Former scholarship boys at one of Birmingham's leading independent schools have offered to fund free places for a new generation of disadvantaged pupils.
Six old boys of King Edward's School who received full scholarships to fund their education are now sponsoring similar bursaries for less-affluent Midlands pupils.
One Old Edwardian has donated several million pounds to fund places for seven pupils at the Pounds 8,970-a-year school. And another, who now lives in the United States, is paying for the education of two boys.
The donors were all beneficiaries of the Government's direct-grant system. Abolished in the 1970s, this allowed selective, fee-paying schools to receive government grants in exchange for admitting pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Today, more than 10 per cent of King Edward's pupils receive full bursaries from the school. And a further 30 per cent benefit from some level of financial support.
The school also offers a series of academic scholarships based on performance in the 11-plus exam. These range from 50 to 20 per cent of fees.