NSW Department of Education

The brief

The NSW Department of Education required support to conduct comprehensive and independent consultation to understand community preferences between single-sex and co-educational high school offerings in two areas: Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Georges River areas.

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The solution

Between July and December 2022, and from February to July 2023, SEC Newgate Engage designed and led two separate engagement programs with parents, staff, students, and the wider community of Randwick Boys and Girls High Schools, and Georges River College.

Both schools’ catchment areas drew high levels of interest from parents, the public and the media. We commenced engagement for the Eastern Suburbs in the lead up to the 2023 NSW State Election, and the information to parents, students, teachers and the community needed to be very clear on the purpose of the consultations.

Our robust engagement program was based on an open and transparent process to give stakeholders confidence to provide honest feedback to the Department. This included developing surveys (translated into multiple languages), holding online and in-person workshops to hear from all stakeholders, and engaging special interest groups and Members of Parliament.

The outcome

The consultations gathered more than 10,000 data points combined and delivered two comprehensive engagement reports outlining the feedback received by the schools and wider communities.

These findings helped to inform the NSW Government decision that from 2025, Randwick Boys and Girls High Schools will combine to form a co-educational high school in Randwick, and the two single-sex campuses at Penshurst Girls and Hurstville Boys in the Georges River College will each become co-educational schools.

The SEC Newgate Engage reports for each project have been made publicly available in full by the NSW Government.

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Primary and high school students consulted


Early childhood, primary, and high school parents consulted


Primary and high school teachers consulted

The transition these schools to co-education reflects the preferences of the majority of parents in these local communities.

The larger student populations will help increase the range of subjects and extracurricular opportunities for students.

The investment in the sites will provide all students with the best possible learning environment.

Prue Car

Deputy Premier and NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning