By Hannah Hiles
An extra £3 million is to be ploughed into providing more Birmingham children with access to the city’s top schools.
The pledge has been made by Birmingham’s Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham – a charitable foundation which supports eight schools in the city.
The money will be spread over seven years and will help provide more families with assisted places at its two independent schools, King Edward’s and King Edward VI High School for Girls.
The Foundation currently provides more than £2 million each year for assisted places at the two independents, which benefits nearly 300 pupils.
More places will also be made available at each of the Foundation’s five grammar schools across the city from 2014, meaning that 130 extra pupils will be admitted to King Edward VI Aston School, King Edward VI Five Ways School, Camp Hill School for Boys, Camp Hill School for Girls and Handsworth School for Girls.
Pupils who have already sat the competitive exams for 2014 entry to these non-fee-paying schools will have an increased chance of gaining a place.
John Collins, secretary to the governors, said the foundation was also working on further major initiatives to widen access which it hoped to launch in 2015 following consultation. He said: “We are increasing admission to our five free grammar schools for 2014 under the existing selection criteria, but we aim to implement changes that will make all of our schools more accessible from 2015.
“The Foundation wants to ensure that all parents and schools with naturally gifted and talented children are aware of the opportunities that are available to them.”
John Claughton, Chief Master at King Edward’s and Headmaster of the Foundation, added: “This significant, if not historic, move by the Foundation will enable us to do even more of the things that matter to this school and its former pupils, who have themselves raised more than £5million for assisted places in the last four years.”