Rishi Sunak has donated over £100,000 to his former Winchester College boarding school | Political news
Rishi Sunak has donated more than £100,000 to Winchester College – one of the most expensive private schools in the country, Sky News can reveal.
Mr Sunak has continued to donate to the school, where he was headmaster, since becoming chancellor.
The money funds scholarships for children whose parents could not otherwise afford to send them to school. The school charges £43,335 per year, or £14,445 per term.
Mr Sunak is listed in the latest edition of the school magazine, the Wykeham Journal, alongside his wife Akshata Murthy as “Wykeham benefactors” – people “whose total donations to Winchester College (including pledges) is over £100,000”.
The Chancellor’s spokeswoman said: “Rishi and his wife have donated to many charities and philanthropic causes for many years and will continue to do so.
“These donations are made to help fund scholarships for children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend Winchester.”
“Winchester is part of the reason I am Chancellor”
In a recent Sky News interview, Mr Sunak said of his time at Winchester: “I was really lucky to have this opportunity. It was something really extraordinary, it certainly put my life on a different trajectory.
“Like I said, that’s part of the reason I’m sitting here and I’m really grateful to have had this opportunity.
“And I think back to that time. It helped make me who I am as a person, and it helps me do the job the way I do it.
“And that confirms to me that education is one of the best tools at our disposal in politics to multiply opportunities.”
The Wykeham Patrons Club
Mr Sunak became an MP in 2015, a minister in January 2018, entered the cabinet in 2019 and became chancellor in January 2020.
He was first listed as a member of the ‘Wykeham Patrons’ club in 2014, meaning he had donated over £25,000 in the previous five years.
In 2015 he was listed again, but this time he was named jointly alongside his wife. They both remain with the ‘Wykeham Patrons’ club until 2020 when he and his wife also joined the ‘Wykeham Benefactors’ club, meaning they have donated over £100,000.
No growth in the budget of public schools for 15 years
News of the donation comes at a time when questions have been raised about the size of the public school budget, which grew during Mr. Sunak’s fall spending review.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) however concluded: “The 2021 spending review included an additional £4.4 billion for the schools budget in 2024 compared to previous plans.
“In combination with existing plans, we expect spending per student in 2024 to be about the same as in 2010.
“While this will undo past cuts, it will mean 15 years of no overall spending growth.
“This squeeze on school resources is effectively unprecedented in post-war UK history.”
The IFS reports that in 2020-21, private schools spent almost double per student – 92% more – than public schools.
A millionaire married to the daughter of a billionaire
The cost of living crisis has highlighted questions about the Chancellor’s personal wealth as it has left Tory MPs wondering if he has left enough money for the less well-off to live on.
Mr Sunak is a millionaire in his own right and his wife is the daughter of a billionaire, NR Narayana Murthy, who founded technology consultancy Infosys.
Infosys is believed to be closing its Moscow office after questions last week about their dealings directed at Mr Sunak after the spring statement.
He owns property in California and despite speculation that he is overseas, Mr Sunak is believed to be in London.
Clare Foges, Conservative number 10 aide and speechwriter under David Cameron, wrote this week: ‘I have realized that Sunak’s talents will, perhaps unfairly, always be overshadowed by the mountains of cash in the safe. from his family.
“I don’t think the British public would be allergic to just a millionaire old Prime Minister.
“Someone is within 1% even of 0.1%, but by my calculations on Sunak’s family fortune puts him at least within 0.0001%, and that’s probably too far from the people he’s would lead.”