History of the school

King Edward VI High School for Girls has roots dating back over 600 years to the Gild of the Holy Cross, but it was not until much later, in 1864, that the new liberal-controlled town council recommended the creation of an upper school for girls, a boys' high school and a boys' middle school.

Founded in 1883 on the New Street site, King Edward VI High School for Girls encouraged students to go from elementary school through grammar school and high school to university. The first Headmistress of KEHS was Miss Creak, who was chosen from over 30 applicants for her impressive academic record and bold ideas.

In 1911, the second Headmistress, Miss Major’s aim was to conserve tradition whilst modernising the curriculum and updating teaching methods. One of her first acts was to employ a PE Mistress, Miss Nichols, who came to the school on the condition that a playing field be created. By 1911, hockey and netball teams were well established and in 1912 KEHS competed in its first House Swimming Gala.

On 17th December 1919, the Musical Society gave their first joint KEHS/KES concert, creating a tradition, which continues, to provide a platform for outstanding musicians from both schools.

In 1931, it was decided that the two schools needed a new site and only the Calthorpe Estate could offer sufficient space within reach of the city centre. The Governors selected the Bristol Road site and the papers were signed in December 1933. An architect was selected from amongst a pool of Old Edwardians. The Foundation Stone was laid in the Autumn of 1938, but when war was declared, the girls were evacuated to Pates Grammar School in Cheltenham, returning to Birmingham during the Autumn of 1940.

Today, King Edward VI High School for Girls is a wonderful blend of tradition and innovation with its beautiful library, and the Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Performing Arts Centre.

The emphasis on liberal learning, established by the first Headmistress, continues today, in a broad and balanced academic curriculum, which promotes intellectual freedom and discovery, coupled with a wider range of extra-curricular activities, and outstanding facilities for sport, music, drama and art.