“I can’t put into words the gratitude I have towards every person who donated… I cherish every moment”

Learn more about the tangible impact of your gift by reading our featured impact stories below.

Accessibility has always been at the heart of KES. Though Assisted Places have been funded in different ways over time, the impact remains the same: they change lives for the better. 

“I believe attending a fine educational establishment like KES and reaching your full potential shouldn’t be determined by the depth of your parents pockets.
Ever since a young age my mother always instilled in me and my brothers the value of hard work and how the path you take in life is based on your own actions. Me and my two brothers would never have thought that we would have been able to come to such a prestigious school because our mother couldn’t afford the fees.
This all changed when we learnt of the scholarship and Assisted Place programme, we saw this as an opportunity to take a step towards fulfilling our dreams of success. Now that we knew money wasn’t stopping us, we worked hard to excel in both the exam and the interview to get what we wanted and to prove that we deserved it.
I can’t put into words the gratitude I have towards every person who donated for me to have such an amazing 7 years and I cherish every moment looking back on the good times I had playing rugby, waterpolo and within day to day school life. KES has sculpted me into the man I am today and has allowed me to make friends for life and build connections with people I hope to become successful with one day.  As well as all the opportunities to travel the world and visit  countries I thought I would never have gone to and have experiences that will stay with me for life. 
Personally when I leave this school and make something of myself I want to be able to allow a young ambitious boy like I was to be able to have the opportunity of a lifetime and not be held back by financial restraints.”
Quotes provided by current students are used anonymously. 

“The Assisted Place has been an incredible opportunity for me to experience an academic lifestyle in a safe school which puts an incredible emphasis on physical and mental well-being of pupils, providing a vast amount of activities every-day. More particularly, I am ever grateful to be able to be a complete part of KES regardless of my family’s inability to pay for the fees; the Assisted Place has opened many doors to my life, and I cannot thank whoever has helped to support my presence here enough.”

Quotes provided by current students are used anonymously. 

“I think King Edward’s has been a real turning point for me. Without the education I received I would not be in the strong position I am now. I am so proud and so grateful that I was able to come here. My Assisted Place has made all this possible.”

“I was the first in my junior school to go to KES and would not have been able to without the encouragement of my teacher and parents. They could not afford the school fees and so had to rely on the Direct Grant Scheme. I was incredibly privileged to benefit from the academic and extra-curricular education available at KES and knowing this made me even more grateful for the chance I had been given.

On leaving KES I studied medicine at St John’s College Cambridge and am now a consultant vascular surgeon in Bournemouth. I am a Council Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and was lucky to help organise a meeting in 2022 at KES for students in the Foundation to have a taster of what being a surgeon involves. The idea was to show students that surgery was not the preserve of a select group, but open to people of all backgrounds.

I learned from the help my family received with fees that unless we can allow able children to access the best possible education and opportunities, we will deprive our nation of a valuable source of talent that it needs to thrive. It is for this reason that I continue to support the School’s own version of this scheme, and I would encourage others too to do the same.

I can honestly say KES was the making of me, and I often turn to those times to understand what drives me: ‘Die of service not of rust.’ It would be unfair to single out particular teachers because they all had huge influence on me, from Shell W to Sci VI 1B but when I return to Birmingham, as I do quite often, to visit my parents or meet Old Edwardians, it is the School itself that I remember most. My hope is that as KES changes, it will also stay the same.”

“As I read about the new Shell pupils being introduced to KES I share their sense of excitement, wonderment, and trepidation at what is ahead of them. I recall the day when I started at KES as a result of the Government Direct Grant scheme, which offered me a free place. There was otherwise no way in which I would have been able to attend and even then, it was a struggle for my parents.

Today’s new pupils cannot really know the challenge and opportunity that their place at KES offers. Now, some 70 years on, I look back and appreciate that a KES education was more than learning facts and languages. Even then it taught me to think and not simply accept blindly. I am sure that in the present era, KES boys will be taught to accept that others have alternative views to theirs and have the right to be heard. The approach to learning and the application of that learning has remained with me and carried me through a successful career as a Civil Engineer and later as a Project Management Consultant, latterly sharing my experience in training managers with the same enthusiasm and applying the same principles as those shown by my teachers at KES back in 1948.

Would that I could set the clock back and start again with my current appreciation of KES and everything it stands for. The well of opportunity is twice as deep as the new pupils might think; I trust that they will plumb its depth. I hope that they realise that they haven’t just won an education jackpot, they have earned it.

The Direct Grant scheme ceased in 1979.  As a result of my education at KES, I have been able to repay my grant by supporting a boy like me, who would not otherwise have been able to come. It is the least I can and want to do and in my Will I have ensured that a legacy will see that boy through to the end of his schooldays.

I was, and have always been motivated by the words of the School song …

Here’s no place for fop or idler; they who made our city great

Feared no hardship, shirked no labour, smiled at death and conquered fate;

They who gave our School its laurels, laid on us a sacred trust;

Forward therefore, live your hardest, die of service, not of rust.

Forward where the knocks are hardest, some to failure, some to fame;

Never mind the cheers or hooting, keep your head and play the game.”

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