Building on the success of our co-educational Junior School and Sixth Form partnership with The Ladies’ College, we are moving to full co-education from the age of 11, and welcomed girls into Year 7 and Year 12 in September 2021.

The world of work is changing profoundly and at great speed. We believe the best preparation for a rewarding and fulfilling life in this exciting future is a first class education for boys and girls learning together as partners and equals – just as they will work together as adults to take on opportunities and tackle challenges.

The Elizabeth College Co-Education Prospectus is available on our Prospectus page and sets out our plans as the School moves to full co-education.


In September 2021 Elizabeth College was delighted to welcome girls into Year 7 for the first time. The school will have girls in each year group by 2025. Understandably, this is a proud moment in the school’s history.

A fiercely independent, educated, determined and shrewd monarch Elizabeth I would have been in awe of the opportunities available to students, irrespective of gender, at College today.

To celebrate this milestone in the school's history we welcomed to school our iconic foundress, Elizabeth I, read more here.


We hope that our FAQ section below answers any queries you may have, but please contact us if you would like any further information:

They are already here! Co-education has been part of the history of Elizabeth College for some time. Our Pre-School has always had a co-educational intake, ECJS Acorn House welcomed girls in September 2000 and ECJS Beechwood started to see girls joining the boys in 2008.

Over many years, girls have joined us at Elizabeth College to study subjects which were not available to them at other schools. September 1992 marked the first group of girls to join the Elizabeth College community as full-time pupils in the Sixth Form, following the closure of Blanchelande College on the St Martin’s site, and this continued for three successive years. Established in 1999, our partnership with The Ladies’ College has enabled a co-educational experience for our Sixth Form.

Girls will be able to join Year 7 and Year 12 in September 2021. From September 2025 we anticipate that there will be girls in every year group.

We have the time to ensure a smooth transition to full co-education and our Senior Leadership Team and Co-ed Committee are developing detailed plans with this focus as a priority. Daily life at the school will continue uninterrupted for pupils during the gradual transition.

Pupils currently in Year 10 will be joined by girls as they make the transition to our already co-educational Sixth Form in September 2021.  At the same time, pupils entering Elizabeth College in Year 7 will be both boys and girls.

Upper School pupils and those registered to start in September 2020 will see no change to the education they have chosen; those year groups will remain single sex up until they join the Sixth Form.

The Elizabeth College uniform list will be extended to include options for girls.

There are no changes to the registration process.

No – this is about the educational experience of our pupils. Our registration numbers are strong and there is a healthy demand for the quality and style of education that we deliver.

The world is not single-sex and mixing boys and girls together at school allows them to develop an understanding of different perspectives and breaks down stereotypes. There are also multiple academic benefits to be had for both sexes in working together in a unified environment. National and international trends favour co-education. Since 1990, the number of UK single sex Independent Schools has roughly halved with boys’ schools now making up only 8%.

The meta-analysis undertaken for HMC by Smithers and Robinson (Carmichael Press, 2006) on the ‘Academic Impact of Co-educational and Single Sex Schools’ notes that ‘separating the sexes is not a recipe for raising educational performance’. This report is not alone, with many educational thinkers recognising the benefits of the co-educational classroom: the opportunities for collaboration, the confidence and empathy pupils develop through more diverse interactions, the broad range of debate and dialogue facilitated in the classroom and the rich atmosphere of supportive challenge which enables all learners to achieve greater success. The Smithers and Robinson report also recognises that the most important ingredients for academic success in any school are the School’s ‘ethos, leadership, teacher quality, spend per pupil, class size and the curriculum’. We believe that the ethos of Elizabeth College will be enhanced by the introduction of girls.

All classrooms, teaching facilities and resources will be reviewed to ensure they cater as well for girls as they do for boys. The College already has female toilets and female changing rooms with additional facilities planned into the development of Perrot Court. A committee has been established to create a clear action plan for the transition to co-education.

We are aiming for a cohort that is large enough to create a healthy social mix and extra-curricular opportunities for the girls. Early indications are that girls will make-up at least 20% of new students in Year 7 in 2021.

Elizabeth College is not currently full; our numbers are healthy and consistent with historic averages but we do have spaces in all years except our current Year 8. There is no immediate plan to increase the capacity of the school. Over time we expect that the proportion of girls within each year will increase and if this leads to more registrants than places, and a higher demand is seen as likely to continue over time, then College will consider increasing capacity to keep pace with that demand.


The same thing that sets an Elizabeth College education apart – a focus on equipping all our pupils to make a positive and purposeful contribution to society with the creativity and independence to forge their own paths and pursue their goals and dreams.

We have seen first-hand the benefits of co-education and want to extend those social, cultural and academic advantages to the whole community of the College.  The educational approach of Elizabeth College has stood the test of time; our pupils thrive through our commitment to care, independent learning, pupil leadership, and both academic and extra-curricular challenge and breadth.

We will be able to offer the same excellent opportunities to boys and girls as they progress through their education further enhancing the vibrant community that is Elizabeth College.  Brothers and sisters will be able to enjoy the values and ethos of the same school.

We are proud of the consistently high standards of academic achievement that boys and girls demonstrate across the College and particularly at (I)GCSE and A Level.  We believe that this environment will be strengthened further by the inclusion of girls in all year groups.

Healthy competition across a wide range of subjects in the Upper School will add to the academic environment and encourage greater achievement.  It will enable an even better balance of discussion in lessons and help to break down barriers of gender stereotypes. The aim has always been, and will continue to be, to enable pupils to achieve their academic potential, to secure places at their first-choice universities and/or to be well prepared for the world of work.

We shall continue to monitor carefully the size of classes, which varies by subject and year group.

Elizabeth College will be a co-educational school.  All subjects and activities will be offered to boys and girls equally and take up of each subject will be a matter of guided choice, where appropriate.  Boys and girls will be taught together.  Our curriculum evolves to offer new subjects as they become valuable and relevant in the changing world, but there will not be subjects that are only open to boys or girls.

We regularly review our curriculum provision to ensure that it is always appropriately engaging and stimulating for all our pupils.


We are proud of the breadth of our extra-curricular offer and aim to provide an equality of experience for the girls joining the College.

All extra-curricular activities will be open to all pupils and the offer is expected to broaden further with the arrival of girls at Elizabeth College. We currently offer over 90 activities and sports, 20 of which have been introduced this year as part of our Year 7 & 8 Friday afternoon activities.

We run over 60 off-island trips per year which encompass sports tours, cultural visits, CCF annual camps, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, choral trip to St Malo and many others.

Successive inspections have recognised pastoral care as a strength of the College.  Every individual pupil is valued and supported as a member of the Elizabeth College community.  When they join the Upper School, the younger girls will benefit from male and female role models to look up to, and pastoral staff to talk to – just as the boys in Elizabeth College and the boys and girls at ECJS have currently.  We have many members of staff who are already experienced in working within the co-ed environment across the age-range and all staff are passionate about providing the necessary levels of support and care to ensure that boys and girls flourish.

Our staff have the expertise to support the mental health and wellbeing of all pupils including an experienced Head of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing, a School Counsellor, School Chaplain, Heads of Year and Tutor teams and an experienced Head of Learning Support.  We have also developed strong links with outside agencies which offer advice to parents and teachers whilst supporting pupils, should the necessity arise.  We take great care over our pupils as they transition from primary into secondary education and this will continue and be further enhanced to support our first girls joining Years 7 & 12.

We devote curriculum time in every year group throughout the Upper School to Wellbeing lessons which prepare all pupils to meet the demands of 21st Century life and we are fortunate that the delivery of this course is supported by many outside agencies as well as the expertise of our own staff.

The Principal, Jenny Palmer, will be happy to answer further questions you may have regarding the changes.


Tel: (01481) 726544