Oakham marked 50 years as a co-ed school with a chapel service and afternoon tea for former pupils

Oakham School marked a major milestone by celebrating 50 years of co-education with an event for alumni. Old Oakhamians (OOs) returned to their former school to celebrate with a chapel service and afternoon tea. Headmaster Henry Price reflected on the school’s history and OOs talked about their happy memories.

OO Jonathan Stevens, who left Oakham in 1979, shared his thoughts and stories of when the School first became co-educational. Jonathan said: “It was certainly a very memorable year in 1971 when Oakham became co-educational and for all of us, it was life changing as we made friends for life. Co-education was a pioneering decision and there were a lot of discussions at the time about how things such as lessons, uniforms and sports would be implemented.”

Oakham celebrates 50 years of co-education
OOs celebrated 50 years of co-education with a chapel service and tea party

Amanda Roberts (née Gibson), who attended the School from 1974 to ’77, said: “I joined Oakham as a co-educational school from an all girls’ school and it was a breath of fresh air; we were treated like adults and it felt like a more normal environment. It certainly helped prepare us for life after school as we were very comfortable around the boys and I think we both benefited from each other’s presence. To start with, I was thrown in at the deep end as in some lessons I’d be the only girl surrounded by boys – but the fact that it shortly became a truly co-educational school was fantastic. For those of us who first joined to pave the way for future female pupils is a great feeling and one that we’re very proud of.”

This year, Oakham is also celebrating 20 years of offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, which requires pupils take six subjects in a broad range of areas, including languages, mathematics, sciences, and the arts.

Oakham School: oakham.rutland.sch.uk

Further reading: See our profile of Oakham School