When a boy secures a place at Queen Elizabeth’s, his parents automatically gain membership of FQE. The Executive Committee, made up largely of current and former parents, co-ordinates the social aspect of the organisation, as well as community fundraising events such as the Founder’s Day fete.
FQE has been in existence since 1966, but in recent years it has clarified its mission. Firstly, it serves to assist new parents in ensuring their sons are happy and quickly become fully integrated members of the QE community. For example it traditionally hosts bowling evenings for those boys due to start in Year 7, to help forge early friendships for when they join the School. In addition, FQE facilitates social relationships between families, who get to meet and form friendships through FQE events. Parents typically form longstanding friendships with others and, in many cases, choose to maintain their association with the School well beyond the time their sons are with us. The Elizabethan community is incredibly strong and very welcoming.
‘Through our activities we make friends and join a network of contacts which can be of great value whilst our sons are at Queen Elizabeth’s’ (Barrie Martin MBE, FQE Chairman)
FQE also serves the needs of boys currently at QE by raising funds which support the requirements and aspirations of the School, enriching the educational experience it provides.
In recent years, The Friends have enabled the investment of substantial funds into the development of the School’s now first-class facilities. September 2006 saw the opening of a new eight lane swimming pool and a multi-purpose hall was completed in 2009. A Food Technology area was added in 2012, and the spacious and well-equipped Queen’s Library was completed in 2014, alongside a new Dining Room and Café. The Heard Building was refurbished to provide a new home for the English department in 2017 and a dedicated room for robotics opened in 2019. The most recent project has been the creation of new music facilities, including a specialist recital hall, which opened in 2022.
These enhancements to the School’s facilities and, consequently, the opportunities available to the boys, have been enabled by the generosity of generations of parents and other donors through the Giving to QE scheme. These regular and one-off donations are supplemented by income raised through charitable activities, such as the annual FQE Supper Quiz and, most notably, the Founder’s Day fete – which is a true highlight of the QE calendar.
All parents are also encouraged to get involved with the work of the FQE Executive Committee – and there are many opportunities to do so! To assist with this, FQE has an established system of parent representatives from each form group to enable comprehensive networking. In addition, FQE also needs individuals who are happy to contribute as part of a specialist teams that organise events, such as Founder’s Day, or carry out specific functions within the School.
Below are just some of the ways that the Friends of the School get involved and make a contribution to our community.