GIRLS’ SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION
The Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) is an association of the headteachers of independent girls’ schools with membership drawn predominantly from schools in the United Kingdom. The organisation was established in 1974 replacing the Association of Headmistresses of Girls’ Schools which had acted as a sister body to the Headmaster’s Conference (historically catering for boys schools only). The GSA schools include some of the best-known and most academically successful schools in the country.
The Girls Schools Association was established in 1875 as the Association of Headmistresses of Girls’ Schools in order to advance the interests of providers of education to young women, at the time often overlooked in the educational reforms taking place during the Victorian era. The GSA predates the Headmasters Conference which was established to protect and advance the interests of Britain’s public schools (private schools in the UK being commonly known as public schools as they are open to pupils from all over as opposed to pupils taken from the immediate vicinity or from a specific community only).
As the leading voice for independent girls’ schools in the UK, The GSA has typically been the preferred association for the top tier girls’s schools in the United Kingdom and further afield. Traditionally, the heads of elite girls’ schools equivalent to public schools, would join the GSA whilst the heads of boys or mixed schools of a similar ethos and or would join the HMC. Though HMC has since widened its membership criteria with some schools now being members of both associations. Unlike the HMC, the GSA is also open to primary level schools that educate girls (preparatory schools typically). Membership is also open to schools that operate separate or segregated boys and girls schools or diamond model structures. Nearly all of the GSA’s members are in the private education sector except those that are managed by the Girls’ Day Schools Trust (which isa member of the GSA as an organisation and, subsequently, all of GDST schools are GSA members too). The state-sector equivalent is the Association of State Girls’ Schools.
The notion of the English Public School tradition remains poorly defined but is commonly accepted as including the member schools of the HMC and, following the 1944 Fleming Report, the GSA. These associations are the senior associations that exist for secondary level schools in the independent sector in the United Kingdom.
The GSA focuses primarily on the United Kingdom and matters of concern within the UK, however international members are included and many of the GSA schools have an international presence. The association works closely with corresponding counterpart associations, particularly the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools in the United States (albeit with an increasingly international membership) and the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia and the Association of Heads of Independent Girls’ Schools.
The GSA is one of the constituent associations of the Independent Schools Council meaning that all members of the GSA are also members of the ISC and are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (so-called “association schools” as opposed to “non-association schools”).
Membership is afforded to applicant head teachers as opposed to the schools themselves and so official membership status may change as heads move or memberships lapse. Furthermore, many current members are moving to fully co-educational and so will likely withdraw membership in the coming years. As such, membership varies but has included the schools below. Check with the GSA for details of current membership.
MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES
SELECT THE FIRST LETTER OF THE SCHOOL NAME BELOW OR CHOOSE LIST VIEW FOR A SIMPLE LIST OF ALL LISTED SCHOOLS. ALTERNATIVELY, YOU CAN SELECT SCHOOLS USING THE MAP BELOW.
EDGBASTON HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS / EHS
WESTBOURNE ROAD, EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS B15 3TS, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
NURSERY, PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL
PRE-PREPARATORY AND PREPARATORY SCHOOL
108 NEW WALK
LEICESTERSHIRE LE1 7EA