As well as being a part of a family of exceptional schools, Shrewsbury High School is also part of a movement in girls’ education and so it was incredibly exciting this year to see that movement go global with Shrewsbury High and her 24 Sister schools becoming founding members of the International Coalition of Girls Schools (ICGS).

The International Coalition of Girls’ Schools is the leading advocate for girls’ education worldwide.

In June 2022 I headed out to Boston, Massachusetts with two of our brilliant teachers to join in the Global Forum on Girls Education.   It was at this conference that our relationship with the ICGS was cemented.  Shrewsbury High had been invited to share our expertise and experiences and it was thrilling to be amongst fellow professionals and advocates of girls from across the globe.   I addressed the conference on the power of our all girl all through model, with particular focus on our recent journey to bring the juniors back to our Town Walls campus and so recover the tremendous benefits of being a community of big and little sisters on one super site.

Our Shrewsbury High teachers, Jo Orgill (Subject Coordinator, French )and Carla Tonks (Head of Religion, Philosophy, Ethics and PSHE) attended the Conference as part of the Global Action Research Collaborative (GARC), a group committed to action research.   We have worked closely with the ICGS via the Global Action Research Collaborative (GARC)  programme for a number of years.  Encouraged by our Innovation and Learning Team at Trust Office, 17 of our teachers have taken part in the GARC programme since 2021.  GARC engages girls’ school educators from around the world in informed, collaborative, and disciplined, action research building powerful networks and an extensive library of relevant research into how girls best learn.  What I most enjoyed about the global forum was being amongst these brilliant teachers of the GDST,  each of them dedicated, gifted practitioners bringing their collective might to bear on what the girls of the 21 century need from their education in order to grow into happy, healthy and confident girls

The GDST are building a team of research champions across our 25 schools, who are informing best practice and bringing into our classrooms the most up to date understanding of how girls best learn and thrive.  It is hugely powerful, and we can already see the results of this cutting edge pedagogy.

At Shrewsbury High Mrs Orgill and Mrs Tonks are having a powerful impact, putting the findings of their research into practice across the school and engaging the girls directly in meaningful conversation about how they best learn.  Our new Teaching and Learning Lead, Madame Irvine is working closely with our research champions and our common room is alive with interesting conversations about best practice and cutting edge teaching techniques.

As pioneers in, and shapers of girls-only education, the partnership with the ICGS is the natural next step for the GDST and our family of schools as we hold firm to our mission of reaching as many girls as possible.  For Shrewsbury High partnership with the ICGS is about connecting and collaborating with fellow professionals and advocating for girls everywhere.  Such an international partnership brings significant benefits for our girls and staff, both present and future.  In our connected world we need to be working in a connected way to ensure a global approach to empowering the next generation of ethically, globally minded change makers.    At individual school level being part of an international association is truly exciting.  All of our staff gain access to the brilliant professional development, networking and advocacy opportunities that come with membership of a global organisation.  We are particularly excited at the possibility of working with the 50+ state girls’ schools within the UK who are members of the ICGS and with the ICGS likely to include over 500 schools in 18 different countries by 2024 the opportunities are boundless.

Our girls and staff were already part of a national network of excellence and opportunity, that they are now part of a global one, committed to empowering the world’s girls makes for a very bright future indeed.

You can watch a video about the Global Forum and the GDST’s experiences there:




Whole School OPEN DAY
Thursday 9th March 

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