King Edward VI Foundation - a History
When in 1547, a Royal Commission dissolved the Gild of the Holy Cross, certain influential men of Birmingham petitioned Edward VI for the return of the gild lands in the form of an endowment for a free grammar school. On 2 January 1552 letters patent were sealed, granting this request and appointing 20 of the foremost inhabitants of the town as Governors of a school to be held in the old gildhall in New Street.
By an Act of Parliament in 1831 the Governors were empowered to create other schools and between 1838 and 1853 eight elementary schools were opened. However, by the 1870s the elementary schools had outlasted their usefulness, and the pressing need was for grammar schools. The structure of the Foundation was changed once more. Grammar schools were created at Aston, Camp Hill (Boys and Girls), Five Ways and Handsworth whilst King Edward’s School acquired a sister – the High School for Girls, housed in an adjoining building. All but Aston and Handsworth now function from sites to which they were transferred after 1936.
Originally independent, financial considerations persuaded the grammar schools to become voluntary aided in the 1940s and converter academies from 2011. These seven selective schools, two independent and five grammar schools, have endured to the present day: the former admitting fee-paying students, the latter offering free education. It has been a formula for success. These schools enjoy excellent reputations both in the city and beyond. They currently educate pupils from a complete cross section of society and have produced men and women of distinction in many fields.
From September 2010 the seven schools became eight following the Governors’ decision to sponsor an academy - King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy which is an all-ability school serving its local community in SE Birmingham. The newest member of the Foundation family of schools is one of the most consistently improving secondary schools in the country and will benefit from brand new facilities from September 2013. There are now almost 7000 pupils educated in the Foundation’s eight schools.
King Edward VI High School for Girls: kehs.org.uk
King Edward's School: kes.org.uk
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls: kechg.org.uk
King Edward VI Handsworth School: kingedwardvi.bham.sch.uk
King Edward VI Aston School: keaston.bham.sch.uk
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys: camphillboys.bham.sch.uk
King Edward VI Five Ways: kefw.bham.sch.uk
King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy www.keshacademy.com