The Girls’ Schools Association, to which Heads of leading girls’ schools belong
The Girls’ Schools Association represents the heads of many of the top performing day and boarding schools in the UK independent schools sector and is a member of the Independent Schools Council.
The GSA encourages high standards of education for girls and promotes the benefits of being taught in a largely girls-only environment. GSA schools are internationally respected and have a global reputation for excellence. Their innovative practice and academic rigour attract pupils from around the world. As a whole, students at GSA schools tend to achieve disproportionately high results and are more likely to study and do well in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects than girls in other schools. A high percentage – 96% – progress to higher education.
Twenty first century girls’ schools come in many different shapes and sizes. Some cater for 100% girls, others provide a predominantly girls-only environment with boys in the nursery and/or sixth form. Some follow a diamond model, with equal numbers of boys but separate classrooms between the ages of 11 to 16. Educational provision across the Association offers a choice of day, boarding, weekly, and flexi-boarding education. Schools range in type from large urban schools of 1000 pupils to small rural schools of around 200. Many schools have junior and pre-prep departments, and can offer a complete education from 3/4 to 18. A significant proportion of schools also have religious affiliations. Heads of Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) schools are members of the GSA.
The Association aims to inform and influence national educational debate and is a powerful and well-respected voice within the educational establishment, advising and lobbying educational policy makers on core education issues as well as those relating to girls’ schools and the education of girls. The Association liaises with the Department for Education, the Office for Standards in Education, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and other bodies.
The GSA also provides its members and their staff with professional development courses, conferences, advice and opportunities to debate and share best practice, ensuring that they have every opportunity to remain fully up-to-date with all aspects of their profession.
As the GSA is one of the constituent bodies of the Independent Schools’ Council (ISC), its schools are required to undergo a regular cycle of inspections to ensure that these rigorous standards are being maintained. GSA schools must also belong to the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools, and Heads must be in membership of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).
The Association’s secretariat is based in Leicester.
President 2018: Gwen Byrom, Loughborough High School
President 2017: Charlotte Avery, St Mary’s Cambridge
Chief Executive: Vivienne Durham
You can search for girls' schools on this dedicated www.schoolsearch.co.uk page.