Our History

a picture of students in the schools history in science class

King Edward VI High School for Girls has roots dating back over 600 years.

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. 

Miss Creak and Staff, 1884
  • King Edward VI High School for Girls is founded on New Street in Birmingham.
  • Miss Creak was appointed as the first Headmistress of KEHS; she was chosen from over 30 applicants for her impressive academic record and bold ideas.
A picture of Miss Major
  • Miss Major was appointed as the second Headmistress. Miss Major’s aim was to conserve tradition whilst modernising the curriculum and updating teaching methods.
  • Miss Nichols was employed as the first PE Mistress. By 1911, hockey and netball teams were well established and in 1912 KEHS competed in its first house swimming gala. 
  • The first joint KEHS and KES concert was held, creating a long-standing tradition to provide a platform for outstanding musicians from both schools.
  • It was decided that the two schools needed a new site. 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.
KEHS/KES ceremony letter
  • 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.
a picture of Dr Smith in a frame
  • Dr Smith is appointed headmistress, who was given the monumental task of providing some sort of normal routine for school girls and furnishing the still incomplete school.
  • The school had its first Open Day in 1950.
a picture of the junior library plaque
  • The first librarian was appointed to oversee both the Junior and Senior library as well as acting as an administrative assistant.
a picture of Miss Lloyd-Williams
  • Miss Lloyd-Williams was appointed headmistress.
a picture of the royal visit
  • Queen Elizabeth II began a royal tour of the UK, which included visiting KEHS and KES.
a black and white photo of the Swimming pool interior
  • Miss Wilkes was appointed headmistress.
  • New swimming baths are opened by Lady Eccles.
  • The first male teacher, Mr Christ, was appointed at KEHS to help with Physics.
a picture of the prefects room in the past
  • The prefect system was replaced by a Sixth Form school committee. Duties previously performed by prefects were shared out amongst the entire sixth form on a rota system.
  • In the same year Sixth Form students could choose not to wear uniforms.
a picture of Miss Ena Evans
  • Miss Evans was appointed headmistress.
  • The first computer was introduced and under Mrs Flinn there was a steady increase in microprocessors used. The timetable was changed with these new exciting subjects, however traditional subjects also came under “General Studies” – five activities could be chosen from music, cookery, photography, pottery, drama, community service, art, carpentry or film making.
  • Joint drama productions with KES became a tradition.
a picture of the Centenary concert Town Hall
  • The school celebrated its centenary.
  • Joint drama productions with KES became a tradition.
a picture of Sarah Evans
  • Miss Evans was appointed headmistress.
  • The Summer School was introduced to benefit the wider Birmingham community.
125th anniversary visual
  • KEHS celebrated its 125th anniversary. A Bursary Fund was created to help raise money for Assisted Places. This enabled the school to continue to offer an outstanding education to all girls, whatever their circumstances.
a picture of Ann Clark
  • KEHS welcomed a new Principal, Mrs Clark.
a picture of 44 Kirsty von Malaisé
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown forced KEHS to pivot to online learning. Zoom became an essential tool for students and teachers, and the school community adapted to these unprecedented times. 
  • Into this new “normal” entered the tenth Headmistress of KEHS. The Principal, Mrs Kirsty von Malaisé, faced another period of lockdown almost immediately. Her first year in post brought vaccinations, teacher assessed public exams and continuing measures for safe distance.
a picture of two kids with a tune-up member
  • TuneUp Tuesday was born; a day of activities to celebrate the arts and explore career opportunities.
  • Birmingham hosted the Commonwealth Games. KEHS and KES played a valuable role in accommodating various police forces, training venues, and other resources, and TuneUp Arts delivered its Culture in Common project at primary and secondary schools across the West Midlands as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. 
a picture of the schools chior singing
  • KEHS celebrates its 140th anniversary. Celebratory events include an evening celebration at Birmingham's Town Hall, a festival for students, a lecture and the launch of the 140th Anniversary Assisted Places Appeal.
Present day
  • King Edward VI High School for Girls is a thriving school with over 600 pupils.
  • The school continues to offer a wide range of academic and co-curricular activities.

KEHS is proud of its history and its commitment to providing an excellent education for girls.

two students playing with a bunsen burner

Where next?

Welcome from the Principal


Old Edwardians

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