The community and public benefit
Throughout its history, the purpose of King Edward's School has been to serve the children of the city of Birmingham. Today, the school serves the community and benefits the public in two, distinct, but related ways. The first way is the provision of truly outstanding education to boys in the city and beyond. The school does all that it can to ensure that this education is open to boys of ability, whatever their family or financial situation. To that end, the King Edward Foundation expends over £1m each year on the provision of places under the Assisted Places Scheme. In addition, a growing number of former pupils are contributing to the funding of boys through the school, so that nearly £5m has been raised for that purpose in the last 3 years, with the Development Office working with Old Edwardians to increase that amount. These funds are distributed according to a formula which takes account of the family's financial situation. At the moment, there are over 30% of pupils in the school receiving some form of financial assistance through scholarships and the Assisted Places scheme and over 10% of pupils are here for free. In addition, there is provision to ensure that these pupils can participate fully in the life of the school, its trips and expeditions. The school also does all it can through Open Days, advertising, publicity in the press, and communication with local schools to ensure that boys and their parents are aware of the opportunities available here. The result of that is that each year, pupils come from, on average, 60 different schools and the ethnic mix of the school matches almost exactly the ethnic mix of the city itself.
The second way is through our flourishing programme of Outreach. Each term, teachers from KES go out into junior schools to run workshops and masterclasses in History, Chemistry, Classics, Debating and many other areas. Equally, junior schools come in to events such as the Junior Schools Matinee, the Junior Schools Swimming Gala, the Junior Schools Author Visit and the EDGE festival. In 2014/15 we had contact with over 140 junior schools and 11,000 pupils. We have laid on special workshops in German, DT and trebuchet-making for Gifted and Talented students from local junior schools. We also make available our facilities and resources to the wider world and through links with other schools and organisations. At a senior level, the school has formed a partnership with Small Heath School and there is a growing number of shared activities. However, these relationships do not just exist with other schools. We make our facilities available extensively to a number of organisations including the University of Birmingham, Warwickshire County Cricket Club and the England Blind Cricket Team. For more information on our outreach activities, click here.
Finally, the school and its pupils engage in a wide range of charitable activities. The fundraising with the longest history is the Cot Fund, originally invented to give cots to the Children's Hospital. Now this is the major fundraising element in the school and each year there are many events which raise thousands of pounds each year for many charities, which are selected by the pupils. The school also has links with a number of overseas schools, including Bakau Lower Basic School in the Gambia and Katora Primary School in Namibia.