Caulfield Grammar School (CGS) and Shelford Girls’ Grammar (Shelford) announced today that the two educational institutions will merge, with formal transition of Shelford students into CGS to begin in 2025.

The decision follows a due diligence and consultation process throughout 2023 involving the schools’ boards and executives. 

Principal of CGS, Mr Ashleigh Martin, said his school and Shelford have long enjoyed a collaborative relationship based on common values and a shared Anglican tradition. 

“Over the years, Caulfield and Shelford have shared benefits of combining resources and comparing approaches to high-quality education,” Mr Martin said. 

“More recently, this has evolved to consider new ways CGS and Shelford could work even closer together, combining the strengths of both schools in the interests of enhancing learning outcomes for the schools’ current and future students. 

“The merger is a truly exciting undertaking that aligns with a number of goals within CGS’ 2031 Strategy, especially when it comes to our ambitions for innovative learning opportunities and growth.

“The close proximity of Shelford with CGS’ Caulfield Campus is also advantageous.” 

Shelford Board Chair Pam Russell said the merger necessarily involves an integration of Shelford students into CGS that will be sensitive to Shelford students.

“In coming to this agreement to merge with CGS, Shelford has ensured the welfare of our students and quality of their learning experience is given absolute priority, as will the preservation of Shelford’s strong community culture and proud educational legacy,” Ms Russell said. 

Shelford Principal Pauline Cutajar said: 

“We acknowledge the significance of the merger decision for the Shelford school community, and my priority, and that of the school executive, is to support staff, students, and families through the transition.

“While we appreciate the decision will be challenging for some members of our community, there is much to look forward to as the two schools work through the merger’s opportunities.”

Completion of the merger agreement is due at the end of 2023. Shelford will continue normal school operations in 2024 as a single-sex Prep to Year 12 school led by Ms Cutajar, who will be continuing as Principal. In 2025, Shelford students and staff will be integrated into CGS’ co-educational environments.

An integration committee, with an equal number of CGS and Shelford representatives, will be established ahead of completion to assist with the implementation of the merger and the smooth and supportive transition of Shelford students up until the end of the 2024 academic year. 

The Caulfield Grammarians’ Association will support the Shelfordians to ensure connections with Shelford’s alumni are maintained.

Mr Martin added that the merger between CGS and Shelford comfortably sits alongside some of the most strategically significant and positive decisions taken by the school in recent times. 

“School Council and School Executive will ensure the Shelford community is welcomed warmly into CGS and we are determined to ensure the upcoming transition period is smooth and considerate of all parties,” he said. 

“Critically, we will also be focused on establishing a strong foundation that enables delivery of all of the exciting opportunities the union of these two great institutions promises.”