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Girls' Day School Trust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Girls' Day School Trust
Girls' Day School Trust logo 2018.svg
TypeNon-governmental organisation
PurposeEducational accreditation
HeadquartersLondon, SW1
Region served
England and Wales
Chief Executive
Cheryl Giovannoni

The Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) is a group of 25 independent schools – 23 schools and two academies – in England and Wales, catering for girls aged 3 to 18. It is the largest group of independent schools in the UK, and educates 20,000 girls each year.[1] It was formed in 1872 to provide affordable day-school (non-boarding) education for girls as The Girls' Public Day School Company (1872–1905), then The Girls' Public Day School Trust (1906–1998).

The GDST is a registered charity. In 2016–17 it had a gross income of £261 million,[2] making it one of the 20 largest charities in the UK.[3]



The origins of the GDST can be traced back to the Schools Enquiry Commission set up in 1864 to survey the field of male and female secondary schools, which concluded that there was a "general deficiency" in the provision of secondary education for girls.[4]

The challenge to provide education for girls aged over ten was tackled by Maria Grey and her sister Emily Shirreff, who had previously published Thoughts on Self Culture, which pointed out the shortage of education for women in England.[5] In November 1871 the sisters launched the "National Union for improvement of the Education of Women of All Classes", later the Women's Education Union.[6][7] The Union aimed to establish good and cheap day schools for all classes of girls above the level of elementary education and was the leading force behind the formation of the Teachers’ Training and Registration Society and the Girls' Public Day School Company.[8] The Union was supported by many major figures of the time, notably Henrietta Stanley, Baroness Stanley of Alderley, Mary Gurney, and Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, who became the President of the Union.[9]


The Union planned to create a limited liability company to raise revenue to achieve their aims and presented the proposed scheme at a public meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in June 1872.[10] The new company was registered as the Girls’ Public Day School Company (GPDSC) with a nominal share capital of £12,000. Many of the figures involved in the Women's Education Union also were key figures in the creation the GPDSC including Maria Grey, Emily Shireff, Mary Gurney and Lady Stanley. HRH Princess Louise became the patron of the GPDSC. Members of the founding council included David Graham Drummond Ogilvy, fifth Earl of Airlie, GPDSC's first president; Henrietta Powell; Sir George Bartley; Douglas Strutt Galton; Sir Walter James, second baronet; Joseph Payne; James Phillips Kay-Shuttleworth; Charles Savile Roundell; and the Marquess of Lorne.[11]

Girls’ Public Day School Company (1872–1905)

The GPDSC's aim was to establish academic high schools for girls of all classes which provided a high standard of academic education, together with moral and religious education. School fees were kept low and schools were expected to become self-supporting as soon as possible, though the GPDSC council retained overall control of the schools.[12] The policy of the Council, the executive body of the GPDSC, was to only found new schools where they were most needed, funded by shares taken up by local people. The first school opened at Durham House, Chelsea in January 1873 (later transferred to Kensington and is now Kensington Preparatory School).[13] In February 1875 the GPDSC opened Norwich High School for Girls, its first school outside London. By 1905 the GPDSC owned 37 school across the country, including 19 schools in the London area.

Each school was to have three departments, (preparatory, Junior and senior), under a headmistress with a staff of trained teachers. Schools were to be tested by regular inspections and examinations. Girls were prepared to take Oxford and Cambridge Local Examinations or examinations administered by the College of Preceptors. A class of student ‘pupil teachers’ were attached to each school.[12]

Initially the schools provided in-house training for pupils who intended to go on to teaching after graduation through the ‘Pupil teachers’ system. From 1903 some of the larger schools also developed teacher training departments, recognised by the Board of Education, where post-graduate students training to become secondary, kindergarten, or art teachers. The largest was housed at Belvedere School in Liverpool. Clapham Training College, founded in 1900, also had a domestic science department. In 1938 it moved and became the Clapham and Streatham Hill Training College, transferring to the London County Council in 1949 to become the Phillipa Fawcett Teacher Training College.[11]

From 1875–1901 the GPDSC amended its constitution so it could be recognised as a charity to receive grants from the Science and Art Department (and the Board of Education from 1899), who only wanted to give public grants to non-profit organisations.[14] Due to the financial needs of the trust there were many years in which the dividends were not paid to shareholders. By 1900 the GPDSC educated over 7000 pupils in 33 schools.[15] In 1899 the new Board of Education became responsible for issuing government grants under much stricter regulations and the GPDSC agreed for their schools to be inspected by school inspectors to continue to qualify for grants.[16]

Girls' Public Day School Trust Limited (1905–1950)

The Education Act of 1902 determined that secondary education should be accessible to as many children as possible which had financial complications for the GPDSC as it had to provide more free places and cater for increasing numbers of pupils. In 1902 the GPDSC was warned that it would not longer receive grants from the Board of Education after 1903 because it was a dividend-paying company.[17] This date was later extended to 1905 and the GPDSC was reconstituted as the Girls’ Public Day School Trust Limited (GPDST), a limited company with charitable status, in Jan 1906. The new constitution required that the GPDST would have to be wound up by 1 January 1956 if it failed to make an acceptable offer to buy the GPDSC's share capital.[18]

To prevent the closure of the GPDST 100 new shares were created in 1911, held as trustee shares of nominal value, which carried large voting rights to enable the GPDST's Council to buy the existing share capital before 1956.[14]

From 1912 no dividends were paid to shareholders and, along with the financial burdens caused by World War I and the proceeding economic depression (see Great Depression), some shareholders became restive due to the lack of dividends.[19] World War II plunged the GPDST into more financial trouble and the 1944 Education Act presented them with new challenges as they had to extend the schools to cater for increasing numbers of pupils. The GPDST was increasingly unable to purchase the remaining share capital from the shareholders and was quickly approaching the 1956 deadline.

In 1944 the GPDST joined the Government's new Direct Grant Scheme to help keep the school fees low during the financial difficulties. This scheme used grants to support independent academically selective schools outside the non-selective public education system of the time. The scheme insisted that a third of the members of the Governing Bodies had to be representatives of the local education authority and 25% of pupils admitted had to come directly from elementary schools.[20]

After the war the GPDST relied on funding from the Ministry of Education and any profits received from school fees were used to refurbish the schools. The Council worked on a reconstruction scheme which would satisfy the shareholders and for the trust to be recognised as an educational charity before the 1956 deadline. The scheme, led by William Cash, was presented in March 1950 and confirmed in May 1950, saving the GPDST from liquidation. 'Limited' was dropped from the name of the Trust and it became The Girls' Public Day School Trust.[21] The GPDST still had to make the repayments of £75,000 to shareholders and extended its mortgages and set up an endowment fund to pay off the debt.[22]

Girls' Public Day School Trust (1950–1998)

After the debts were repaid the GPDST set up The Friends of the Girls' Public Day School Trust in March 1951.[21] The Friends published an annual newsletter and also awarded scholarships and gift to schools. The Friends also created schemes to raise money to refurbish the schools.

The direct grant scheme was abolished in 1976 when Betty Johnston was chair of the council.[23] The GPDST schools had to convert to full independence to remain academically selective. In the same year the GPDST instituted the Girls' Public Day Trust Bursaries Fund, a separate charity, to cater for the loss of the Government funding. The fund provided bursaries for girls who otherwise could not afford to go to the schools.[24]

Lady Johnston took the lead in getting the GPDST to apply for the Government's Assisted Places Scheme[23] for all schools and registered as a private company under the Companies Act 1980. The GPDST was a part of the scheme until the scheme's closure in 1997.[24]

Girls' Day School Trust (since 1998)

In 1998 the organisation became the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST).[24]

In 2005 some GDST schools began to be co-educational, such as Howell's School, Llandaff, which taught sixth-form boys. Hilden Grange, a co-educational preparatory school, joined the GDST in 2005. In 2007 the GDST administered 29 day schools, offering education from the ages of three to 18.[24]

The GDST was at the forefront of the independent-led arm of the Labour Government's Academy programme and converted two schools into the maintained sector, with The Belvedere School, Liverpool, in September 2007 and Birkenhead High School in September 2009.[25][26] These schools lose their right to select pupils on the basis of academic ability, but retain some independence from the Government with the GDST maintaining a majority on the governing body. The Junior Department of The Belvedere School, which had been retained as an independent preparatory school by the GDST, as the renamed The Hamlets, was subsequently sold in 2010, renamed Belvedere Preparatory School and became co-educational.

Current GDST schools

Schools run by the GDST as of July 2018 include:

Preparatory schools

Schools for 3–18 year olds

School for 11–18 year olds

Former GDST schools

The following schools were once opened or administered by the GDST.[27][28] The dates relate to when the school was connected to the Trust. Unless otherwise stated the later date signifies the date of the closure of each school.

From 2000 or earlier the trust used a logo showing the head of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom, in a green solid silhouette, with the name of the trust in large and small capital letters below it, separated by a horizontal line.[49] By 2006 the head of Minerva was in green on a white circular background, with the name of the trust in mixed case on two lines beside it.[50] For some time including 2014 the trust's logo was a filled red circle with the lower-case letters "gdst" in white, accompanied by the name of the trust in mixed case on two lines.[51] This was replaced in January 2018 by the four letters "G D S T" widely spaced with the name of the trust in single-sized capital letters below.[52]

Patrons of the Girls' Day School Trust

See also


  1. ^ "Introduction". Girls' Day School Trust. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
  2. ^ "Girls' Day School Trust, registered charity no. 306983". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  3. ^ Ranked by total annual income averaged over three years. Source: "Charity 100 Index". Charity Finance. April 2008. ISSN 0963-0295.
  4. ^ Carmichael, Oliver Cromwell (1959). Universities: Commonwealth and American. A comparative study. New York: Harper & Bros. p. 159. ISBN 0-8369-2760-5.
  5. ^ Grey, Maria; Shirreff, Emily (1850). Thoughts on Self Culture. London.
  6. ^ Littlewood, Kathleen D. B. (1960). Some Account of the History of the Girls' Public Day School Trust. London: Girls' Public Day School Trust. p. 9.
  7. ^ Kamm, Josephine (1971). Indicative Past: A Hundred Years of the Girls' Public Day School Trust. London: George Allen & Unwin. p. 42.
  8. ^ Littlewood (1960). History of the Girls' Public Day School Trust. p. 10.
  9. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. pp. 42–44.
  10. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. pp. 46–47.
  11. ^ a b Goodman, Joyce F. (October 2005). "Girls' Public Day School Company (act. 1872–1905)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  12. ^ a b Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 50.
  13. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. pp. 51–54.
  14. ^ a b Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 183.
  15. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 96.
  16. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. pp. 97–99.
  17. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 108.
  18. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. pp. 110–111.
  19. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 184.
  20. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 179.
  21. ^ a b Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 190.
  22. ^ Kamm (1971). Indicative Past. p. 189.
  23. ^ a b Green, Arthur (2006) [2004]. "Johnston, Sir Alexander (1905–1994)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/55056. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  24. ^ a b c d "History". Girls’ Day School Trust. Archived from the original on 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  25. ^ "Private school's academy plans". BBC News. 7 November 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  26. ^ "Birkenhead High School Academy Proposal". Birkenhead High School. 5 October 2007. Archived from the original on January 6, 2008. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  27. ^ Kamm, Josephine (1971). Indicative Past: A Hundred Years of the Girls' Public Day School Trust. London: George Allen & Unwin. pp. 212–215.
  28. ^ Records of the Girls' Day School Trust, (Ref: GDS), held by the Institute of Education archives
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-11-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ Charters-Ancaster School, (Ref: GDS/13/3), held by the Institute of Education archives
  31. ^ Clapham Middle School, (Ref: GDS/13/4), held by the Institute of Education archives
  32. ^ Clapham High School, (Ref: GDS/13/5), held by the Institute of Education archives
  33. ^ Dover High School, (Ref: GDS/13/6), held by the Institute of Education archives
  34. ^ Dover High School, (Ref: GDS/13/7), held by the Institute of Education archives
  35. ^ Gateshead High School, (Ref: GDS/13/9), held by the Institute of Education archives
  36. ^ Highbury and Islington High School, (Ref: GDS/13/10), held by the Institute of Education archives
  37. ^ Letter to parents[permanent dead link] Accessed 2010-09-01
  38. ^ "Our History".
  39. ^ Kensington High School, (Ref: GDS/13/11), held by the Institute of Education archives
  40. ^ East Liverpool High School, (Ref: GDS/13/8), held by the Institute of Education archives
  41. ^ "Paddington and Maida Vale High School (Ref: GDS/13/12)". Institute of Education archives. UCL Special Collections. Archived from the original on 19 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020. Maida Vale High School was opened on 5 March 1878 at Warrington Lodge, Warrington Crescent in Maida Vale, London, with 27 pupils under headmistress Miss Andrews. In 1886 the school moved to a new site at 129 Elgin Avenue. The school was renamed Paddington and Maida Vale High School in 1900. Between 1910-1912 the school was transferred to the London County Council to increase secondary education accommodation in the area. The school merged with North Paddington School to form Paddington School in 1972, and the Elgin Road site remained an annexe to the main school. The amalgamated school became part of the North Westminster Community School in 1980. The Elgin Road building was closed around 1982, and in 1992 the Elgin Road building became the Maida Vale Centre of the City of Westminster College.
  42. ^ "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington: Education". British History Online. London: Victoria County History. 1989. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  43. ^ "Off to the Demo: 1st May 1972: A schoolgirl jumps out of a window at Paddington and Maida Vale High School, London, to join a school pupils' demonstration. (Photo by Evening Standard)". Getty Images. 1 May 1972. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  44. ^ Swansea High School, (Ref: GDS/13/13), held by the Institute of Education archives
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2008-02-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  46. ^ Tunbridge Wells High School, (Ref: GDS/13/14), held by the Institute of Education archives
  47. ^ Weymouth High School, (Ref: GDS/13/15), held by the Institute of Education archives
  48. ^ York High School, (Ref: GDS/13/16), held by the Institute of Education archives
  49. ^ "Home page (2000)". Girls' Day School Trust. 25 April 2000. Archived from the original on 2000-05-10. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  50. ^ "Home page (2006)". Girls' Day School Trust. Archived from the original on 2006-05-27. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  51. ^ "Home page (2014)". Girls' Day School Trust. Archived from the original on 2014-05-10. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  52. ^ "Home page (2018)". Girls' Day School Trust. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  53. ^ Stoker, Mark (September 2004; online edition, January 2008). "Louise, Princess, Duchess of Argyll (1848–1939)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-06-23. Check date values in: |date= (help)

Further reading

Published histories of the Trust

  • Magnus, Laurie (1923). The Jubilee Book of the Girls' Public Day School Trust, 1873–1923. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Littlewood, Kathleen D. B. (1960). Some Account of the History of the Girls' Public Day School Trust.
  • Kamm, Josephine (1971). Indicative Past: A Hundred Years of the Girls' Public Day School Trust. London: George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-373002-7.
  • Sondheimer, Janet; Bodington, P. R. (1972). Girls' Public Day School Trust, 1872–1972: A Centenary Review. London: Girls' Public Day School Trust. ISBN 978-0903357005.

Primary sources

The Archives of the GDST are held by the Institute of Education Archives:

The full catalogue can be found on the archives' on-line catalogue. The records of individual schools are held by the schools or in the relevant local authority archives.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 February 2021, at 23:05
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