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Old Edwardians

King Edward & the Creation of KEHS

1392-1883

King Edward VI High School for Girls has roots that date back over 600 years to the Gild of the Holy Cross.

In 1392 three local burgesses, John Coleshull, John Goldsmith and William atte Slowe, created the Gild of the Holy Cross. This charitable organisation did much for the local community and their gild house became the first home of King Edward's.

In 1545, the Gild survived the investigations of Henry VIII after the dissolution of the monasteries. By 1547, Edward VI had ascended to the throne and, at only nine years old, he and his council chose to establish the Free Grammar School of King Edward VI in Birmingham in the County of Warwickshire. The letters patent were sealed on 2nd January 1552.

Birmingham began to expand at an alarming rate. By 1751, the population had skyrocketed and the higher demand required an expansion of the school. The Governors, "being truly sensible that great numbers of children in this place by reason of the poverty or negligence of their parents" lacked a proper education, established four middle schools.

In 1864, the new liberal-controlled town council stepped in to look at the Foundation Schools. They recommended that they adapt their current arrangements to create a boys' high school, a boys' middle school and an upper school for girls. This was put into practice in 1881 and the Charity Commission insisted that the high school for girls take priority, as it would allow girls to attend university. The High School for Girls took the place of the old middle school at New Street, and KEHS was born.

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