Cranbrook School
Coeducation at Cranbrook

Coeducation at Cranbrook

Our move to coeducation

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.

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

Why is the School moving to become coeducational?

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  • Single-sex education emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries in a very different world to what we experience today.  The social roles and expected life pathways of men and women were much more narrowly defined and segregated. Traditional gender stereotypes were widely adopted, and the expectations of what men and women could achieve and the type of education they should therefore receive were very different.
  • These traditional notions of gender roles have changed dramatically over the last 50-60 years, with a broad integration of women into the workplace, and a much greater belief in equal opportunity and capability across the sexes.  Traditional boundaries in areas like sport are shifting, and there are now relatively few areas of society which do not encourage participation of both sexes.
  • In this context, it is not surprising that there is a growing move to coeducation, to creating an educational environment that mirrors the world we live and work in.  No single sex schools have been established in Sydney for 50 years, while a number of single sex schools have recently been adding co-educational learning environments.
  • On the global scale, most schools in the IB community are fully integrated, reflecting a broad, inclusive view of the world.

  • Most Cranbrook parents are in favour of a coeducational model of schooling.  Experience also shows us that children have different social and emotional needs.  Having a choice of learning experiences helps parents find the right environment for each child.
  • There are currently only a few choices available in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for parents who would like their children to experience the benefits of coeducation in a private school setting.
  • Practically, many parents would like to have all their children at the one school, to reduce the amount of travel time and the amount of administrative complexity in their lives.  Having children of both sexes attending the School also means that the whole family can benefit from the traditions, experiences and opportunities that Cranbrook has to offer.

  • Moving to coeducation creates a new set of opportunities to offer children a rounded education that can support their social development as much as their academic learning. 
  • However, no particular model of education is the magic bullet for a great school experience. The key to a successful education is not ultimately found in the gender mix of a school, but in other areas that are deeply grounded in the Cranbrook ethos such as a commitment to quality and innovation in teaching, and the belief that every child is an individual, with distinctive needs and capabilities.  The aspects that are core to the Cranbrook educational experience will remain our central focus, irrespective of the gender of our students.

Key benefits for our students

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  • Social Development: Coeducation provides a safe environment to develop social and communication skills.
  • Improved thinking skills: Students experience a more diverse set of perspectives and new ways to think about the world.
  • Reduced gender stereotypes: Stereotypes can flourish when social groups are kept in isolation. Coeducation, together with a focus on diversity and inclusion programmes, can be a strong antidote to this.
  • Holistic learning environment: Today education is about so much more than facts and content, it is about diverse people coming together to learn, push boundaries and build the skills to succeed in life. Coeducation will deliver this progressive and collaborative learning environment.
  • Preparation for the real world: People work, live and play in mixed gender environments. Coeducation during schooling simply equips young people to thrive in the real world.

How Cranbrook is preparing for this transition

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  • 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 the 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.
  • We are introducing Touch Football as a summer sport and have joined 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 coeducation at Cranbrook will look like

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  • The uniform will allow for inclusion and diversity. We will have a variety to choose from whether pants, skirts, shirts or shorts. Our students will be able to choose what fits them best.
  • The new uniform will be more sustainable, more easily cared for and will offer a modern take on the classic Cranbrook uniform.
  • Watch the Uniform Video

  • At Cranbrook we believe all children have different learning styles and we teach to the individual rather than to the gender of a student.
  • The curriculum is something we have focused on, looking at the range of subjects we teach and which ones to add. This is in the context that Cranbrook already has a very broad range of subjects it offers for the HSC as well as the IB Diploma Programme. This year for example we have added an accelerated Studies of Religion subject for the HSC, as well as Business Services in the IB offering too.
  • 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.

  • In 2025 we are adding Dance as an after school co-curricular offering for our current, and waitlisted students to participate in and we are also exploring adding this as a curriculum subject in the coming years as well.
  • Cranbrook is also working actively with girls’ schools, with fun activities like Touch Football competitions and Ceroc Dancing, as well as enriching the curriculum with speakers and co-learning opportunities.

  • 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.
  • It has been confirmed that Cranbrook’s female students will compete in Sydney’s Independent Sporting Association (ISA) competition. This opportunity allows Cranbrook’s future female athletes to showcase their talent and represent the school in various sports disciplines, including Netball, Basketball, Football, Touch football, Swimming, and Athletics. Cranbrook female athletes will also have the opportunity to compete in CAS and state-run sports such as Tennis, Volleyball, Snow Sports, AFL, Water Polo, Cricket, Rowing, Sailing and Cross Country.
  • Girls Sports; Basketball (summer), Touch Football (summer), Netball (winter) and Football / Soccer (winter).
  • Co-Ed Sports; Rowing, Tennis, Sailing, Swimming, Volleyball. Cricket, Winter Tennis, Volleyball, Cross Country, Athletics, Snowsports.

  • 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.
  • As we transition to a coeducational model, it is crucial for our school to continue to ensure that females are well-represented in leadership roles. This representation fosters an inclusive environment where both male and female students can see themselves reflected in positions of authority and influence. Cranbrook has an equal gender balance at different levels of management across the School, from Executive level, to our Senior Leadership Team and throughout middle leadership across all campuses.

Enrolment information

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  • Cranbrook School announced a new era in our School’s history with a move to coeducation in the Senior School. In 2026, girls will join the School in Year 7 and Year 11, giving them the opportunity to join Cranbrook’s innovative International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) and progress through to the IB Diploma Programme or the HSC.
  • The two entry points of Year 7 and Year 11 in 2026, will establish a coeducational leadership culture in the School, and provide visible role models for our younger girls.
  • Find out more about Enrolment

Frequently Asked Questions

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Many of Cranbrook’s teachers have considerable experience teaching in coeducational classrooms. It should also be noted that Cranbrook has been educating girls in our Pre-Schools for several generations. All students have different learning styles, different levels of maturity, and different areas of interest. Since its inception, Cranbrook has been committed to respecting difference and appreciating the individual. Regardless of gender, the role of every teacher is to understand and cater to each student, to enable them to fulfil their potential. In honouring the individuality of students, schools cater to the inherent diversity that exists in any classroom. In any class there will be children at many different points in their learning journey, with many different aptitudes and learning styles. Embracing this is part of the essence of great teaching. Our teaching staff are also in involved in an ongoing series of PD and working with schools like Barker, who have been through this already, to prepare them and equip them for this transition.

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

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 see boarding as an important component of the Cranbrook Senior School and as such, we are currently considering our options for a girls’ boarding house at Cranbrook.

Our Pre-Schools are already coeducational. Once plans are resolved for the introduction of girls into the Senior School, the Council will turn its attention to the investigation of the viability of coeducation in the Junior School. However the Council in principle supports the Junior School also moving to become coeducational.

  • While many girls coming into Cranbrook come from a co-educational setting, we are aware that many Cranbrook junior students are not familiar with this environment. The School has prepared a number of events and programmes for current boys now in Year 5 to help transition to coeducation, and build a sense of respect, cohesion and shared identity.
  • 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.

Gendered social pressures may exist in a mixed sex classroom but so do many other distractions. Teachers are trained and skilled to manage these situations. We believe that this potential distraction is best addressed at the stage of life when it naturally occurs for teenagers, we hope it will lead to better respect and mutual beneficially educational outcomes for both our boys and girls. Students need to learn how to operate in a mixed sex environment, School is the best place to learn these things, within the structure and support of expert educators.

  • 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.

  • 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 coeducational 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 coeducational leadership throughout the School.

  • 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.