King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys

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King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys
KE VI sch logo.jpg
Vicarage Road

Kings Heath, Birmingham
West Midlands
B14 7QJ

Coordinates52°25′47″N 1°54′10″W / 52.42964°N 1.90289°W / 52.42964; -1.90289Coordinates: 52°25′47″N 1°54′10″W / 52.42964°N 1.90289°W / 52.42964; -1.90289
TypeGrammar school
MottoLatin: Spartam nactus es, hanc exorna
Established1883 (1883)[1]
FounderKing Edward VI Foundation[1]
SpecialistScience, Humanities, Applied Learning
Department for Education URN137045 Tables
Chair of Governors (Foundation)B. Matthews
HeadteacherMartin Garrod
Age11 to 18
HousesTudor (green), Howard (blue), Seymour (old gold), and Beaufort (red)

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys is a highly selective grammar school in Birmingham, United Kingdom. It is one of the most academically successful schools in the United Kingdom,[2] currently ranked 3rd among state schools. It is widely regarded as one of the best schools in the UK, as every year many students get offers from prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.[3] The name is retained from the previous location at Camp Hill in central Birmingham from where the school moved to Vicarage Road in the suburb of Kings Heath in 1956, sharing a campus with its sister school, also formerly located in Camp Hill. It is a school which specializes in Science, Mathematics, and Applied Learning. In 2006, the school was assessed by The Sunday Times as state school of the year.[4] A Year 9 student was 2011 winner of The Guardian Children's Fiction Page[5] and the Gold Award in the British Physics Olympiad was won by a King Edward VI Camp Hill student in September 2011.[6]

Ofsted inspections classify Camp Hill as an Outstanding Provider.[7]


The school was founded in January 1883 and operated for two terms on the New Street site of King Edward's School. This was the school location which JRR Tolkien thoroughly disliked, after the idyllic country life in Sarehole Mill (now a Birmingham suburb). It opened at its intended site at Camp Hill in Birmingham, near the city centre in September 1883, and moved to its current location, adjacent to Kings Heath Park, in 1956. Camp Hill Boys celebrated its 50-year jubilee in 2007 with a concert at Symphony Hall and the burial of a time capsule to be opened in another 50 years' time. It celebrated its House Centenary in 2007-8, with special events throughout the year that are not normally part of the house competition e.g. 5-a-side football.


Admission to Camp Hill is based upon success in the 11+ exam along with consideration of proximity to the school.[8] It is also guaranteed that at least 25% of students admitted will be 'Pupil Premium Pupils', which are pupils whose families will have received free school meals at some point in the six years prior to application.[8] Those living outside the catchment are able to attend Camp Hill, but only if they achieve a very high score in the 11+, and the quota for catchment pupils is not filled.[8] This admissions policy replaced the previous one for admissions starting in 2020. Previously, no weight was attached to proximity to the school, and the quote for Pupil Premium Pupils was 20%.

Admissions controversy 2020[edit]

For the academic year starting in 2020, changes were made to admissions criteria by The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham, the body which oversees the running of Camp Hill and the other King Edward schools in Birmingham.[8] These changes were praised by some but were largely controversial, with only 27% of those consulted supporting the plans.[9][10][11] The changes increased admissions of Pupil Premium students to 25%, and also largely restricted admissions to the wards immediately surrounding Camp Hill, by means of catchment areas.[12] Previously, applications were open to any UK citizen. In public consultation, many concerns were raised about the catchment areas, including that they may be designed to increase applications to the private schools of KES, overseen by the same body. These concerns were brushed aside by the Schools of King Edward VI, which explained them as affluent parents outside Birmingham being disappointed at their loss of entitlement to a grammar school place.[13] The BBC and others published articles on the changes,[10][11][14] but all largely ignored the concerns about the catchment area, focussing instead on the issue of increased admission of deprived pupils, and the perceived class struggle. In a FOI request to The King Edward Schools, release of the consultation responses, and information regarding reasons for the catchment plans, was refused.[15] A complaint regarding conflicts of interest and concerns raised in the consultation was also brushed aside.[16]

Shared features[edit]

The school shares a campus with King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls and some major music events such as concerts, occasional drama activities, plays and musicals, are jointly held. A two-week timetable synchronises the two schools, allowing for shares lessons for A-level subjects of Music, German and Computer Science. The fields, tennis courts, schoolyards and the main school buildings are not shared. There is a shared swimming pool used separately by boys and girls. The sixth form block is a shared facility in which the top floor is occupied by girls, and the ground floor is used by the boys' school. A joint sports hall is used by both boys and girls with a separation barrier. The dining room has a folding dividing partition. A new food technology room is located between the Girls and Boys schools and is also shared.


The school has computer rooms, a library, many science labs, and art and design rooms; it also features a lecture theatre, a large assembly hall, a sports hall, as well as specialized classrooms for subjects such as Mathematics, English, Modern Foreign Languages and the Humanities. The old gym has been redeveloped to create the school library, the wing where the English department is placed, and a Sixth Form study area.

Sports hall[edit]

In October 2006, a new sports hall was officially opened and is shared by students attending both schools. The hall includes two gyms, a dance/drama studio, a mini-cafeteria, two classrooms, and a fitness room. The building includes a lift for the disabled, as does the library.

New extension[edit]

In the new 2016/2017 term, a new extension was opened, providing new classrooms and science laboratories. The extra classrooms were necessitated by the change from 3 forms per year to 4, resulting in approximately 30 extra students per year.

Sixth form block[edit]

The start of the 2018/19 term saw a new renovation of the sixth form block featuring a shared common room area with the girls school and a dining area which serves hot/cold food and drinks.

Specialist status[edit]

The school has been granted Specialist College status[clarification needed] in three specialisms: Science (including Maths), Humanities and Applied Learning.[citation needed]


The sports played at Camp Hill are seasonal: rugby and hockey in the Winter term and Spring term; in the Summer term: cricket and athletics are the main sports. Other sports include basketball, fitness, gymnastics, and tennis. Sixth form students may play football during games periods, and seniors (Years 11–13) especially the sixth form have the opportunity to play a wide variety of sports, including football, hockey, rugby, cricket, athletics, basketball, badminton, volleyball, table tennis, swimming, squash and tennis. All students are required to take part in certain house events (known as Standards) - cross-country, swimming and athletics. Other off-curriculum sports include fencing, swimming, and rugby and cricket training after school.


Four houses are named after families who fought in the Wars of the Roses, Beaufort (Red), Howard (Blue), Seymour (Gold), and Tudor (Green). Students wear different ties corresponding to the house in which they are in. All students are required to be members of a house and a member of staff is head of a house. Events such as House Rugby, House Football, and others, enable students to earn points for their house.

House events are played in four age groups; juniors (years 7 and 8) play in individual years, and intermediates (years 9 and 10) and seniors (years 11-13) play as two groups. The house events begin in the Autumn with house rugby for all ages, rugby 7's for seniors, 11-a-side football for seniors, and house indoor 5-a-side football for all age groups. The house quiz also takes place over the course of the year, again split into junior, intermediate and senior. In early November, the house table tennis championship is held for all years, whilst cross country standards are run by boys from years 7 to 10. The house cross country finals are then held in December, along with house badminton for the seniors. Traditionally, house swimming standards are held in January, with the swimming finals after the winter A-Level exams. House chess is generally held in early spring, and house tennis at the end of spring. Both house cricket and house athletics are held in the summer, with Sports Day generally being held the week before the end of term.

In 2008, the school celebrated 100 years of the house system by hosting a day of house competitions in all subjects and extracurricular activities as well as additional competitions including scrabble, darts and film-making. The House Festival is celebrated every 4 years, to enable all students to take part in at least one during their attendance at the school. The second House Festival occurred on 3 October 2012, and the third in October 2017 on the 11th of October.[17]

Student volunteering[edit]

Students have many opportunities to help the school through many positions, and these require students to give up some of their in-school free time.


Every year, 40-55 new Year 12 prefects are voted in by teachers and the Year 12 students. Students that gain 20 or more votes become prefects, however they may be vetoed by teachers as was seen in the 2017 elections. If you are voted in as a prefect, you may then nominate yourself to be a head boy (one available position) or deputy head boy (2-4 available positions), to go through a selection process that includes interviews for the final candidates.

The duties of a prefect include controlling the lunch queue, patrolling the library and enforcing basic rules such as uniform regulations in the corridor.

Temporary prefects are also assigned through a random selection process (everyone who signs up has the same chance to become a prefect) in Year 11 while the Year 12s and 13s are on exam leave.


The school's librarian makes positions available for those in Years 8-13, to help manage functions of the library including shelving books and manning the main desk to scan books to be borrowed by students.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Schools of the King Edward the Sixth Foundation in Birmingham". King Edward VI Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Secondary league tables 2013: Best advanced academic results". 23 January 2014 – via
  3. ^ Gurney-Read, Josie (26 August 2016). "GCSE results 2016: state school results" – via
  4. ^ O'Reilly, Judith (19 November 2006). "The Sunday Times State Secondary School of the Year 2006". The Times. London.
  5. ^ The Guardian, Saturday 12 November, Reviews: Stanton, Andy Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout,
  6. ^ "News". King Edward VI Camp Hill School For Boys. 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Outstanding Providers". Ofsted. 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d "New Admissions Policy 2020". The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham.
  9. ^ "Help raise £3000 to fight a new admissions system which is arbitrary and illogical. Every £1 will help: meritb4postcode". JustGiving.
  10. ^ a b "Legal bid in Grammar school entrance row". 2 April 2019 – via
  11. ^ a b "Grammar schools set to prioritise poorer pupils and local children despite hostility from parents and alumni". The Independent. 5 April 2019.
  12. ^ "NEW ADMISSIONS POLICY CATCHMENT MAPS". King Edward VI Foundation. 1 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Admissions Policy 2020". The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham. 18 December 2018.
  14. ^ Turner, Camilla (9 April 2019). "Grammar school parents in revolt over plans to drop entry marks for disadvantaged pupils" – via
  15. ^ "Correspondence | Personally Identifiable Information | Sanitization (Classified Information)". Scribd.
  16. ^ "Complaint Email | Conflict Of Interest | Government". Scribd.
  17. ^ King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys calendar:
  18. ^ "Professor Andrew Crawford". University of Cambridge. 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Prof. F.D.R. Hobbs, General Practitioner". SHAPE. 2003. Retrieved 27 November 2011.

External links[edit]