One of the country's best independent schools is to start giving bursaries to bright boys from state primary schools.

King’s College School in Wimbledon already provides bursaries for its sixth form but from September 2016 it intends to provide more than 40 places for boys aged 11.

Means tested bursaries will be made available to successful candidates who pass admissions exams and interviews to the school in Southside, Wimbledon Common, which are scheduled for next January.

The school is keen to attract youngsters from Merton and the surrounding area but would not rule out applications from further afield. 

Andrew Halls, the headmaster said: "The narrowness of the existing 11 plus entry point into our junior school makes it very hard for our school to give a fair chance to boys from local primary schools.

"We have changed our intake policy at 11 plus because we want to encourage more boys below the age of 16 to apply for bursaries.

"We have already introduced a very successful bursary scheme for sixth form entrants."

In November the school announced plans to build 10 schools in China over the next 20 years to fund bursaries closer to home.

King's College School is a £19,000-a-year day school for boys aged seven to 18, with girls in the sixth form.

The school, named the Sunday Times independent secondary school of the year in 2014, currently offers bursaries to about 80 pupils at the school, where more than 1,200 children are enrolled.

To find out more, visit the website or contact the admissions team on or call 020 8255 5352.