THE prestigious Eton College will open in Dudley after council bosses agreed a deal that could see kids, including those on free school meals, walk its hallowed halls.

Star Academies and Eton College have partnered together to set up the sixth- form college. They say it could help young people achieve the A-levels they need to go to Oxbridge and other elite universities.

It is hoped the college could welcome its first students in 2025. Eton is usually seen as elitist but headmaster Simon Henderson insists the posh new college will be free and open to all.

He said: “It’s absolutely free and will remain free in perpetuity. We’re determined that it’s going to remain accessible to those young people who would most benefit from it.

“That might be those on free school meals, those who are looked after children or have been through the care system or young people who are the first in their family to go to university and young people who come from particular postcodes where perhaps they haven’t had those opportunities."

He also added that other Dudley schools would benefit from the partnership and said: “We’ll be running residential summer schools at Eton for the 11 to 16 schools in Dudley.

"All of our digital content that we’ve developed significantly during the course of the pandemic, that’s going to be made available for free to all of the 11 to 16 providers."

Mr Henderson and councillors added that as well as focusing on Dudley, the catchment area for the new college will be a “very big net” and will work on the basis that “young people might travel up to about an hour in any direction".

Core funding will be provided by the government with Eton “topping up” the pot to offer a wider range of activities.