Independent Sheffield school Birkdale is opening its doors to girls, throughout all years groups, for the first time in 115 years.
The school, established in 1904 and based on Oakholme Road, Broomhill will begin the process of becoming Co-Educational with girls joining their Prep School in September 2020.
Peter Harris, Headmaster of Birkdale School said: “Girls are part of your family and they are apart of ours.
“In 1995 we welcomed girls into our sixth forms, and now we have decided they should be part of our entire family.
“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.”
The school is currently an all-boys school with girls in their sixth form years, which was introduced 24 years ago.
A new uniform has been designed to accompany the new start in September 2020 as their crest of a wyvern has been added back onto the uniform’s blazer for all year groups for the first time in 20 years.
Katherine Hutchins, Head of Marketing for Birkdale said: “We have previously stuck with our traditional position, but now we think the time is right, we’ve had people telling us that it’s what they want and through market research with parents it’s clear there is definitely a high need.
“Everything has pointed to the fact we should go co-ed now.”
The Girls joining the school will be given the same opportunities as current pupils and gain the chance to learn sports such as rugby and cricket.
The boys shall also have the chance to learn new skills such as netball, hockey and dance.
Mrs Hutchins added: “We are doing extremely well in the independent sector but the market is predicted to decline so we are hoping to keep the status quo in terms of numbers.
“As a parent, having a co-educational school would have provided me with a one stop shop in terms of an academic independent education in Sheffield. I think we are really filling a gap in the marketplace and Birkdale are really offering something unique for Sheffield.
“People now think it’s a bit odd to educate their boys separately, we want to be a family school who are very normal and accessible.
“This is just the natural order of things and I think people understand that. It really is a very exciting time for us and we are extremely positive.”
In 12 months’ time girls will be joining the school at Pre-Prep, with the first co-educational year group reaching Senior School in September 2024.
Parents who have queries or concerns regarding the change or admissions are urged to get in contact via the email for immediate responses firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.