teachers won’t have had to help pupils at Eton deal with that.”

Eton, founded in 1440, has educated 19 prime ministers. Kaashif is the second pupil from Forest Gate Community School to have won a scholarship after Ishak Ayiris earned a place in 2014.

Head Simon Elliott said: “We have students now who despite coming from one of the poorest areas in the country have the same belief as pupils at top independent schools, that nothing is out of their reach. Background should be no barrier to belief and ultimately success. We have proved that.”



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