St Columba’s College in St Albans is to welcome female pupils in year seven from September 2022.
The independent Catholic day school for pupils aged 4–18 decided last year to move to co-education via a phased transition.
In the first phase, girls started in the reception class, and many more are due to join the school in years one, two and the lower sixth this September.
Headmaster David Buxton explained: “When we planned our move to full co-education throughout St Columba’s, we deliberately kept our rollout plans fluid and adaptable.
“On reviewing the very positive progress made to date and reflecting on the encouraging feedback we have received from staff, pupils, parents and prospective parents, we have decided to admit girls into year seven in September 2022.”
The girls will then progressively move up through the senior school, year on year.
At each phase of education, prep, senior and sixth, we nurture the key Columban qualities of courage, courtesy and compassion – David Buxton, St Columba’s College
The shift will make St Columba’s the only co-educational 4–18 independent school in St Albans.
In addition, St Columba’s is to open new sports, music and drama facilities. A newly refurbished sixth form centre is already set to open this September.
Buxton is confident that the school’s pastoral approach will support both girls and boys: “At each phase of education, prep, senior and sixth, we nurture the key Columban qualities of courage, courtesy and compassion. This creates fine young adults equipped with the resilience necessary for the world and workplace of tomorrow.”
Founded in 1939, St Columba’s has since 1955 been under the care of The Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a religious congregation based in Rhode Island, USA. It is the only UK school in The Brothers’ global community of schools in the US and The Philippines.
The school is now composed of some 800 pupils across the prep and senior schools, drawn from a wide area across North London, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, including a sixth form of 120 students.