A FORMER Portsmouth student returned to his school this week to launch a generous bursary scheme for youngsters.
Brian Wilkie, who attended Mayfield School in North End in the 1960s – when it was known as Northern Grammar – will be funding two scholarships worth £12,000 each year for Mayfield students to attend Portsmouth Grammar School’s sixth form.
The 62-year-old philanthropist, pictured, who made his fortune in the courier business, is committed to improving the prospects of state schoolchildren.
Statistics show private pupils are 55 times more likely to gain a place at Oxbridge than their state-educated peers on free school meals.
During his visit, Mr Wilkie gave an assembly about his career and said scholarships would be awarded to year 11 students that show the most significant improvement over the year. He was presented with the ‘Wilkie Shield’ which in future would have the names of successful candidates inscribed on it.
David Jeapes, Mayfield headteacher, said: ‘Today was another milestone for the school. We feel very privileged that Mayfield will be the only school in Portsmouth with this type of scholarship. It is an extremely generous gesture from Mr Wilkie and Portsmouth Grammar School and I would like to thank them both. I am sure that there will be a lot of interest in this scholarship.’