As we prepare to launch The Radley Keys Award for 2025, The Oxford Times spoke to Owen and Telesia Tuliakiono, parents of Mosese (R, E Social).

Owen and Telesia Tuliakiono sent their son, Mosese, to Radley in September 2022. Although Telesia recognised it was an incredible opportunity, she was not convinced at first: “I just had no idea what to expect. Mosese is a talented sportsman and we had been to quite a few private schools for fixtures with his local club but I always worried that they would treat somebody like him differently. At other schools, I know that is the case but every single person we met at Radley welcomed us genuinely and warmly. I probably love Radley more than he does now! We have all made great friends.”

In the lead up to a national rugby final, Mosese lost his rugby boots. A frustrated Owen was stuck and took to the boarding house WhatsApp group for help: “I couldn’t believe how quickly people rallied around.  Within five minutes we’d located the boots and they were being driven by a parent to the game. That might seem like such a small thing but it really meant a lot to us. A parent knew about our situation, recognised that we might need some help and solved the problem. People might look at our different lives and think we have nothing in common with the other families here, but we share the same values. We want the best for our children and we look out for one another.”

photo of Mosese smiling with the Radley Cricket Pavilion in the background

Mosese was part of the Radley U15 team who beat Northampton School for Boys to be crowned national champions in March. However, the balance between his academic and sporting commitments are what has allowed him to really settle in. “During my interview, I was told that if I didn’t work hard in the classroom then I wouldn’t play for the school team! Nobody had ever said that to me before. My dad was very happy as he cares deeply about my work and I know that having a strong academic foundation will open more doors for me.”

The Radley Keys Award is an all-inclusive scholarship for talented and ambitious boys currently attending a state school. The award is open to boys at 11+ (where they will spend two years at an independent prep school before starting at Radley in Year 9) and 16+. The carefully curated assessment process has been designed to recognise potential over prior attainment. Boys who are willing to get stuck in and make the most of the opportunities on offer at Radley are encouraged to apply.

Mosese’ advice is simple. “Just be yourself. Radley is a place for everyone and there’s no point in changing how you are to try and fit in – that’s not cool and it’s not what anyone wants to see. Try and stay calm, take it all in and express yourself freely. You won’t regret it.”

Whilst Owen and Telesia had some reservations about their eldest son going to a boarding school, they have no regrets. “He’s still the same kind person he has always been, but he’s grown from a boy into a man. He is happy, has a wide group of mates and has the world at his feet. We are all so lucky to be part of this community.”

The Radley Keys Award is now open for those seeking to join the programme in September 2025 (boys currently in Year 5 or Year 10). The College is hosting an informal information session on Saturday, 22nd June, and an open day on Saturday, 5th October, for families and teachers interested in learning more. For further information, click here.

photo of Mosese smiling in Chapel surrounded by other Radley pupils