Our Lady’s Convent School, the independent Catholic day school based in Loughborough, East Midlands, has announced a move to embrace full co-education status, in conjunction with a rebrand to become Loughborough Amherst School.
The School, which has been part of the Loughborough Endowed Schools Foundation since September 2015, has historically provided places to girls aged 4-18 and boys aged 4-11. From September 2019, boys will be able to carry on their education at Loughborough Amherst School up to and including A Levels.
The new vision for the School’s future means that for the first time, parents and students from across the region will have the broadest choice possible between co-ed or single sex, across both Preparatory and Senior school – all on one campus of the Loughborough Endowed Schools family of four schools plus a Nursery.
The changes will enable better choice for students picking their GCSE and A Level subjects, and significant investment is being made to improve and extend the facilities at Loughborough Amherst School.
Dr Julian Murphy, Headmaster, explained the rationale behind the decision:
“We have over 150 years of history in providing excellent education to girls, and, given recent improvements in our academic reputation and local profile, we now believe that the time is right to extend this opportunity to boys. Most importantly, our School allows all pupils to enjoy their education, explore opportunities, learn in a safe and supportive environment, and achieve their personal best.”
“We are proud of the encouraging, family feel we provide in our close-knit community, and this will, of course, remain central to the School’s ethos. Our class sizes will stay the same, and opportunities, such as extra-curricular activity options, will broaden and increase.
“Boys are already in co-educational classes at our Prep School but currently move to an alternative Senior School at the end of Year 6. These changes will mean that boys will not have to leave a school where they are settled and happy, and we look forward to welcoming new pupils too.”
The decision has been made following lengthy consultation between the Head, Senior Leadership Team, Governors, and Sisters of Providence – all of whom are fully supportive of the move to co-educational status.
Peter Fothergill, Chairman of Loughborough Endowed Schools Board of Governors, added:
“This move does not undermine our belief in single-sex education at Loughborough Grammar School or Loughborough High School; however, a new coeducational offer provides our parents with a choice across the Foundation to select the School that delivers the best style of education for their child.”
Sister Celine, from the Sisters of Providence, said:
“We are a Catholic School. We welcome everyone and we respect everyone for who they are – this has always been our mission. With this new fully co-educational status, we will continue to work closely together to ensure our pupils and students grow into clever, kind and brave young people.
“For our School to aspire to this, we realise the contribution that both boys and girls make in the world, finding strength in diversity and showing leadership in adapting to change.
“We have always said in the Prep School that we wish to provide excellence in education for boys and girls – not as a girls’ school that takes boys as well, and this commitment can continue now throughout the education of both girls and boys.”
For more information about the vision for the future, please visit www.endowedschools.org