Cranbrook School
Coeducation at Cranbrook

Coeducation at Cranbrook

We are excited about our move to coeducation. While Cranbrook’s two Pre-Schools are already coeducational, we will welcome girls to the Senior School in 2026 for Year 7 and Year 11 and be fully coeducational by 2029.

Cranbrook has always been a progressive school and the transition to coeducation is a natural step for us, allowing us to keep pace with societal change, helping us to foster positive relationships and preparing students for life beyond the School gates. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum School, we want our students to leave school as citizens of the world—team players who relish the chance to work collaboratively, appreciating the differences and strengths of others.

Uniform Video

Wellbeing and Coeducation

Angelique Sanders was appointed to the new role of Director of Wellbeing in 2021. Cranbrook’s dedication and commitment to this role was demonstrated in the fact this position is both part of the Senior Leadership at the School and an Executive position, reporting into the Headmaster. 

Wellbeing covers every facet of Cranbrook School, from curriculum to sport, to co-curricular and pastoral, as well as forming part of its own dedicated stream. The age and stage appropriate Student Wellbeing Programme runs every fortnigh.t The programme allows students the opportunity to develop the social and emotion learning needed to demonstrate Cranbrook’s core values – Strive for excellence, Celebrate the Individual, Model and Expect Respect, Embrace Global Mindedness and Lead through Service.

Some of the issues explored in this programme include investigating what a respectful friendship looks like, how to limit and report bullying behaviour, how you can behave if you observe bullying,  risk taking behaviour, how to take positive rather than negative risks, strength and diversity, celebrating the individual, how to find your voice, how to stay true to yourself, leadership, choices and ethics, among others topics.   Years 10, 11 and 12 are involved in Tomorrow Man workshops twice a year. This programme started in 2021 as an acknowledgement that Cranbrook students needed to define and understand masculinity and its many facets. The programme is a highly engaging, relatable and immersive learning journey, training young men how to walk their own path, talk with gravity and engage actively with purpose, in all areas of their lives.

Through six modules, over two to three years, including a variety of preparation and integration tasks, Tomorrow Man provides students with the self-awareness and capability to realise their potential. Becoming a person they are proud of and having a positive impact on their relationships and the world. The programme looks at how the tide is changing for young men, debunks outdated stereotypes and gives students tools they require for a healthy life, suicide prevention, how to break down masculinity, showing up for your mates and calling out bad behaviour. Tomorrow Man offers an alternative to the stereotype of a typical man.

Feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive. They often stop teachers in the corridors to tell them how much they enjoyed the workshops. In Years 7 and 8, students participate in Elephant Ed workshops, which gives students the toolbox for how to deal with the online environment. It addresses language and labelling, for example, the workshops look at respectful relationships and the ramifications of harmful language. 

Year 8 students also attend presentations by Courage to Care, about the dangers of prejudice. This informs and educates Australians about the dangers of prejudice – transforming bystander behaviour to Upstander action. Courage to Care combats discrimination in all its forms by inspiring and empowering everyone to become an upstander and to take positive action.

Year 9 students participate in a relationships day, where we look at pornography versus reality. This is about educating young men about respectful relationships.  Year 7 students also participate in workshops run by Consent Labs. These workshops investigate consent foundations, what everyday consent looks like, learning your own boundaries and how to communicate them, roleplaying around what you could do if someone took your phone, or if someone gave you a hug you didn’t feel comfortable receiving etc.

After the findings from the 2021 Chanel Contos petition, Dr Victoria Rawlins from Sydney University conducted research focused on improving school culture around gender and sexuality. In 2022, Cranbrook surveyed the student body around school culture, gender, sexuality. From there, a team of student co-researchers and teacher co-researchers were developed, and the two teams then worked together to create an aspiration for the school and recommendations around how we could strengthen school culture.

Dr Rawlings says she has been really impressed by how the Cranbrook Headmaster has been so bold and supportive of this project.  Students presented this to the senior school executives, and the School is now in the process of working through 12 recommendations. A big part of the recommendations is to include more of the student voice, to make our school values more visible.

There will be a public symposium on the findings in coming months.

The School developed a team of student co-researchers and teacher co-researchers, and the two teams then worked together to create an aspiration for the School and recommendations around how we could strengthen school culture.

Dr Rawlings says she has been really impressed by how the Cranbrook Headmaster has been so bold and supportive of this project.  Students presented this to the Executive Team and we are now in the process of working through the 12 recommendations. A big part of the recommendations is to include more of the student voice, to make our school values more visible.  There will be a public symposium on the findings in coming months.

What’s the Cranbrook difference? Why should I send my daughter to study with you?

A Cranbrook education is rich, challenging and fulfilling. We celebrate intellectual versatility, academic hunger, curiosity, and creativity, not only in the classroom but through our extensive co-curricular programmes, including Music, Drama and Debating. The recent revitalisation of our Senior Campus means we offer facilities that provide the latest in teaching and learning, as well as outstanding performance spaces, sporting venues, space for spiritual reflection and a ‘dining commons’ that brings everyone together.

While we are an open entry school, our focus on the individual means we are known for our exceptional academic results. Our Year 7 girls will have the chance to be taught through the ‘lens’ of the IB, a systematic and innovative approach that makes real world connections and helps students ‘learn how to learn’, building valuable skills for the senior years. Our Year 11 girls will enjoy Cranbrook’s wide subject choice and have the option to study the HSC or the IB Diploma Programme. The initiatives we have developed in recent years, including the Year 11 and Year 12 College, the Cranbrook Academy and experiential Wolgan Valley campus, offer a rewarding co-curricular experience for all students. We are looking for students who will make the most of the varied opportunities which are on offer here and who will be prepared to work hard.

What is Cranbrook’s model to transition to coeducation?

In the Senior School, welcoming both Year 7 and Year 11 girls in 2026 means our younger girls will start school with visible female role models in the older years. By 2029 the school will have girls in every year of the Senior School. We are currently interviewing girls for places in 2026.

We will carefully manage our move to coeducation: with the addition of girls in the Senior School we anticipate the addition of two classes per cohort. The student population will increase gradually as girls are introduced to each year. A Development Application has been submitted to the Woollahra Municipal Council to increase the student enrolment cap at our Bellevue Hill campus from 1339 to 1600. The School will reach its anticipated size in 2031 when the first Year 7 cohort reaches Year 12.

How will girls be selected?

Girls will be selected through the same process as boys.  All applicants complete an online application, sit an educational assessment, and are invited to an interview, accompanied by their parents. We have had our first round of admissions interviews for Year 7, 2026 and these are ongoing, with some places already offered. We are preparing to commence interviews and subsequent offers at the end of 2024 for girls wishing to join Year 11 in 2026.

All Year 7, 2026 applicants and acceptors will be eligible to apply for an Academic or Music Scholarship. The Scholarships will be awarded on merit regardless of gender.

Given the initial ratios of girls to boys, what will you do to ensure the girls feel comfortable and included?

Cranbrook has been anticipating coeducation for a while. Our new facilities at Bellevue Hill have been designed to accommodate boys and girls in learning spaces and with sporting facilities, and we have a programme of works across the rest of the campus to ensure there are coeducational facilities across the School.

Our goal is that each class—whether it be a mentor group or academic class—will be composed of a minimum of 30% girls, with the aim to achieve a balanced gender ratio over time.

The House system is an important part of school life at Cranbrook, giving students a strong sense of belonging and continuity. Girls will be placed in either the same house as an older sibling or an Old Cranbrookian Association (OCA) relation. If the student is not tied to either, they will be placed within any of the day Houses. Cranbrook’s plan is to have all day Houses co-educational by 2028. 

There will be female leadership and representation for every Day House where there are girls within the cohort. Our intent is to have co-educational leadership throughout the School.

What changes have you made during the transition period?

We have a Coeducation Committee to manage and aid the school’s transition towards coeducation. We have designed our new uniform, made progress in expanding our curriculum, co-curricular, service and sporting offers and are developing leadership opportunities for girls. We are also adjusting our wellbeing programme.

While we already offer a very broad and expanding range of subjects—in 2023 we introduced Studies of Religion as an HSC subject and Business Management in the IB Diploma— we are reviewing our current curriculum to ensure it is inclusive and engaging for coeducation, particularly in areas such as English and the humanities.

Our STEM working group is considering how we can keep female students engaged with STEM subjects throughout the Senior years, especially if students are not undertaking the International Baccalaureate (which requires students to include a Science subject in their subject choice). For the Senior years we are considering adding the World Religions course for the IB Diploma as well as HSC Dance. In the younger years we are considering adding Food Technology from Year 9 to Year 12.  We see the advent of coeducation as an opportunity to enrich our curricular offering to young women and men.

From 2025 we will introduce Dance as a co-curricular offering and have already formed an ethics club which will compete in Ethics Olympiads. Our Cranbrook in the Field (CITF) programme will give girls many opportunities to participate in a range of service and leadership development activities.

Furthermore, we are introducing Touch Football as a summer sport and have applied to join the Independent Sporting Association (ISA): a school-based sport association that provides inter-school sports competitions on a home-and-away basis between member schools for both genders from Years 7 to 12.

What leadership opportunities will be on offer for girls?

This important area will continue to be developed in the coming years ahead of girls commencing in Year 2026. From 2027 Prefect positions will be open to girls, with the selection process including their Year 11 achievements at Cranbrook as well as their achievements at previous schools. There will be also female leadership representation for every House where there are girls in that cohort.

In relation to positions in our Student Representative Council (SRC) we currently have two SRC members from each House, and we will ensure that a representative proportion of these students is female.

Once the 2026 cohort is in Year 11 in 2030, everyone will be starting their leadership journey at the same time.

What are you doing about sport for both genders?

Cranbrook is a founding member of the Combined Associated Schools (CAS) competition and will continue to participate in all current CAS sports. We will replicate Barker’s move to coeducation: in sports that can be performed in a coeducational capacity we will do so, including Tennis, Volleyball, Cross Country, Athletics, and Cricket. We have also applied to join the Independent Sporting Association (ISA), a school-based sport association that provides inter-school sports competitions on a home-and-away basis between member schools for both genders from Years 7 to 12.

Basketball – Girls​Netball – Girls​
Touch football – Girls​Football (soccer) – Girls​
Rowing – Coed​Winter Tennis – Coed​
Tennis – Coed​Volleyball – Coed​
Sailing – Coed​Cross Country – Coed​
Swimming – Coed​Athletics – Coed​
Volleyball – Coed​Snowsports – Coed ​
Cricket – Coed​

How will you cater for the different learning styles of girls and boys?

At Cranbrook we believe all children have different learning styles and we teach to the individual rather than to the gender of a student. In preparation for coeducation, however, we have been running a number of professional development programmes for our teaching and coaching staff, including visits to coeducational schools around the country. Many of our staff have already taught in or graduated from coeducational schools.

How will you cater for transgender children, or those who do not identify with a gender?

Cranbrook is a supportive and accepting space for transgender students, with strong pastoral care and support available. Our new uniform will be gender neutral.

What are your plans for boarding?

While Cranbrook believes in full equity of opportunity, we are still exploring options to enable us to offer Boarding for girls at this stage due to space constraints. We are looking at options that may make it possible in the future as we are aware of interest from many families.

What are your plans for the Junior School?

There has been an in-principle decision to move to coeducation in the Junior School. The School Council will advise further details about this when they become available.

Your current Year 5 cohort will join girls in 2026. What are you doing to prepare the boys for the transition to coeducation?

Academic units of work have been reviewed to ensure we help our current students develop respectful attitudes to others and an appreciation of a wide range of perspectives.

We are exploring opportunities for our current students to engage with girls in a variety of contexts, including inter-school competitions, shared co-curricular activities and special events.

The first Cranbrook cohorts to welcome girls in Year 7 will have a programme of specially organised activities with the incoming girls during the final two years of their time in the Junior School. This will aim to build a sense of respect, cohesion and shared identity for the cohorts.

If you have any questions regarding coeducation at Cranbrook, please contact the Admissions team via +61 2 9327 9000 or email