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King Edward VI High School
Headmistress Sarah Evans

King Edward VI High School for Girls (KEHS) ( ) is an independent secondary school in Edgbastonmarker, Birminghammarker, Englandmarker. It is part of the Foundation of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham and occupies the same site as, and is twinned with, King Edward's Schoolmarker (KES; boys school). Sarah Evans has been the headmistress since 1996.


KEHS in 1888 at the former Liberal Club in central Birmingham

KEHS was founded in 1883 and occupied part of the 1838 (Charles Barry, architect} New Streetmarker boys' school. In 1887, when the adjacent Hen & Chickens Hotel was known to be closing the governors considered acquiring it. In 1888, KEHS moved to the recently vacated, and almost brand new (1885), Liberal Club in Congreve Street (a site now covered by the lending section of the Birmingham Central Librarymarker) under a short lease. Meanwhile plans for a new school on the Hen and Chickens site were being drawn up by the foundation's architect, J. A. Chatwin. In 1892, land behind the hotel was bought with the intention of building the girls' school off the main road, hidden behind new commercial premises on New Street to shelter it from street noise. The New Street school opened in 1896. It moved, along with the boys' school, to its present location opposite the Universitymarker in 1940 to new buildings designed by Holland W. Hobbiss. At this time a new, green uniform was introduced. The New Street site was bought by the Prudential Assurance Company and leased for the Odeon cinema.

Over one of the entrances is the motto Trouthe Schal Delyvere from a poem Truth by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Ethos of the school

The school has consistently been ranked top of the national league tables for both A level and GCSE which has resulted in the school receiving such recent accolades as "Independent School of the Year" from The Times.

There are places for approximately 550 girls, 78 in a year with entrance exams taking place in late January. The school encourages independent learning and fostering creativity. Students are offered a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. The school also places great emphasis on community service and each year forms elect a charity to support.

Music and drama

The school works in partnership with the adjoining boys' school in many orchestras, choirs, and drama productions.

During the course of the year there are several plays in which both schools participate. There are generally two separate plays for the junior and senior members of the school. In recent years the two schools have cooperated on productions such has Little Shop of Horrors, Romeo and Juliet and Peter Pan.

Little Shop of Horrors

Towards the end of the year, Upper Sixth-Formers from both schools organise and rehearse a Syndicate play, which is usually performed on the last week of term. Previous productions have included Rent and The Lion King.

In December, the school holds two Christmas Concerts, usually in the Adrian Boult Hallmarker (part of Birmingham Conservatoiremarker). In March every year there is an Orchestral and Choral concert in the Adrian Boult Hall, and then a Summer Concert, usually in Symphony Hallmarker, to which all the 'new' girls for the following September are invited with their families.

Christmas Concert
The school year finishes with the Syndicate Concert, planned, rehearsed and performed by students about to leave the two King Edward's Schools. This is a Summer Evening's music-making with strawberries and wine in the garden during the interval.

Throughout the year there are six Lunchtime Concerts, held on Thursdays in the Concert Hall of King Edward's School. These concerts give the musicians, both girls and boys, the opportunity to perform in front of a smaller audience.

There will soon be a new performing arts centre which will be used by students from both schools. The new centre will use the latest technology to allow music, drama and dance at KEHS and KES to develop even more richly.

Sport and outdoor pursuits

Sport at KEHS is a very important part of the school's extra-curricular programme. The school provides a wide range of activities in which all girls have the opportunity to participate. Girls take part in activities on a recreational basis or they can choose to follow to a more competitive standard. The school hopes that the range of activities on offer inspires girls to pursue lifelong involvement in sport.

Activities are run during the lunch hour but some may also take place after school when both training and matches take place. As well as staff within the Department organising teams, the school also has a number of external coaches who help to provide expertise in a number of activities and enable the school to offer more to the girls. The department offers a varied range of sporting activities catering for the needs of everyone; the school promotes excellence and a number of girls gain representative honours at a national level.

The school also attaches particular importance to the role of outdoor pursuits. KEHS runs a Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme where girls can gain Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. It now runs a residential activities week for all of the the first years at Cleobury Mortimermarker. Each year the school plans to offer students in year 8 the opportunity to take part in Voyager expeditions whilst in year 9 students will be able to take part in First Challenge expeditions.

Activities on offer during the course of the year are:

Notable alumnae



  1. Obituary for Professor Anita Harding, The Independent, 5 October 1995.
  2. Obituary for Olga Kevelos,"The Daily Telegraph",26 November 2009.

Further reading

  • King Edward VI High School Birmingham, Winifred I Candler, Ailsa M Jacques, Beatrice Marion Willmott Dobbie, Birmingham Girls' Old Edwardian Club, Publisher: Benn, London, 1971, ISBN printed in book 0-510-76250-3 [sic], ISBN 0-510-26250-3

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