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Old Edwardians

1964-1977: Miss Wilks

Miss Wilks came to KEHS from Hertfordshire and Essex High School, one of a group of schools well known for the freedom enjoyed by their heads. She too served as president of the association of Headmistresses and also served on the Royal Commission on Public Schools.

Miss Wilks had a clear vision for the future of KEHS. She wanted the school to remain neither elitist nor excessively selective. She wanted girls to be broadly educated. She believed in the constant pursuit of excellence. She believed that school should not be an end in itself, but a means of preparation for the world.

In 1968 Miss Wilks hired the first full-time male teacher, Mr Christ of the Physics Department, who was closely followed by Mr Line, Mr Twilley and Mr Wood. She also restructured the school, removing prefects and creating a more democratic system. The Sixth Form committee was introduced. In 1970, the Sixth Form were allowed to come out of uniform and the school council abolished prizes below the age of 16. Houses became increasingly less important.

Community Service became part of the curriculum, with some forms truly excelling. U4B of 1970-1971 held a production of The Importance of Being Earnest which raised funds for a local charity helping the mentally handicapped.

1975 saw the biggest change of all with the abolition of Direct Grant places. Miss Wilks managed this crisis with her usual calm commitment and smoothed the transition into the new assisted place scheme.

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