I wondered if you could provide some guidance perhaps as we accepted a place at KES but also had a call from Five Ways with a place for my son. The two areas I needed some guidance are: academic comparison and average class sizes. Certainly the distance is an issue as we live in Moseley.
I'm not Ken but I have boys at both schools. Under the new-ish Head academic standards at Five Ways are really on the up, and it is a fantastic school with amazing facilities and improvements still under way. If you hear anything negative about Five Ways it probably dates back to when it was just a boys school and despite being a KE school was rather underrated - things are very different now and have been for quite a few years. Class sizes were comparable to KES (about 25) when my son was in the first few years, but Ken would know better about the current situation. Another issue is whether your son would prefer mixed or single gender - my boys had different opinions about this. The school buses to Five Ways are excellent so travel isn't really a problem unless he wants to stay late. If the fees aren't an issue I would probably go for KES on grounds of convenience as it is much closer to you, but Five Ways is worth the effort of getting to (and it is FREE