Going Fully Co-Educational – Shiplake College

13 May 2021

Shiplake College independent day and boarding school OxfordshireWe are excited to announce that Shiplake College will welcome girls into Year 7 from September 2023, with the vision and aim to be a fully co-educational day and boarding school by 2027.

The school has been considering moving to full co-education for some time and the decision was signed off by the governing body at the most recent board meeting in March.

Shiplake is already a co-educational school as, through the Sixth Form, girls have been a part of the school community since 1998. Over the last few years research has been conducted and market data analysed. Consequently the College believes there is a strong desire for a ‘Shiplake for girls’, as well as for boys. Being inclusive is one of the school’s three core values and by offering both girls and boys an education from age 11 to 18 the college is able to live this value even more authentically.

The Headmaster, Mr Tyrone Howe, commented: “I believe that this is an exceptionally exciting prospect and a natural way forward. A fully co-educational boarding and day environment will develop the complete person, creating equality and promoting mutual respect and understanding. Girls and boys will develop both pastorally and academically when learning and socialising side by side, and these relationships will lead to a better understanding of each other’s different perspectives and emotional responses. We will be equipping young people with the skills to thrive within the fast-changing, complex and modern world both during their school years and, even more importantly, beyond.

“It is the people who make a Shiplake education so special. Our teachers are strong role models and accomplished educators and already have experience of educating girls in our Sixth Form. Indeed many of them have prior experience of teaching in girls’ only or co-educational schools. We shared our decision with staff at the beginning of the Easter holidays and this was met by a universally positive and enthusiastic response. Together we are looking forward to planning for our first cohort of Year 7 girls in September 2023 and giving them the most positive and enjoyable Shiplake education.”

The College’s Year 7 intake has been increasing in recent years and the school will therefore be investing in larger facilities for the Year 7 and 8 house, with refurbishments in other areas of the school. Over time the school will increase the numbers of pupils at the College, whilst retaining its small school ethos and class sizes.

The ethos of Shiplake College will remain the same. Shiplake pupils will continue to flourish and succeed because of the overall environment created at the school and with increased scale comes opportunity for girls and boys to benefit from the further breadth offered. Academic tuition will be co-educational and the already vast array of co-curricular activities will be expanded and open to all.

Mr Howe added: “Our vision is to establish Shiplake College as one of the leading co-educational schools in the country which is transformational for all its pupils and offers a school experience that is based on emotional security, mutual respect and positive relationships.”

Over the next two academic years, there will be a smooth and orderly transition to full co-education. The Shiplake Community will be kept up to date with the College’s plans through the normal communication channels and here on the website over the coming months and years.