St John's Beaumont
St John's Beaumont
St John's Beaumont

Co-education at St John's

2023 marks an exciting development in the long history of St John's Beaumont Preparatory School. After 135 years of educating young men and boys, St John's Beaumont will open places for girls in the Pre-Prep in September 2023, with the plan to extend into the Middle School in September 2024. 

St John's Beaumont has been planning a move towards co-education for sometime. The school has been receiving more and more enquiries about the possibility of entry for girls into the school, both from current and prospective families. As parents have increasingly busy lives, the prospect of co-education provides an appealing option, and a more efficient daily interaction with school.

Additionally, co-educational schools can improve the quality of education, accelerating the development of social skills, bringing a broader perspective to classroom discussions and enabling greater opportunities for children of both genders. 

We look forward to providing an excellent St John's education to both girls and boys from September.

Register your daughter

Read the letter from Fr Damien Howard 

Read the letter from our Headmaster 

What will be the benefits of a co-educational environment for the children?

According to academic research and experience of school that have become co-educational the benefits are:

  • Boys’ and girls’ development of social skills accelerates, and this benefits the quality of their relationships in teenage and adult life.
  • Broader perspectives are brought to classroom discussions deepening the learning and the understanding of different points of view.
  • Academic attainment is better or at least as good as in single gender schools.

Is it going to impact the boys’ education at this school?

Yes, and undoubtedly in a positive way. 

Their academic attainment will continue to improve with the recent launch of High Performance Learning (HPL). They will still be able to enjoy the current co-curricular activities as well as some new ones. And, anecdotally, teachers have observed that girls can positively influence boys’ personal organisation and behaviour, for example in the approach to revision.

Will the admissions process change?

No, we will welcome both boys and girls and they will be treated the same in the admissions process.  For example, there will be no quotas or discounts.

For more information please refer to our Admissions pages here

Register now!

How and when can I apply for a place for my daughter?

We are now taking applications for girls to commence in Pre-Prep in September 2023.  

Please call or email Mrs Grace McLean in the Admissions Office to discuss your daughter's application or arrange a visit to the school. 

Alternatively, you can register to attend an upcoming Open Morning below:

Book Now!


Will class sizes remain the same as before or become much larger with the admission of girls?

Class sizes will remain the same as now, i.e. with no more than 20 pupils in each class.

In Nursery, the ratio of staff to pupils is 1:8. 

What’s the uniform going to be like? Are there any changes to the dress code?

The current uniform is suitable for all children joining Pre-Prep in Nursery and Reception. For Year 1 and above, additional items will also be available; pinafore dress, summer dress and swimsuit. 

In the coming months, we will also work to develop additional items that pupils may require as they move into Middle School i.e. sports skort and additional items for PE and Games.

What extra-curricular activities will be added for girls? Will you offer hockey, netball, gymnastics, or dance?

We have plans for all these sports in the curriculum and the activities programme to be available to all pupils.

We will be recruiting a female PE teacher to the Sports Department during 2023/24.

Can my daughter continue past Pre-Prep/Year 2?

Yes, we will open Year 3 in 2024/25, Year 4 in 2025/26 and so on.

What are the target destination schools for my daughter and how good are your relationships with them?

We already have good relationships with the top co-educational senior schools.

We will develop new relationships with girls’ schools, many of which we already have contacts, e.g. Wycombe Abbey, Roedean, St Paul’s Girls, and Queen Anne’s Caversham.

What additional facilities/provisions will be made for girls?

Perhaps the most obvious change is that dedicated toilets and changing rooms will be created. First in the Pre-Prep building, swimming pool and the sports hall, and then in the main building ready for girls when they move into the Middle School from September 2024. 

We will develop our sports and performing arts facilities to enable a broader co-curricular offer, e.g. netball, hockey, gymnastics and dance. We will also provide the opportunity for girls to participate and enjoy all the existing sports, such as football, rugby, and cricket. 

Our playground areas will be reviewed to ensure that there is still room for very active play, e.g. football, as well as quieter interaction.

In the classrooms, we already have dedicated spaces for different activities in Pre-Prep, but we are refreshing and investing in the Nicholas Owen building so that it will be even more suitable for boys and girls.

Will staff undergo any additional training or professional development?

Most of our staff already have co-educational experience.  Dr Smith and Mr Barr, the incoming Headmaster, both have co-educational leadership experience. 

We will provide support and training from within the school for all staff so that we can ensure it is a truly co-educational experience for all pupils.

How will the school ensure that both girls and boys receive equal opportunities and treatment in all areas such as leadership/official roles, and extra-curricular and academic programmes?

One of the principles that will underpin our approach to co-education will be ‘everything for everyone’ so that we will always encourage all our pupils to try new sports and activities, as well as take on leadership roles.

Will there be any additional support or resources available to pupils who may require additional guidance or support during the transition to a co-educational environment?

Most of our staff have co-educational experience so are used to providing additional support when required.

In addition, we will appoint an experienced female member of staff to take cross-school responsibility to ensure our pastoral care (for boys and girls) evolves correctly as girls move up the school.

How will the school address potential issues or challenges that may arise during the transition period?

Good schools plan and prepare well but they know that issues and challenges will still arise and overcome and resolve them. St John's Beaumont has planned the move to co-education in detail.

The culture that Dr Smith has developed in his staff is to listen well, develop solutions and be responsible for making them happen. One of the reasons that Mr Barr was chosen as the new Headteacher was his track record of responsive and inclusive leadership.

How will the school maintain and promote a culture of respect and inclusivity?

Our PSHE curriculum already reflects gender in its teaching, but we are reviewing the content to ensure it fully reflects being a co-educational school. 

One of the principles that will underpin our approach to co-education will be ‘everything for everyone’ so that we will always endeavour to achieve full inclusivity.

Within the Jesuit Pupil Profile is respect for others, celebration of diversity and loving by your just actions and kind words.  We nurture and encourage these qualities in our pupils today and will do so in the future.

Do current policies and procedures adequately ensure the safety and well-being of all children, including guidelines for promoting inclusivity and respect towards all genders, as well as procedures for handling any incidents of harassment or discrimination?

Our safeguarding processes and the extensive training that our staff have undergone are fully appropriate for a co-educational school.

Will there be suitable female representation on the Governing Council and Senior Leadership Team?


Mrs Powell-Harper (Head of Pre-Prep) and Miss Murphy (Head of Maths/Head of Upper School) already lead two sections in the school and sit on the Senior Leadership Team. Miss Flynn (Year 4 teacher) was recently appointed Deputy Head of Middle School, to support Mr Snell with Years 3-5.

When Mrs Sue Mainwaring stepped down from the Governing Council recently for personal reasons, we commenced a search for new female govenors. We have a good field of candidates and will soon make appointments to the Governing Council. 

Why would I choose to send my daughter to St John’s over a more established co-ed school?

For same reasons that you would send your son: high academic achievement for all; entry to the most suitable senior school for each child; development of personal characteristics and qualities contained within the Jesuit Pupil Profile; as well as a shared educational experience for your sons and daughters.

Will my daughter be the only girl?

This is highly unlikely. We already have interest from staff members for their daughters, as well as recent unsolicited enquiries for families with boys and girls - both current families and those with no connection to the school (yet).

We have a well-targeted marketing programme planned for the next two months.

Will boarding be offered for girls?

We currently only plan to offer day places.

When we girls entering Year 5 and above, if there is considerable interest in boarding, the school will take a view on developing a new girls' boarding facility.

where next?





Nursery & Pre-prep

Nursery & Pre-prep

Middle School

Middle School



Upper School

Upper School