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Why become a student caller?

07 April 2022

Nikash Chekuri in Sixths outlines the reasons he wanted to be part of this year's telephone campaign. 


When I initially heard about student caller applications, I was curious as to what the role entailed. It didn't take long for me to decide whether I wanted to apply or not. Growing up in Birmingham has allowed me to directly observe different kinds of disparities. Education in particular stands out and is at the core of this campaign.

Throughout my time at KES, I have greatly benefitted from the passionate teaching staff, fantastic support systems, amazing facilities, and the wealth of co-curricular opportunities available beyond the classroom. Going up the school, I grew to appreciate how students can develop and not only find but also pursue their interests ranging from academic pursuits to dramatic and musical endeavours. As a fee-paying school, however, it is crucial to ensure that regardless of financial status, bright students are admitted to KES. And a key enabler of this overarching aim is the Assisted Places scheme.

I vividly remember arriving at King Edward's seven years ago to take the entrance exam. It was then that I first heard about the AP100 Campaign, which had been launched by Mr Claughton who was Chief Master at the time. This outlined the ambition of the school to raise £10 million to fund 100 Assisted Places by summer 2016. Immediately, I gained an insight into the essence and spirit of KES as a school. Accessibility as a cornerstone of the admissions process was made clear and through the expansion of the Assisted Places scheme, boys from all over Birmingham were invited to apply, irrespective of their financial requirements.

The growth of such a scheme meant that more and more students from disadvantaged backgrounds were able to access a first-class education, and it is for this reason that I wanted to apply to be a student caller. The prospect of contributing, on some level, to the functioning of this programme piqued my interest. As a result, I am very much looking forward to joining the team of callers in July. In particular, I am excited about speaking with Old Edwardians, hearing about their time post-KES and playing a part in the provision of Assisted Places at KES.