King Edward's School, Bath

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King Edward's School, Bath
King Edward's School, Bath.jpg

Dieu et mon droit
(God and my right)

Ministrare, non ministrari
(To serve, not to be served)
Established 1552
Type Independent school
Headmaster Martin Boden
Chairman of the Governors Winifred Thomson
Founder King Edward VI
Location North Road
Coordinates: 51°23′11″N 2°20′37″W / 51.3863°N 2.3436°W / 51.3863; -2.3436
DfE URN 109374 Tables
Staff 70–90
Students 976
Gender Coeducational
Ages 3–18
Colours Maroon and navy blue          
Publication The Edwardian
Former pupils Old Edwardians

King Edward's School (KES), Bath, Somerset, England is an independent school providing education for 950 pupils aged 3 to 18.[1] The school is a member of The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

The school was established in the 16th century in a city centre site. In the 1960s it moved to the outskirts onto a multi building site. In addition to the academic curriculum the schools includes drama, music, sport and a combined cadet force.


The school was founded in 1552 under laws set out in the Charities Act of 1545, which had been passed by Henry VIII to use funds from the dissolution of the monasteries to replace monastic grammar schools such as that run by Bath Abbey. The Mayor of Bath and one of the members of parliament for Bath, Edward Ludwell, petitioned Edward VI for land previously owned by the priory, to establish the school, initially in Frog Lane, and support ten poor people, which also prevented the crown from selling off the land previously held by the priory. In 1580s the school moved to a disused church building by the north gate of the city. The city corporation misappropriated the considerable funds form the land granted under Letters Patent, failing to maintain or improve the school until it was exposed in the Court of Chancery in 1734. Around 1750 a new building was erected for the school in Broad Street.[2]

The secondary school relocated from its site at Broad Street in central Bath in the 1960s to a 14-acre (57,000 m2) site at North Road in the southeastern edge of the city, previously occupied by St Christopher's Preparatory School. The junior school (7- to 11-year-olds) remained on the Broad Street site until the summer of 1990 (often mis-quoted as 1986, possibly due to errors originally made in an architectural report from the early 2000s and repeated by the local Planning Office) when it transferred to a new building in the North Road school grounds. The old Broad Street site, which was built in 1754 by Thomas Jelly and is a Grade II* Listed building,[3] remains empty. In 1997 an application to turn the building into a public house was refused. A scheme for use as a hotel has also been withdrawn. The building remains on the Heritage at Risk Register but work to repair the roof has reduced the risk to the property.[4]

In the 1990s, while Peter Winter was Headmaster the school took the steps towards full co-education. In 2005 there were plans to move the 'pre-preparatory' school, located in Weston, Bath, on to the North Road site. However, for a range of reasons it never materialised. In 2008 the school achieved the best examination results of Bath schools for A level and GCSE examination results.[5]


The school is made up of several buildings. The main block (Q) is the primary building used for English, Maths, Music, Physics and Chemistry. The main block also incorporates the Wroughton Theatre. Nethersole House, which was built in the 19th century, now houses the Religious and Philosophical Studies department, Classics, History, Business Studies and Economics and Learning Support, as well as the Headmaster's Study and Reception. The Holbeche Centre is home to the Sixth Form centre, as well as Art and Design & Technology classrooms. The Porter Library, now the home of the Geography department since the completion of the Wessex Building in 2015, is next door. The sports hall at the bottom of the site is used for assemblies, as well as sports. The senior school opened a new building (B Block) in September 2008 which accommodates many of the major departments including Biology, Modern Languages and ICT. The Wessex Building is located to the north of Nethersole House and was opened in 2015 by the Prince of Wessex and holds the Library, dining hall and a conference suite.

Drama and music[edit]

The school includes both drama and music departments. The drama department puts on a school play each year and recent performances have included Edward Scissorhands and A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as new plays such as Drumming in the Deep and Revenge. There is also a lower school play which is aimed for pupils in years 7 to 9 and regularly has casts of up to 80 pupils.

Every year the music department organises the KES Musical Festival which includes concerts throughout Bath as well as numerous performances and concerts in the school itself. The Senior Orchestra was also the overall winner for orchestral music in the Mid Somerset Festival in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.[6]


Sports pavilion and field

The school has playing fields in Bathampton which are used mainly for playing rugby. Former England Rugby Coach Andy Robinson used to teach rugby, physical education and mathematics at the school while he was playing (amateur rugby) for Bath Rugby Club.[7]

In recent years the school has developed strong netball squads over a range of school years. In particular the under 19 squad came third at the national finals in both 2009 and 2010. Alternative sports such as jiu jitsu and squash are also played.[8][9]

Combined Cadet Force[edit]

The school also has a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) which was formerly affiliated with the Light Infantry is now affiliated to the King's Royal Hussars (Royal Armoured Corps). Having been founded in 1900, King Edward's CCF is one of the oldest CCF contingents in the country. In recent years the CCF has also included cadets from Beechen Cliff School and Since 2015 it has also welcomed pupils from Hayesfield Girl School. Pupils, both girls and boys, may join the CCF from year 9 onwards and enjoy a range of activities each week developing skills which can be put into practice at regular camps throughout the year.

International links[edit]

King Edward's School and Wagwer School in Kenya are global development partnership schools, part of the Department for International Development (DFID) initiative, which seeks to encourage an understanding and knowledge of the world though exchange visits and joint curricular work. Under the scheme which is sponsored by the British Government teachers from Kenya are able to visit KES and teachers from KES are able to visit Wagwer.[10]

The school also runs exchange programmes with schools in Aix-en-Provence (France), Braunschweig (Germany) and Pamplona (Spain).

Georgina Cassar who is in the sixth form competed at the Olympics as the first from Gibraltar in 2012.[11]


In 2001, the school made national headlines after 26 pupils were taught the wrong Shakespeare play (Hamlet) in preparation for an A-level examination. The mistake was only realised after the pupils had entered the examination hall. The OCR exam board decided to award their marks according to previous papers and coursework.[12] In 2002, a 14-year-old girl had to be taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning during a trip to France.[13] In 2015, Timothy Snowden, a former biology teacher from the school was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a pupil over a 4-year period in the 1990s.[14]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also Category:People educated at King Edward's School, Bath

Former pupils of the school are called Old Edwardians and include:


  1. ^ "Establishment: King Edward's School". EduBase. Department for Education. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Wroughton, John (2006). Tudor Bath: Life and strife in the little city, 1485–1603. Bath: Lansdown Press. pp. 58–60. ISBN 0-9520249-6-9. 
  3. ^ "King Edward's School". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "King Edwards School, Broad Street, Bath — Bath and North East Somerset (UA)". English Heritage. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Secondary schools in Bath and NE Somerset". BBC. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Festival Results". Mid Somerset Festival. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Andy Robinson". Hall of Fame. Bath Rugby. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Georgina Cassar is the rock for history makers". This is Bath. Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Ezard, John (7 June 2001). "Outrageous fortune strikes A-level class". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  13. ^ Lightfoot, Liz (8 April 2004). "Dangers of tours for teachers and pupils". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 September 2009. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Verdict on MMR doctor". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 7 January 2011.