A prosperous future for all?
King Edward's School renews drive for accessibility
King Edward’s School, Birmingham has launched its renewed drive for accessibility this month in a bid to secure permanent need-blind admission to the school.
Last year, the school completed a £10m campaign for Assisted Places, which is currently funding 100 boys through the school. At events held in London and Birmingham in September 2017, the school shared its new ambition to maintain the current levels of assistance whilst also building a £30m endowment fund to secure the provision of Assisted Places for generations to come.
Since 1552, the purpose of King Edward’s School has been to provide an outstanding education for boys from all backgrounds. From 1944 until 1980 the government funded places at the school through the Direct Grant System, and approximately 80% of pupils paid no fees at all.
Following the end of the Direct Grant System and the subsequent Government Assisted Places Scheme in 1997, the King Edward VI Foundation has provided substantial funds for Assisted Places and now contributes well over £1m per year for that purpose. However, this funding combined with the £10m raised from alumni, former and current parents, and other supporters, is still not enough to provide Assisted Places for all boys who achieve highly in the entrance exam and also require financial assistance.
Dr Mark Fenton, Chief Master of King Edward’s School, said, “An endowment of £30m is an ambitious target, and one which will take many years to secure, but it is fundamental if we are to ensure the prosperity of this great school and the boys who come here.”
“If we achieve our aim, then we will have reached a point of need-blind admission, where all boys of academic talent will be able to take up a place at the school, regardless of their parents’ financial circumstances. This will not only benefit the school and the boys themselves, but will also have a positive impact on social mobility and, in turn, the wider region,” continued Mark. “The remarkable generosity of over 1,600 alumni and other supporters has already changed the lives of 100 boys, and I hope that they will continue to support us as we seek to change the lives of generations more.”
The school launched the next phase of its fundraising with two events hosted by alumni ambassadors. The first was hosted by the Rt Hon. Lord Willetts at the Serpentine Pavilion on Monday 11 September, and the second by the inaugural Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, at King Edward’s School on Friday 22 September. An additional event for North American alumni, hosted by Lee Child in New York, took place
in October 2017.