As we look forward to welcoming boys and girls into both the Under School and Specialists years at Charterhouse in September, we are delighted to provide an update on our progression to full coeducation.
Since the announcement of our plans, demand for boys’ places has continued to grow, and demand for girls' places has surged beyond initial expectations. This September, as well as further growth in numbers of girls in the Specialist years (Year 12 and Year 13), we will see the arrival of 60 girls in the Fourth Form (Year 9) and nearly 30 in the Remove (Year 10). Charterhouse will therefore have both boys and girls in every year group in September 2022, a year earlier than anticipated, and record pupil numbers overall.
Having welcomed girls into the Specialists for fifty years, the growing excitement about the benefits that full coeducation will bring is palpable. The mindset for a rewarding and fulfilling life is best developed by boys and girls learning together as partners and equals, just as they will work together as adults to take on the opportunities and challenges of an uncertain world.
This additional demand offers the opportunity to move towards a full and balanced co-ed model earlier than first envisaged. It also means that more accommodation for girls at Charterhouse will be needed, sooner than planned, and we have therefore announced today the phased conversion of two current boys' boarding Houses into girls' Houses. This will see both Weekites (starting in September 2021) and Girdlestoneites (starting in September 2022) operating as coeducational Houses before becoming girls-only from September 2025 and 2026 respectively.
Our detailed plans mean that both Houses will remain full and vibrant throughout the process, and will have an appropriate balance of boys and girls from the start, with girls joining in three year-groups at once. Each existing year group of Weekites and Girdlestoneites will remain in their current House, with all of their established friendships and familiarity, for the rest of their time at Charterhouse.
Weekites and Girdlestoneites have been chosen because their physical layouts make them suitable, with some modest structural alterations, for the provision of separate boys’ and girls’ accommodation, as well as shared facilities, during the phased transition.
This will result in there being six girls’ only Houses across the School campus by 2026, out of a total of 15, enabling us to accommodate a 60:40 mix between boys and girls, an appropriate balance that reflects the national demand for senior boarding education.
Dr Alex Peterken, Headmaster of Charterhouse, said:
“The strong demand, from both boys and girls, is hugely encouraging in what it says about the attractions of coeducation at Charterhouse, and in that it allows us to move towards a full and balanced co-ed model even earlier than we had anticipated.
“Both Weekites and Girdlestoneites have great traditions within the Charterhouse story for well over a century and, just as they have contributed to our history, they will now be playing a central part in this major and very exciting strategic step forward for the School.
“We can’t wait to welcome all our new pupils - girls and boys - into the coeducational Charterhouse community in September and in the years beyond.”