140 Years of Excellence

This timeline begins with the founding of Edgbaston High School for Girls and shows some of the most significant events in its history. Established in 1876, EHS is proud to be the oldest and largest independent Girls' school in Birmingham.

1876 EHS is founded by George Dixon and other distinguished local families from Quaker and Unitarian backgrounds, including the Albrights, Chamberlains, Martineaus and Mathews, with the aim of providing a challenging and liberal education for girls. Miss Alice Jane Cooper is the first Headmistress of the school which is sited at the junction of Harborne Road and Hagley Road (now the Marriott Hotel). Within two years the school has doubled in size and moves to The Laurels at 280 Hagley Road.
1877 The first school society 'The Garden Club' is formed - not for gardening but for games. Cricket proves a very popular past-time as well the performance of plays.
1878 EHS follows a formidable curriculum from the very start. Inspector of the school is impressed by the girls' standard and 'their healthy freedom from silliness, tittering and affectation'.
1882 In a bid to ensure EHS is always at the forefront of education Miss Cooper travels to the USA to visit 60 educational establishments, the report of which still remains in school archives.
1889 Author Lewis Carroll, who is a friend of the Headmistress Miss Cooper, visits the school to attend a performance of "Alice". Whilst he is here he presents French, German and Italian editions of "Alice" to the school library. The school archive still holds many of their letters of correspondence.
1907 EHS continues to expand and improve its facilities as the Gym is opened.
1913 The Preparatory department is established for girls between the ages of 4 - 9 years on the site of 20 Harborne Road and later moves to Greenoaks.
1924 School trips abroad are established under the Headship of Miss Collier (1924 - 31) with visits to the Louvre and Avignon. Nowadays EHS girls have the opportunity to visit Iceland with the Geography department, Austria and Canada on skiing trips, Italy with the Senior Choir and more recently, New York.
1930 The school uniform is changed to the distinctive 'bottle' green that EHS has long been associated with. A compulsory school uniform was introduced by second Headmistress Miss Japp and originally consisted of navy blue pleats and velvet yoke with a white flannel blouse. The uniform has since been changed again to meet life at the start of the new millennium and is a more modern blend of navy and green.
1939 The Pre-Preparatory department is set up, admitting children from the age of 3 ½ - 6 years. The department is not truly established until 1944 in Greenoaks where the school has a population of some 90 girls and 80 boys. EHS receives a glowing report from Ofsted.
1964 The sixties marked the start of the building years. After the start of the Second World War EHS continues to expand with a new science block and a new music school. As the Five Ways area is re-developed EHS is moved to Westbourne Road, the site of which consists of Neville Chamberlain's old house Westbourne
1965 The new swimming pool is opened by Sir Adrian Cadbury. Prior to this development, girls walked to Monument Road Baths or travelled by coach from the Hagley Road site to both the swimming pools and the playing fields.
1994 Sir Adrian returns to EHS to open another block housing the ICT suite and Home Economics block.
2005 The Octagon is opened. This multi-million pound performance space seats 600 and plays host to the School's four choirs and four orchestras and bands. The resource is also made available to other orchestras and the Royal School of Church Music outside of school hours.
2006 Dr Ruth Weeks is welcomed as the tenth Headmistress of Edgbaston High School.
2011 Edgbaston High School completes its latest building project. Making an investment of £2.5 million the ambitious project was successful in transforming the School's fa§ade, creating a spacious new glass fronted Reception area, state-of-the-art Sixth Form Common Room and accommodation and an enhanced Senior School Library. The new build was officially opened by Sir Stephen Brown.
2015 The School celebrates 139 years of excellence.
2015 In April 2015, the School embarked upon building works to enhance and refurbish the Preparatory School. Due for completion in early 2016, the works will add a new Art Room, a two storey extension to both the front and rear of the school, an extended library and larger visitors and Reception space.