30/11/2016 - 15:55

Guildford Grammar to go fully co-educational

30/11/2016 - 15:55

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Girls will be eligible to attend secondary school at Guildford Grammar from 2018, more than 40 years after admission was extended to both genders at the campus’s primary education facilities.

Guildford Grammar to go fully co-educational
Guildford headmaster Stephen Webber said girls that had attended the school's preparatory facilities strongly identified with Guildford.

Girls will be eligible to attend secondary school at Guildford Grammar from 2018, more than 40 years after admission was extended to both genders at the campus’s primary education facilities.

Initially, girls will be able to attend in years seven, eight and 11, while it will be fully co-educational by 2019 and the boarding facilities will be co-educational from 2020.

Guildford currently has around 731 secondary school students, up from 603 in 2013, according to the BNiQ Search Engine.

There are about 100 girls enrolled from kindergarten to year six, just more than a quarter of the preparatory school's membership.

Headmaster Stephen Webber said the school had excellent facilities with a large landholding of around 100 hectares, which would enable growth opportunities.

“We have the facilities and space to accommodate additional students now, and we will undertake some minimal building works during the year ahead to prepare for the addition of girls to the senior school,” Mr Webber said.

“For 40 years, we’ve had a co-educational preparatory school but every year, girls have to leave, and it is very difficult to see them go.

“We believe the same benefits that we see in boys and girls learning together in the preparatory school deserve to be extended to senior students.

“This was a unanimous decision by our school council, which is comprised of representative groups and it aligns with our school’s purpose.

“We are close to record enrolment now and we expect numbers will continue to grow but that will take place over time.”

More than 18 months of research was undertaken by the school comparing co-educational and single gender education.

Guildford is the first member of the elite private Public Schools Association to move to full co-educational facilities.

Mr Webber said co-education would better prepare students for life after school.

“As a fully co-educational school, we will better reflect the modern world in which young

women and men collaborate and work together,” he said.

“This is a natural evolution for the school.

“Our girls identify strongly with our school and are keen to stay.

“For many years now our parents have raised the issue of co-education and there has been strong support for us to adopt this model.”

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