Guildford Grammar School to be fully co-educational by 2019


Picture: David Baylis
Picture: David Baylis

GUILDFORD Grammar School, one of WA’s oldest independent schools, will become fully co-educational by 2019, welcoming girls as well as boys from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Today’s announcement follows a decision by the School Council to extend co-education beyond the Preparatory School, which now has more than 100 girls enrolled from kindergarten to Year 6.

In 2018, the school will welcome girls in Year 7, 8 and 11, with co-education in all Senior School years in 2019. Boarding facilities will be open to Senior School girls by 2020.

School Council chairman Mitchell Wells said the council had run an exhaustive process for the past 18 months.

The decision resonated with the school’s purpose of “inspiring students to achieve personal excellence and to be outstanding citizens who work to create a just, loving and peaceful society”.

“This is the true fulfilment of our school purpose and the decision by our 12-member council was unanimous,” Mr Wells said.

Headmaster Stephen 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.

“Guildford Grammar School already provides an outstanding education to girls in our Preparatory School, and it is time to allow all of our students to complete their schooling with us.

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

Mr Webber said the decision followed strong interest from the parent community, and mounting academic research supporting co-educational schooling.

“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,” Mr Webber said.

“Many parents with sons and daughters are keen to see them continue their education in an environment that values diversity and better prepares students for the life after school.”

Mr Webber said the school would work closely with the parent community over coming years to ensure the smooth integration of girls in the classroom, on playing fields and in boarding houses.

“We are extremely fortunate that the School has exceptional facilities and an extensive landholding able to accommodate growth,” he said.

“We will undertake some minor building works during the year ahead to ensure we are ready to welcome girls into Years 7, 8 and 11 at the start of the school year in 2018 and all years in 2019.

“The School has a detailed implementation plan, which it will refine in consultation with the School community, to ensure they are engaged and fully informed.

“We are excited by the changes that lie ahead, as we ensure our School is equipped to help both girls and boys achieve their very best.”