Actually, I tutor some very able children. Three out of six of my previous year candidates for KEHS won small scholarships, and one won a full bursary, although only the bursary winner actually went to the school.
The more able the child, the more anxious parents often are to ensure a GS place because it is patently obvious their very clever children will thrive best in such an environment. Most of these clever children, however, are at state primaries and are not operating at the level or speed required for an 11+ plus test; my job is to absolutely guarantee they win the place they deserve.
Do you think then that these children from state primaries wouldn't have got their scholarships, or possibly even a place, at KES/KEHS without your input? I may be very naive, and I admit I was unfamiliar with Birmingham schools when my DS was applying, but I am surprised that the KE schools apparently make it so easy for parents to effectively "buy" scholarships and places. Without a network of friends/relatives already in the area to point you in the right direction, it is quite difficult to negotiate the system. I'm not blaming you at all, you are clearly just responding to a local demand, but I think the schools could mention this to parents enquiring about a place for their child, just in order to level the playing field. It would surely be in their interests too in their stated quest to get the brightest children.