'They didn't make me feel like an outsider'

Published date12 July 2023
Publication titleHuddersfield Daily Examiner
Gagan Singh, 17, is a former Newsome Academy GCSE student who is now studying for A-levels in chemistry, physics, maths and further maths at Eton College, the all-boys boarding school in Windsor

Gagan applied for a fully-funded scholarship after his maths teacher at Newsome, Mr Jesson, said it might be a good idea - but the young student didn't believe he'd actually land an Orwell Award until Eton College finally confirmed his place at the famous independent school, where annual fees are tens of thousands of pounds for those without scholarships.

Famous old boys include Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Ian Fleming, Prince Harry and Prince William.

Gagan, from Waterloo, Huddersfield, has been at Eton a year now and has settled in. During term time he lives in a boarding house with 50 other boys.

Everyone down to people I boarding were really Gagan

He told YorkshireLive that he previously didn't know much about Eton College but had been told it was a place for 'rich people' and that some people he met would be 'snobby'.

However, he didn't find this was the case. "Everyone was really down to earth," he said. "The people I share a boarding house with were really friendly.

"They didn't make me feel like an outsider or an imposter."

Living as a boarder has taken a bit of getting used to, he says.

And for a short while he did feel a bit homesick for Huddersfield. His mum and dad had 'bittersweet' feelings, he says, but viewed it as a 'great opportunity'. "They didn't want me to leave home at 16; it was daunting for them."

was really earth. The share a house with friendly Singh

Gagan has become accustomed to the Eton uniform which includes a tailcoat, waistcoat and a clip-on collar. Friends joked that he looked a bit like a 'penguin' in his uniform but he's taken the ribbing in his stride. Gagan has, inevitably, also had a bit of stick from fellow boarders about his Huddersfield accent, but it doesn't really bother him.

He says there are students from Leeds and York but they don't really have Northern accents.

"They don't have a strong...

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