John Lyon moved to co-education, welcoming girls for the first time, from September 2021.
Having educated boys from Harrow and surrounding areas since 1876, the John Lyon School welcomed its first girls as pupils into Year 7 in September 2021.
The information on this page gives an overview of what coeducation will mean for John Lyon, as well as a short Q&A at the bottom.
We welcome parents of girls hoping to join us in Year 7 in September 2023 and beyond to register for an upcoming School in Action session, taking place throughout September and October. From September 2023 girls will be able to join at 13+ and we strongly encourage interested parents/guardian of both boys and girls to apply.
Our Admissions department, can be contacted on 020 8515 9488 or at [email protected]
John Lyon is a leading independent day school with high academic achievement, excellence in Sport, Music and Drama, a broad co-curricular programme and extra-curricular activities, and rounded pastoral care. Students are happy and confident, and well-prepared for higher education, the workplace and life beyond.
The decision to educate both boys and girls has been taken positively and comes at an exciting time for John Lyon. The School is full, attracting pupils who aspire to achieve excellence. Exam results are high. We are especially buoyed having received the best possible ‘Excellent’ outcome from our recent school inspection.
The move to coeducation in September 2021 – John Lyon’s 145th anniversary year – represents the most significant change in our history. But for our pupils – your children – our ambitions remain unchanged: to give them a high-class education; support them in reaching their individual targets; and to celebrate all their successes.
John Lyon takes pride in its rich, varied and rounded education for all pupils. At the core of this education is the academic curriculum.
English, Mathematics, the sciences, humanities, creative arts, languages and digital learning form a curriculum designed to educate and inspire, giving both knowledge and a desire to want to know more. These high academic standards will remain at the heart of what we do.
The nature of our classroom teaching remains unchanged with co-education, with the quality of teaching the key driver of pupil success, and we will maintain small class sizes to allow for excellent individual support. At present, one-third of our teaching staff is female and the majority of our academic staff have experience teaching both girls and boys. Girls will bring complementary skills to the classroom and girls and boys working together will enrich the learning environment.
There is much for John Lyon pupils to do outside the classroom, with many opportunities to explore existing passions and discover new ones, while building resilience and developing teamwork and leadership skills.
Our Friday afternoon co-curricular programme, with more than 70 activities, is aimed at developing a sense of achievement, wellbeing and enjoyment. More than 100 extra-curricular activities before and after school as well as in break times are aimed at encouraging curiosity, furthering knowledge and nurturing interests.
Well-known activities such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Combined Cadet Force, Model United Nations, CREST Award and VEX Robotics will be fully available to girls and boys, as well as John Lyon’s own options such as Art Club, Motet Choir, Fitness Club and Virtual Reality. While we expect that girls will want to take part in existing clubs and societies – from Animation to Wildlife – we know they will want to suggest some new ones and we look forward to the pupil-led changes that occur as a result of coeducation.
Sport is an important part of John Lyon life. We believe competitive team games and individual sporting disciplines play an essential role in developing healthy, all-round pupils.
A ‘sport-for-all’ philosophy means there are opportunities for every pupil to participate in both social and competitive sport, with enjoyment valued alongside excellence. When girls come to John Lyon in 2021, Netball will be introduced as our newest sport alongside our established major sport of Hockey, Football and Cricket.
Other School sports will continue: Athletics, Badminton, Water Polo, Basketball, Swimming, Archery, Golf, Cross Country, Gymnastics, Karate, Squash and Table Tennis. Interest in these from girls will be closely monitored and further sports may be introduced based on demand.
Fitness and healthy lifestyle will remain a key priority of the Sports Department.
John Lyon has a long, rich history in the creative arts, with numerous notable alumni pursuing successful careers in Music, Drama and Art.
All three disciplines are core curriculum subjects in Years 7 to 9 and are options at GCSE and A-Level, as well as being widely available as extra-curricular activities and within the Co-Curricular Programme, meaning all pupils can make use of excellent facilities and the expertise of staff.
Each term we have a varied programme of concerts, plays, performances and exhibitions. Artistic standards are very high and we look forward to seeing these develop further with the participation and complementary skills of girls alongside boys. Our annual School Musical, which for many years has included girls from a variety of local schools, shows that our boys work incredibly well with girls to produce outstanding work.
Looking after the wellbeing and welfare of pupils underpins everything that we do.
With a School Nurse, our pastoral care operates at a high level. We will continue to recognise each pupil as an individual and offer tailored advice and support.
We understand the differences in certain areas of need between boys and girls and will ensure these are well considered. Sensitive issues – whether common to both boys and girls or unique to gender – will be handled with the utmost care and respect by all staff, most of whom have experience teaching both boys and girls.
If you look at the full collection of John Lyon’s buildings, constructed at various points over the past century and a half, you can be in no doubt that the School has never stood still; continually developing and adapting to approach the future with confidence that we will offer the finest possible education.
Routine upgrades and additions are carried out almost without interruption all year round and a significant number of changes to the School site have been completed ahead of girls joining in 2021, including notable work to the main School Mall, the Lyon Building, several classrooms, sporting spaces, outdoor spaces and the medical centre.
These changes will be for the benefit of all pupils. As part of the changes across the School site, work will go into ensuring equal, high-quality facilities for both boys and girls.
Choosing a school can be a difficult process for both parents and pupils. We aim to make this process as simple as possible, with accurate information and key dates always available on the School website and our Admissions Department easily contactable by telephone or email.
The application deadline for September 2023 entry is Friday 11th November 2022.
Entrance examinations will take place in November and December 2022. Boys and girls will sit an identical exam and will be assessed for entry on an equal basis. Much like our current boys, who come to us from more than 50 different schools, we hope to welcome girls from a similarly varied range of schools, whether they be independent prep schools or maintained primary schools.
There will be equal access to means-tested bursaries, providing fee assistance of up to 100%. Academic, Sport, Drama and Music scholarships are also available.
Having educated boys from Harrow and surrounding areas since 1876, John Lyon is excited to welcome its first girls as pupils.
John Lyon has a rich history and tradition, yet we are a proudly modern, forward-thinking and ambitious school. Situated on the edge of the pre-eminent global city, London, in a borough that is constantly changing and evolving, we see our ability to adapt to meet the needs of our community as a core strength.
Our recent school inspection noted a community that “exudes an ethos of inclusivity”. The broad diversity of John Lyon’s pupils reflects this community, with the single exception that to date we have only educated boys. When the School was founded in the 19th century, girls simply weren’t educated in the same way as boys but almost 150 years later we are in a position to be able to extend this education and rich heritage to both boys and girls.
The School believes that as a high-achieving senior day school educating both young men and women from all backgrounds in the heart of a vibrant North West London, we can look to the future with confidence that standards will increase further, opportunities for pupils will grow, and John Lyon will continue as a leading place of learning for generations to come.
Will high academic standards be maintained?
Yes. High academic standards are at the core of a John Lyon education and will remain so with the introduction of coeducation. We are rightly proud of our academic achievement, demonstrated in our GCSE and A-Level results.
Will girls be offered the same subjects? Will new subjects be introduced?
All subjects will be offered to both boys and girls equally. John Lyon’s curriculum is a notably academic mix of English, Mathematics, the sciences, humanities, languages, arts and digital disciplines and is equally suitable for both boys and girls. The School regularly reviews its timetabled subjects and makes adjustments accordingly. This system of curriculum management will continue.
Will girls and boys be taught differently?
No. The nature of our classroom teaching will remain unchanged, with the quality of teaching the key driver of pupil success.
Will class sizes grow?
No. We believe in keeping class sizes small to allow for excellent individual support within the classroom.
Will you hire more female teachers?
We will always employ the best candidate for the job. While a school with coeducation is likely to attract more female applicants, we will continue to pursue a policy of making appointments for the benefit of the pupils and the School. Most of our academic staff have experience teaching both boys and girls and many have come to John Lyon from coeducational schools. At present, one-third of our teaching staff is female.
Will School lunches change?
It is likely there will be some change. John Lyon’s caterers, Holroyd Howe, work at many other schools and have very good working knowledge of catering for both boys and girls in coeducation settings. We will work together to devise menus that will appeal to all pupils.
How will my daughter get to and from school?
Like many schools, John Lyon has several coach service routes to take pupils to and from school. The School is also very well served by public transport. A full review of transport options is currently under way and it is likely a revised coach service will be introduced, with more options to allow pupils to travel conveniently and safely to and from school.
Will girls and boys socialise together?
Yes. We encourage our current pupils to make friends within the School and this will not change. Clubs and societies will be open to both boys and girls and we expect strong and lasting friendships to be made there.
Are there plans to accept girls’ entry into more years than just Year 7?
At present, no. The single year group entry is designed to ensure a smooth, gradual and carefully managed transition to coeducation.
How many places will there be for girls?
There is no set quota for the number of girls. John Lyon will remain an academically selective school with places awarded based on the current system of entrance examinations, group tasks and group interviews, more details of which can be found on the School’s website.
Will places be available to girls from all kinds of schools?
Yes. Much like our current boys, who come to us from more than 50 different schools, we hope to welcome girls from a similarly varied range of schools, whether they be independent prep schools or maintained primary schools.
When can I visit with my daughter?
School in Action sessions will take place throughout September and October 2022. The 60-minute sessions, designed for both pupils and parents, allow visitors to see the School site on a tour led by current pupils and staff, ask questions of the Head or another senior member of staff, and enjoy light refreshments.
Are there any changes to the application process?
No. All parents wishing to register their sons or daughters for entry in September 2023 can do so by completing the registration process.
The deadline for registering for entry in September 2023 is Friday 11th November 2022.
All useful dates can be found on our Admissions pages.
When can my daughter sit an entrance exam?
The next entrance examinations will take place in November and December 2022. Boys and girls sit identical exams and are assessed for entry on an equal basis.
Will girls be able to access bursaries and scholarships?
Yes. The most up-to-date information about applying for bursaries and scholarships, along with application deadlines, will always be available on the School website.