Seeking to provide education for boys from all backgrounds, the School’s new Assisted Places 100 (AP100) Campaign is seeking to fund 100 Assisted Places by 2017, with a target of raising £10m from 1,500 donors. The school has already raised £6.8m for Assisted Places over the last four years, and is well on its way to the £10m target.
From 1944 to 1980 the Government Direct Grant Scheme funded places at the school; approximately 80% of pupils paid no fees at all. However, since the scheme ended – despite substantial funding of £1m per annum from the King Edward VI Foundation – there has not been enough to provide Assisted Places for all boys who achieve highly in the entrance exam, but also require financial assistance. This is where the AP100 steps in.
Donations from alumni, former and current parents, in addition to other organisations, have raised an additional £6.8m in the last four years and provided funding for 60 pupils. When scholarships are also added in, one third of the pupils receive some form of financial support and over 100 pay no fees at all. At the end of the AP100 Campaign the number of Assisted Places will have doubled, making King Edward’s School one of the most accessible independent schools in the country.
John Claughton, Chief Master of King Edward’s School, said: “This campaign is not just about numbers. It is about boys and their lives. If we achieve our goal, 100 boys from a wide range of backgrounds and communities in Birmingham and beyond will receive a life-changing education, an education that I had the benefit of receiving through the Direct Grant System.
“None of this would be possible without the remarkable support we have received from our alumni and other supporters. This campaign will change forever not only the lives of our pupils but also the future of this school.”
Rajiv Gogna, a former Assisted Place pupil of King Edward’s who will graduate from the University of Oxford this year, said: “I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been able to attend King Edward’s School and this was only possible due to the Assisted Place I received.”
Former pupils who are ambassadors for the AP100 Campaign include Sir Paul Ruddock, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Bill Oddie, authors Jonathan Coe and Lee Child, in addition to Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis.
The AP100 Campaign launched last month with two events. The first event took place at the House of Commons on Thursday, 5 June and the second in the Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Performing Arts Centre at King Edward’s School, on Friday 20 June.