The King Edward VI School, Morpeth

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The King Edward VI School
King Edward VI School.jpg
The school's current logo
Established 1552
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr. Simon Taylor BA (Hons)
Chair Mr. Paul Carvin
Location Cottingwood Lane
NE61 1DN
Coordinates: 55°10′30″N 1°41′35″W / 55.1750°N 1.6930°W / 55.1750; -1.6930
Local authority Northumberland
DfE URN 137746 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1400
Gender Mixed
Ages 13–18
Houses Hollon, Turner, Collingwood, and De Merley

King Edward VI School, Morpeth is a voluntary controlled academy school located in Morpeth, Northumberland, England. It was established by a royal charter as Morpeth Grammar School and later as King Edward VI Grammar School. The school became a comprehensive school in the 1960s and became an academy in December 2011. It is locally known as "KEVI" or simply "King Edwards".


The refoundation of the school is frequently associated with William Turner (c. 1508–1568), nonconformist divine. He is known as the "Father of English Botany", a native of Morpeth, and is believed to have attended the grammar school before attending Cambridge and later to have returned to be its headmaster.

Morpeth Grammar School was the plaintiff in a lawsuit of the longest duration in English legal history. The case started in 1710 and concerned the recovery of lands granted to the school by Edward VI and later leased to the Thornton family. The case was reopened in 1833, advanced in 1847, and determined in 1870.[1] By the 1960s the school was known as King Edward VI Grammar School [2]

The school lost its status as a grammar school in the educational reforms of the 1970s and became a comprehensive. A new school building was opened in 1967 to accommodate the boys and girls grammar schools although they remained segregated until the new educational reforms took effect.

Present day[edit]

King Edward VI School was awarded Beacon School status in 2003, and Leading Edge status, in 2004. The school officially gained academy status on 1 December 2011. The current building was constructed in 1973.


Current executive head teacher is Simon Taylor. The Head of School is Mr M Simpson, the Deputy Heads are Ms C Savage and Mr C Tedder.


At the last Ofsted report, in 2014 the school was judged as outstanding in all five Ofsted categories.

Senior students[edit]

At the forefront of the School Council and representing the school's student body are its head boy, deputy head boy, head girl and deputy head girl. Its senior students are elected on an annual basis.


In 2009 Year 11 students achieved excellent GCSE results, the best in Northumberland. 87% of students achieved 5 or more passes at Grades A*-C, with 75% gaining 5 or more including English and Maths, which was the highest percentage in Northumberland. 97% achieved 5+ A*-G grades, and 100% gained 1+ A*-G grade. Over 250 students from Year 11 have now moved into the 6th Form at King Edwards. In the same year, A Level students at the King Edward VI School produced excellent results. There was an increase in the percentage of A/B grades to 54%, an improvement of 4% over the previous year. The overall A-E pass rate increased to 99%. The average points score per student came out at 840, which was the highest of any school in Northumberland.

Environment awards[edit]

The school is currently seeking to gain 'eco-friendly schools status'. In 2008, a gardening group was presented with the BT Seen and Heard award by Dame Ellen Macarthur at the Houses of Parliament. Later that year, the school was awarded the North East environmental school award at the Chronicle environment awards, and on 2 November Student Voice assistants from the school are travelling to London for the final of the WOW (Wipe out Waste) awards.


In 2014, students from the school's space club, known as KEVISA (KEVI Space Agency) designed and built an astronomical observatory on the school grounds. It houses an 11 inch telescope and is used for both enrichment activities and public events.

School arms[edit]

The school arms are: Argent masoned gules, a tower triple-turreted within a bordure of the second charged with eight martlets of the first.

Notable former pupils[edit]

  • Alan Raitt (1930–2006), Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford
  • Sid Waddell (1940-2012), Darts Commentator