Friday 30 September marked the celebration of Admissions Day at King Edward’s Witley, the major event in the school year which witnesses the 460-year-old City of London founded school playing host to the traditional pomp and ceremony associated with the City of London.
Admissions Day provides new pupils to King Edward’s with a first taste of the historic links the School has enjoyed with the City of London dating back to 1553. Among the City dignitaries who attended were The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman the Lord Mountevans accompanied by the newly elected Sheriffs, Alderman and Sheriff William Russell and newly elected Alderman and Sheriff Peter Estlin, who was previously Treasurer and Governor of the Bridewell Royal Hospital and is a former Head Boy of King Edward’s Witley. The High Sheriff of Surrey and the Mayors of Waverly and Haslemere were also in attendance.
This year, the School’s first female Treasurer, Mrs Justine Voisin (who took up her role in September having previously been Chair of Governors of Barrow Hills, King Edward’s sister School in Witley following their 2015 merger) formally admitted all 115 new pupils to the School during a Chapel service attended by families and friends. Following an ancient tradition, each pupil admitted placed one foot on a mat, featuring the School Shield, to indicate taking the first step on a journey with King Edward’s Witley and promised to strive to do their best and uphold the traditions of the School. As the Headmaster called each boy or girl up by name, they shook the hand of the Treasurer over the School ‘s silver Mace, to symbolise the support and strength that will accompany them as they progress through the School. The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London described King Edward's Witley as the "springboard to success" and concluded by saying, "We in the City hope you will grow to be part of our family."
Commenting on the day, the Headmaster, Mr John Attwater, said, “Every Admissions Day is a hugely important event in the School calendar and a memorable step in the lives of all our pupils, one which they remember for the whole of their lives. This year’s was doubly significant as we celebrated a new Treasurer and welcomed back her predecessor, Alderman Peter Estlin in his new capacity as Sheriff of the City of London. Peter has been an ardent and loyal supporter of King Edward’s ever since his own Admission to the School over 40 years ago, and embodies our tradition of service and links with the City of London. It is always special to be in the company of the Lord Mayor and the associated pageantry of the City of London, and particularly so as we prepare to commemorate 150 years since the School moved out of London to Witley in 1867.”