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Celebration of Co-education

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF CO-EDUCATION AT CANFORD

To celebrate 50 years of co-education at Canford we are hosting a series of events throughout the year. Below are details of two major events which are taking place, in addition to these there will be a number of smaller celebrations which will be advertised on our events booking page.

Running alongside celebrations for OCs, Canford staff and pupils will be reflecting on how the introduction of co-education has enriched the school. Follow our social media where we will be posting memories and photos from the past 50 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE SEND US YOUR MEMORIES OF CO-EDUCATION AT CANFORD

We would love to receive your memories and photographs from your experience of co-education at Canford.

EMAIL THE CANFORD DEVELOPMENT TEAM

The simple cover of the 1970 Canfordian had deep significance. It marked the introduction, albeit tentative at first, of girls into the Sixth Form: four intrepid trailblazers had started at Canford the previous September.

I was at Canford when girls were 'introduced'. It felt like some sort of social experiment and not everyone was happy. But the governors knew they had to move with the times, tentatively. We boys were as nervous as snakes watching a mongoose!' F71

This was the start of co-education at Canford. Far from being tearful lasses these girls were delightfully strong young women who set the bar for future years.FORMER MARRIOTTS HOUSEMISTRESS

50 YEARS OF CO-EDUCATION TIMELINE

1933

The first women (usually staff wives) acted in school plays. Pictured below is Rose Canning performing in 'The Rivals'.

1938

The first young girl Nancy Grinnell (ten year old sister of a pupil) acted in school play 'The Moon in Yellow River.

 

1940-42

Marianne Rooth, the bursar’s daughter, attended 6th form lessons and performed in plays and musicals. She went to Oxford University and then had a successful medical career. She was the first medical doctor (of either sex) to be trained at the London School of Homeopathy.  

1945-49

Miss Todd (art), Miss Duder (music), Mrs Jeanes (maths) joined the staff but weren’t allowed in the staff room. They didn’t appear in Whole School Photos until 1948.

 

1969

Start of official co-education. Five girls joined the 6th form. The intention was to offer a few girls the teaching they could not get elsewhere. There were no plans to become fully co-educational. Indeed, in a letter to a parent, the HM said that ‘full-blooded 50% co-education would, of course, raise all sorts of problems’.

1971

A Governing Body minute confirmed that there were no plans to become fully co-educational although the limit of eight girls was likely to be exceeded once more accommodation could be found.

Elizabeth Frewer became the first female School Prefect with Jane Raymond following her the next year. However, there were no more until Tania Horner and Jacqui Trenchard were appointed in 1975.


1974

After about a twenty-five year break, women (mainly staff wives) joined the teaching staff. The number of female teachers remained small for several years but of the names on the latest School Roll, virtually 50% are women. After about a twenty-five year break, women (mainly staff wives) joined the teaching staff. The number of female teachers remained small for several years but of the names on the latest School Roll, virtually 50% are women.

 

1977

Oakley House, half a mile from the school, was bought for L6th girls who were taken ‘home’ every evening in a minibus. U6th girls continued to live with staff.

 

1981

The total number of girls reached 50 which represented nearly 25% of the Sixth Form and 10% of the whole school. Seven girls won places at Oxbridge.


1992

Marriotts was opened as the first girls’ boarding House. Girls stopped living in Oakley or with staff.

 

1993

The School Roll listed boys’ first names. Until then, the boys had only initials even though the girls’ first names had been given since 1969.

1994

Natalie Collison was the first (and only) girl to be Head of School before there was a joint Head Girl and Head Boy

1995

First Shell girls (24) arrived. First woman on the Senior Leadership Team (Eleonore Byde as Senior Mistress).

A number of activities (such as Terriers) were re-designed so that boys and girls could participate as equals.

1996

Beaufort opened as the second girls’ House.

 

1997

Andrea Davis first Head of House in a mixed Day house (Salisbury).

Girls started sailing in the first team. Aline Kuhl (1999) was the first girl to captain the team, but at least three others have done so since in what is (with the possible exception of golf) the only truly co-educational sport.


2002

De Lacy opens as the third girls’ House.

2003

Emma Hattersley becomes the first woman to be Housemistress of a mixed House (Wimborne); Laura Linley-Adams became the second in 2017 (Salisbury).

Theme Week was entitled ‘Women’s Week’ with guest speakers and events celebrating women, but also questioning the need for a Women’s Week and whether progress in equality between the sexes was fast enough.

2005

Julia Toynton became first girl to pass the test for the Royal Marines. She headed the RM the following year.

 

2009-2011

Kathryn Hanna coxed the Boys’ 1st VIII .

2010

Girls starting playing in boys’ cricket teams. Girls have since played for the 2nd XI.

 

2013

Emma Howard-Allen first girl to be Head of the CCF (Parade Marshall). Girls have since been Head of all sections of the CCF (and overall again in 2018). Perhaps that is why the first woman to graduate from Sandhurst in an Infantry Regiment is an OC!

2014-17

Rachel Naylor and Charlotte Heeps were the first girls to play in the 1st VI golf team.