The King's (The Cathedral) School acquired Academy status on 1 January 2011 and thus became an Independent School but still providing state funded education for all of the pupils. It is a Church of England comprehensive school, with a large academic Sixth Form. It was founded by Henry VIII in 1541 as the Cathedral School to educate the Cathedral choristers and this close link with the Cathedral is still valued and maintained today.
Almost 1,200 pupils attend the school, of whom over 380 are in the Sixth Form, for which there is a minimum examination qualification for entry.
Since becoming comprehensive and co-educational in 1976, the school has maintained its outstanding record of success. This success was recognised in June 1999 with the award of Beacon status. Pupils of all abilities are encouraged to achieve their highest academic potential. Other aspects of development are not neglected: there is plenty of opportunity for participation in music, drama, outdoor activities, sport and social events, as well as a range of clubs and societies, catering for leisure pursuits. Our children are expected to develop a sense of responsibility for their conduct and behaviour and to become aware of the needs and rights of others. The size of the school enables each pupil to find a sense of both identity and security: new pupils soon settle in and become part of our extended family. The school is very much up-to-date, and offers pupils a thorough preparation for life in the twenty-first century.