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Haggerston schoolboy earns £44,000 scholarship to top fee-paying school
A Haggerston schoolboy is "over the moon" after securing a £44,000 scholarship to one of the top fee-paying schools in the country.
Arlen Kamara, 15, will travel across London to study A levels at the prestigious Kings College, Wimbledon, in September.
The youngster has won an all-expenses place at the West London school after a rigorous selection process including entrance exams and interviews.
Arlen said he was "over the moon".
“It has been my dream to go to a school like this since I was very small," he said. "When I was in year 6 I applied for a scholarship but didn’t get in.
“I cannot thank my school enough for this incredible chance. The support I have had from Waterside Academy is amazing."
He is the fifth graduate of Waterside Academy’s prestigious colleges programme which helps disadvantaged pupils win all places at top independent schools.
The programme is run by the Community Schools Trust which oversees Waterside Academy, a secondary school on Kingsland Road.
More than 50 students from schools in the trust have won places at fee paying schools including Eton College.
Kings College was voted the top school in the country in the Sunday Times Parent Power survey this year.
Former alumni include education minister Nadhim Zahawm, Betfair founder Andrew Black and actor Ben Barnes.
Arlen added: "A lot of people ask if I will feel out of place because Hackney is very different to what I will be going to.
“I always say no because I can adjust to different surroundings and make friends with people quite easily. I can’t wait to get there and get involved with everything.
“It is a bit like Hogwarts so this all feels like its s a dream or a film or something."
Headteacher of Waterside Academy Charlotte Whelan said: “We are extremely proud of Arlen. He has put in a tremendous amount of effort into this process and his place is richly deserved.
“'To be able to offer our young people the chance to fulfil their potential is why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place and is what still drives me as a leader today.
“We are a school which is able to offer not only an exceptional education but also exceptional opportunities to our students.”