Why is Birkdale School going co-educational?

We are keen to offer the values of our Christian education to girls as well as boys. There is a growing demand from our current parents who tell us that they would like all members of their family to be able to attend one school and we are keen to share all the benefits and opportunities of Birkdale to all. At the same time, many boys only Prep Schools are making this change with the aim of better preparing children for the adult world.

Why now?

There is never a perfect time to make a change – but we believe now is the right time for Birkdale. Social, economic and philosophical pressures all play their part in a decision that has been discussed for many years at the School. We have been evolving and developing over many years and this is the next step in that ongoing process.

Which year groups will this benefit?

Eventually, everyone. But, initially, September 2020 will mark the arrival of girls in PP1, PP2, PP3 and P1 (Reception, Y1, Y2 and Y3). 2024 will be the first year of admissions for boys and girls into the Senior School (Y7).

When can my daughter join Birkdale?

  • From September 2020 into Pre-Prep 1, 2, 3 and P1 (Reception, Y1, Y2 and Y3)
  • From September 2021 into Pre-Prep to P2 (Reception, Y1, Y2, Y3 and Y4)
  • This will continue to progress year-by-year through the Prep and then Senior School

How many girls are you expecting?

It is too early to say for sure, but we expect there will be strong demand. Anecdotally, we are frequently asked if we can accept girls into the School.

What will the impact be on my child currently at Birkdale?

Your child will continue to receive the high quality individual-centred education and opportunities they have always received. For those joining Birkdale in PP1, PP2, PP3 and P1 from September 2020, they will receive the same but with the potential for girls to be in their class too. It will be our, and their, new normal.

What sports will be offered for girls?

Girls will get the same opportunities as the boys to learn rugby, football, cricket, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, cross country. There will also be opportunities for boys to learn new games like netball and hockey. Dance will be offered through PE in line with the National Curriculum.

What extracurricular clubs will be on offer for girls?

Clubs and societies have always been in response to pupil interest, staff availability and time. All the Birkdale clubs and societies that run for boys will of course be available to girls; the interests of new pupils will continue to direct our provision for clubs, interests and hobbies.

What will the girls’ uniform be?

We have been working extensively on this and appointed a company who deal solely with independent school uniforms. They have extensive knowledge and expertise in the marketplace. We will be introducing a new uniform for the entire school.

How adept are Birkdale School staff at teaching girls?

Staff are all highly trained with experience of teaching both boys and girls; responding to their individual learning needs and setting appropriate targets and strategies. Teachers are constantly ‘refreshed’ through professional training to ensure that they can use the latest resources and keep abreast of educational changes.

Does Birkdale have the facilities to accommodate girls?

The Infant (Pre-Prep) Department is housed in Belmayne House. This building was totally re-modelled to the very latest standards in 2013/2014 to accommodate pupils of both sexes. The Junior (Prep) Department is housed in Clarke House. This building was altered in 2014 to provide sufficient toilets for a future co-educational setting. A present multi-purpose room will be altered to provide a changing room for girls. The Senior School already has sufficient toilet and changing facilities for not only its current population of girls in the sixth form but also the projected number of girls lower down the Senior School from September 2024.

What will happen when my daughter enters year 7?

The Senior School will welcome girls in year 7 from September 2024. New girls to the School will join our co-educational Prep School cohort who are moving up and will receive the same induction process.

How will the boys benefit from Birkdale being co-educational?

Boys will continue to receive a great education and access to a wide range of opportunities but the introduction of girls to all areas of the School, not just the Sixth Form, will enable them to have a broader experience of more diverse relationships.

Will the School grow in size?

No, our total capacity will remain the same.

I have a daughter in a year group that you currently don’t offer girls places too – can she join Birkdale?

We are unable to offer a place in this year group now. We have a progressive plan for the introduction of girls within the school that has been authorised by the Department of Education.

If you have any further questions, please contact the school by calling 0114 266 8408 or emailing coed@birkdaleschool.org.uk. We would be delighted to speak to you at any time.