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Martin Stanford challenges "proud" Dulwich College teacher over £1m scholarship rejection
30 December 2019, 20:04 | Updated: 30 December 2019, 20:13
The teacher called in to LBC to say he was "proud" of the decision both his school and Winchester College made in refusing to accept over £1m of scholarship money to aid poor white boys.
96 year old Sir Bryan Thwaite, who had attended both schools through scholarships, put aside the funds in his will to give other young men the same chances he was given. Reportedly the schools fear breaching anti-discrimination laws.
The caller Aidan said, "The majority of the students are white British but I think it's brilliant rejecting this. I'm really proud of it."
"Why do you think it's a brilliant decision to take when an academically brilliant but poor, in the sense that they could never afford the fees, white boy will now not have the chance to come to Dulwich College?" asked Martin.
"Sure but why just focus on academically talented white or even academically talented black, or Pakistani or any other origin?" asked the teacher, "why are we focusing on only white? To me in this era and this century, I can't really digest it. I don't really know why we go back and focus on one ethnic group."
Martin pointed out that the benefactor himself, Sir Bryan Thwaite, had a good life due to his scholarships to these highly distinguished schools and wanted to help others like him and noticed that poor white boys are particularly disadvantaged.
"Your school doesn't want to help boys like that because you can't accept the money!" he continued.
The teacher asked why this couldn't be a fund for anyone from an underprivileged background and maintained that it should not be race specific.
"If the decision had gone the other way, I'd have felt very sad!" he said.
Martin acknowledged that the teacher was not a spokesperson for the school and neither he nor the teacher are highlighting white pupils, "it was just a request." The LBC presenter understood that the benefactor identified that it was disproportionately poor white boys that needed the most educational help, it was not because he was white himself.
Aidan said that this might be the case but said he would be "worried about the consequences" if this scholarship was accepted and he said he wouldn't feel comfortable himself being there.
He pointed out that while people do have bursaries it has never before been due to race.