FITZGABRIELS SCHOOLS

INTERNATIONAL COALITION OF GIRLS’ SCHOOLS – MEMBERS Z

INTERNATIONAL COALITION OF GIRLS’ SCHOOLS

The International Coalition of Girls’ Schools is the world’s leading membership association for girls-only educators. It’s membership boasts many of the most-famous schools from across the globe and it has become the premier voice for girls’ education and, alongside its brother organisation the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, it represents the outstanding voice advocating for single-sex education.


ABOUT

Girls-only education has proven to be extremely successful over the past century with single-sex schools often dominating academic league tables and university placement charts. The best girls-only schools have further seen demand for places increasing year on year as more and more families seek to take advantage of the specific opportunities that are presented by such schools, whether that be rigorous academic programmes or the wide athletic and extra-curricular offer available.

However, this was not always the case with a wider move away from single-gender schools in the late 1960s-1980s as various governments sought to modernise the delivery of education in a comprehensive, non-denominational manner. Many single-sex schools and, in particular, boarding schools had garnered a negative reputation due to their more traditional and, sometimes, aggressive approach. This saw many schools merging with others to become co-educational or closing entirely.

Proponents of girls-only education argue that such schools offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Girls’ schools have smaller class sizes, which allows for more individualised attention from teachers;
  • Girls’ schools often have more resources available to students, such as after-school programs, tutoring, and counselling;
  • Girls’ schools can provide a safe and supportive environment for girls to learn and grow;
  • Girls’ schools can help girls develop leadership skills and confidence; and
  • Girls’ schools can prepare girls for success in college and beyond.

A need to better make the case for and promote girls’ schools and to demonstrate that many such schools could, in fact, offer a better quality of education than many of their co-ed peers was identified. As such, leading lights in the field began to meet regularly to bring about a change in the conversation and establish a framework for girls-only education.

The International Coalition of Girls’ Schools traces its’ origins back to the late 1980s when these discussions were underway. At that time a number of heads of leading girls’s schools in the United States sought to harmonise the work and messaging of existing organisations, including the Coalition of Girls’ Boarding Schools and the Coalition of Girls’ Day Schools. In 1991 the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) was founded which quickly became the primary trade body for girls schools in North America. The coalition’s guiding principle being is to “elevate women’s leadership worldwide by educating and empowering our students to be ethical, globally minded changemakers.”

Membership is open to girls-only schools and those schools which offered a girls-only stream or a segregated schools model (or diamond model). As the NCGS, the majority of the coalition’s members were private (fee-paying / independent) schools.

The NCGS acted as a national lobbyist for the sector in the United States whilst also acting as a standards body offering accreditation to its’ members which included both day and boarding schools, progressive and faith-based institutions. The NCGS increasingly accepted international members and worked closely with the IBSC on matters affecting single-sex schools on a national and global stage.

The NCGS facilitated training for member schools and hosted regular conferences and events including a Global Forum in which girls schools from around the world were invited to participate. The success of the Global Forum inspired the NCGS to amend its scope and change its name, becoming the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS) in 2022.

Today, the ICGS continues it’s work advocating for girls-only education and lobbying legislators on behalf of members in various jurisdictions. It has expanded its membership significantly with over 500 schools in 21 countries. Recently, the coalition has welcomed a number of girls schools from the United Kingdom (in particular through a merger with the Association of State Girls’ Schools (ASGS) and the admission of the Girls’ Day School Trust – which is a founding member of the ICGS). Recently, the ICGS has welcomed a number of Australian members following a merger with the Alliance of Girls’ Schools in Australia (AGSA). The ICGS admits both private and public (State) schools to its membership. The ICGS also continues to offer training to faculty and leadership of girls’ schools and conducts significant research on behalf of the sector. The association’s secretariat also supports its member schools with strategic executive management, recruitment and marketing. The Coalition also provides various community services including research on the outcomes of girls’ schools, advocacy outreach, professional development opportunities (example: international conferences and regional symposiums) and networking events for educators to connect and collaborate.

The International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS) is incorporated as a non-profit membership association and counts amongst its membership a broad range of schools serving early years and pre-school through to senior secondary high school grades. These include fee-paying independent schools, state-supported and public schools, magnet and charter schools, and religiously-affiliated schools. These schools represent a wide range of educational pedagogies, approaches and philosophies, but are united by their commitment to providing girls with a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college, career, and life.

As with many of these organisations, membership is vested in the heads of the relevant school and, as such, membership varies with changes in leadership. The schools listed below are known to be recent members of the ICGS or its predecessor organisation, the NCGS.

If you are considering sending your daughter to a girls’ school the schools included here are amongst the best in the world and are accredited and approved schools. The ICGS can provide you with more information and resources to help with your decision-making. Please get in touch with your preferred school or with the ICGS for the latest information and further details.


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