School Aims and Current Priorities

a picture of the school's building

At King Edward’s School, we seek to inspire our pupils to take on the challenges the world presents, to make a significant contribution to that world and, most of all, to enjoy doing so.

The following aims from the principal parts of school life enable us to work towards this: 


A King Edward’s education aims to develop the things that matter most: liveliness of mind, critical thinking and humanity. These qualities manifest themselves in our boys’ curiosity, their open-mindedness, their focus on interconnectivity, transfer of knowledge and understanding, not just knowledge itself, their boldness in the pursuit of discovery, versatility, ability to work independently, resilience and self-reflection. We provide them with the means, freedom and opportunities to feed these instincts.


We understand that the most important lessons are not only learned in the classroom. It is fundamental that our pupils are able to combine enthusiasm for as diverse a range of co-curricular activities as possible, recognising that participation in different things brings different skills, different trials, different strengths and different people, and that participation requires responsibility and commitment, respect for ourselves and for others, and a determination to push ourselves beyond that which is easy.


The lived experience of King Edward’s pupils should provide them with a pastoral education that develops the attributes and attitudes, including empathy, compassion and respect for themselves and others, to empower them to live balanced lives with meaning and purpose. We aim to shape boys of sound character and strong personal resource, allowing them to approach life’s uncertainties with forethought and determination, and that through service to their school and local communities, they will learn the value of looking outwards. 

Diversity and accessibility

Underpinning our aims in the academic, co-curricular and pastoral aspects of school life is our commitment to diversity and accessibility. We celebrate and relish the fact that our school is one of the most diverse independent schools in the country, and that access to our school is a core part of our identity. We aim to ensure this remains so, including through our Assisted Places programme and our work with primary schools, in which many pupils and staff are involved.

Strategically, we are looking ahead to September 2024 when a new leadership structure will come into place, including the first ever blended role of Chief Master & Principal of KES and KEHS. To complement the longer-term planning for this period of transition, we developed a set of priority actions for the academic year 2023/24, reflecting the themes that most resonated with parents when we conducted our most recent large-scale parents’ survey in 2021: around the school’s academic standing, the rounded education encompassing not just the academic but also the co-curriculum, students being enabled to reach their full potential, and the supportive and encouraging environment. 

The priority actions for 2023/24 therefore include the following: 

Innovative initiatives

  • The embedding of a careers education programme to serve KES and KEHS together, ensuring that all students have the same access to high-quality advice and information on the world of opportunity that awaits them
  • Further joint work to prepare our students for world-class universities, encompassing extension lessons, application and interview support
  • The development of a holistic approach to digital learning: as a school renowned for scholarly curiosity and innovation, we are excited to develop our provision in this sphere to equip our students with digital skills, but moreover to enable them to take an intellectual approach to their thinking around technology, both at school and beyond
  • The continued development and roll-out of the KES Core, encompassing pastoral education, learning skills and the pioneering School for Thought programme
  • Developing a cohesive approach to pupil support and wellbeing, comprising mental health, wellbeing, learning support, PSHE and PE
  • Reviewing our co-curricular structure and content, including on service learning.

Continuing engagement

  • A renewed focus on ensuring that pupil voice contributes to developments across all parts of school life, and closer engagement with parents.


  • Continuation of work that got underway last year to renew our commitment to accessibility, and particularly Assisted Places, taking forward what is already being achieved by our admissions and primary school partnerships teams, and many others, in this area. 

Environment and facilities

  • Continuation of the masterplan project which is taking a long-term look at our desires for our campus around the academic, co-curricular and pastoral aspects of school life, accessibility, sustainability and our place in the wider Foundation, in order that our environment and facilities support our students’ learning and growth, both now and in the future. 

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