25 November 2019
King Edward VI High School for Girls has been named the West Midlands Independent School of the Year in the Sunday Times’ prestigious Parent Power Schools Guide, for the second time in three years. It also rose from 26th place nationally in 2018 to 10th overall this year, the only school north of Oxford in Britain’s top 10. Alastair McCall, the Guide’s editor, paid tribute to its outstanding examination results in the summer:
“They were good enough to put the school back at the top of the regional academic rankings,” he said, “but more importantly, they represent a personal triumph for the girls concerned, who have now progressed on to the next stage of life with the wind in their sails thanks to the fantastic education they received”.
“While the school is academically rigorous, success in all areas of life is celebrated and the opportunities afforded to the girls are extensive. Children excel regionally and nationally in everything from poetry to debating, astrophysics to badminton, archery to philanthropy. The end products are well-rounded girls, equipped to make an impact on the world once they leave school, confident in themselves and the possibilities that life will present.”
“We’re absolutely delighted that this award recognises not just our School’s superb exam results but its holistic, liberal approach to education,” said KEHS Principal, Ann Clark. “We encourage girls to pursue their interests and develop their talents, both academically and in drama, music, sport and community service. This is a small, close-knit school with a strong emphasis on physical and mental wellbeing, and our charmingly natural, bright, curious girls from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures enjoy inspirational teaching and brilliant extra-curricular activities. There really is something for everyone: from chess to Ultimate Frisbee, from Astronomy to Debating, the girls can learn new skills, make new friends and have a lot of fun at the same time.”
KEHS, which is regularly highlighted as one of the best value-for-money schools in the country, is committed to widening access so that able girls can come to the School regardless of their parents’ financial circumstances. 20% of its students currently receive some form of means-tested assistance and the “Delyvere” campaign is raising money from alumnae to provide five full fee places a year.
“The fact that many Old Edwardians show such loyalty and generosity to the school, often decades after they left, is a great tribute to the life-changing education KEHS offers,” added Ann Clark, “and so too is the national recognition we receive through awards like this one. I’m hugely proud of our students and staff and would like to congratulate them for making KEHS an outstandingly successful school and a very special place.
Many girls go on to study at top Russell Group universities including Oxford and Cambridge, but more importantly, the great variety of courses they pursue reflects the intellectual confidence they develop through being encouraged to pursue their individual passions.”
KEHS celebrated record A level results this year with 75% A* or A and 35% A*. 13 girls won places at Oxford or Cambridge, one was named Birmingham Young Poet Laureate, another became the BBC Young Musician of the Year and several were selected for national Olympiad teams in Maths, Physics and Astronomy. The Sports Department celebrated individual and team success at county, regional and national level in hockey, netball, squash, fencing, athletics, rounders and badminton, while the tennis team won the coveted Fry Cup despite stiff competition from the other King Edward Schools.