Sheffield boy's school to accept girls from September 2020
A private school for boys in Sheffield is to admit girls from September 2020.
Birkdale School, in Broomhill, only accepts girls aged between 16 and 18 to its sixth form, where they study alongside boys – the other years are made up of male students only.
But, come the next academic year, it will begin the transition to become a co-educational school, accepting girls from age four for the first time since the place opened in 1904.
Starting with its prep school, which prepares children for entrance to the private secondary phase, girls will be accepted into co-educational classes.
They will then continue through to the senior school, with the first mixed-gender year group reaching secondary phase in September 2024.
Birkdale said it is making the change to 'ensure the benefits of the school’s education are available to all' and to meet a growing demand from parents to allow both their sons and daughters into the same school.
Headmaster Peter Harris said the change is vital for Birkdale, adding: “Girls are part of your family and they’re part of ours. In 1995, we welcomed girls into our sixth form, and now we have decided they should be part of our entire family.
“Birkdale has been one of Sheffield’s leading schools for over 100 years by continually evolving. We are about to open a new chapter in the school’s history and we are excited at the opportunities this brings for everyone within our school community, across Sheffield and beyond.”
Chris Burch, head of Birkdale Prep, added: “While our primary aim is to provide the highest quality education, we place just as much importance on nurturing the individual and educating the whole child.
“Our Christian ethos, the traditional core values of kindness, courtesy, honesty and good manners are central to our daily life. By welcoming girls to join the school, we are confident we will be enriching the experience of every pupil who passes through our doors.”
Paul Houghton, chair of governors, added: “Birkdale is a school with a unique family feel, focusing on academic excellence whilst providing each individual with a broad, rounded education. Interestingly, our uniqueness has been much less about being a school primarily for boys, so the decision to take girls throughout the school has become a question of when, not if.
“Now is the time, and we’re hugely positive about this change and Birkdale’s role in developing future generations of young people in Sheffield.”
Visit www.birkdaleschool.org.uk for further details.