King edward vi grounds

The William Capon Club

As a gesture of appreciation to all our gift givers, supporters of the Foundation are  invited to join our 'William Capon Club'. The William Capon Club is made up of like minded alumni who are supporting the school's bursary fund through a bequest in their will or via donations . Throughout the year, members are invited to school events, and an annual celebratory thank you dinner.

Below you can hear from just a few of our members about why they are supporting the King Edward VI Foundation.

Doug Attwood (KES 1943-1951)

"As a child we moved from Somerset, where my father was Head Gardener on a country estate, to Hampshire and then onto Southampton, just before I sat my 11+. At this age, I was not really aware of the importance of passing the entrance exam and what this would mean to my future life.  In those days, attending King Edward’s gave the possibility of education up to School Certificate at 16 and on to Higher School Certificate at 18.  Beyond this, any course at any university in the UK was accessible, fees were paid by the state and local authority grants were offered to those in need.  Without a place at grammar school, none of these opportunities existed and one’s fate was often to leave school at 14 and start work.

In my early years at KES, the school community was evacuated to Poole to keep us safe from the bomber raids on the city but later we returned to the Hill Lane site.  In the Sixth Form I studied Biology, Physics and Chemistry and proceeded to King’s College in the Strand and King’s College Hospital Medical and Dental School to study Dentistry before a career in general dental practice.

I am fortunate to live close to the school and have been able to follow the changes as it has changed from a Southampton to a county wide school, welcomed girls and moved to independence. However, amongst all this change I observe that the ethos at KES has remained very much the same.  I am convinced that there is something exceptional in the education provided by King Edwards that I would like to see shared more widely than is possible at this time. Having been privileged to be able to access a KES education at a time when the ability to pay the fees was not the key to access, I can but support the King Edward VI Foundation that opens the door for children who would not otherwise have the opportunities that I have enjoyed."

Doug Attwood

Phil Preston (KES 1964-1971)

"During my last year at Shirley Junior School I was part of a production of a Shakespeare play.  One of our performances took place at King Edward’s in front of a packed audience of pupils and staff from other schools in Southampton and this triggered my determination to become a pupil.  I was, therefore, thrilled, if a little surprised, to pass my 11+ and gain a place at KES. 

With older parents and limited financial means, I looked to the staff at KES as role models.   The late Eric Merriman, in particular, helped me cultivate my continuing passion for music and I joined the school choir at the end of my first year enabling me to be a part of the many successful musical events and choir trips abroad to countries such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Involvement in a range of the many extra-curricular activities on offer at KES developed my keen sense of teamwork, leadership, responsibility and the value of friendship in a secure and caring setting.  

I left KES in 1971, the year in which Colin Dobson succeeded John Stroud as Head Master.  I joined the staff of Hampshire County Council as an audit assistant following which I undertook a range of roles in Education Management in local authorities in the South East of England.   I subsequently became Head of Education Planning and School Organisation in two London Boroughs and, for two years, I was Senior Education Consultant in a major international project management company supporting education providers in the UK and abroad.  

As well as a sound academic foundation, attending KES gave me a set of values and standards by which to conduct my life and which my wife and I have always instilled in our children and grandchildren. 

Along with my wife, Hilary, we have chosen to support the King Edward Foundation as we wanted to help young people, who would not otherwise have the financial means, to benefit from the potential life-changing educational experience and opportunities that I was fortunate to have had through attending KES myself. Every time I return,  I still feel ‘at home’ - part of the happy and caring KES family - and would encourage other OEs to join with those of us who have committed to helping the next generation of KES pupils."

Phil and HIlary resized

Peter Feltham (KES 1956-1963)

"In 1963, I’m not sure I understood the enormity of the opportunity that passing the 11+, and being awarded a scholarship to King Edward’s, presented to me. Clearly my parents were delighted but, as an 11-year-old boy, I was just aware that it signalled I had shown more academic ability than most of my class and was being bought a new bicycle and a very smart uniform.

Fast forward to 2005 and a year group reunion organised by a contemporary, Brian Saunders, and a subsequent “official” reunion at the School and I had the profound realisation of what an enormous privilege it had been to have been a pupil at the School. My free KES Grammar School education had allowed me to enjoy a successful career in Sales and Marketing and taught me so much more besides; respect for others, being truthful, self-discipline, ambition and a good work ethic. This was no longer available to gifted children who did not have access to resources to pay for the equivalent experience.

I resolved then to support the King Edward VI Foundation and to try and encourage those within my original cohort to do the same, each giving as they were able so that, cumulatively, the Class of ‘56 would be able to fund at least one able and deserving pupil through the system. Together we, as a year group, pledged over £450,000 for this very worthwhile cause. 

There can be fewer better ways of using your assets than by charitable giving and no better cause than helping provide a deserving child with a better education than they would otherwise have. I would fully encourage others to support this very worthwhile endeavour."


Peter Feltham