OLD Swinford Hospital school has been given the go-ahead to extend schooling to girls after sealing a multi-million pound deal to buy the Stourbridge College site.

The school was founded to educate boys more than 350 years ago by Stourbridge industrialist Thomas Foley, and following a consultation Dudley Council education chiefs have now given the final seal of approval to admit girls from the age of 11.

Although girls have been permitted to attend OSH through sixth form day places only, from September 2021 girls from year seven will now be able to attend as full, weekly and flexi boarders, as well as day pupils, for the first time in the school's history.

Stourbridge News:

Headmaster Paul Kilbride said: “I am immensely proud and excited that our school will be able to offer to girls from near and far the same aspiration and opportunity that our boys currently enjoy. We know that we can make a difference to so many lives, not just through educational progress and achievement, but also through a full extra-curricular programme and a unique community based around the boarding environment.”

The news comes as the Foundation of Thomas Foley, the charity that supports OSH, has also concluded a deal to buy the former Stourbridge College site on Hagley Road from previous owners BMet.

Stourbridge News:

A spokesman for BMet confirmed the college site was sold to OSH for £3.55million on April 1 and said: "In selling the site, we actively pursued options that meant the building/land would continue to be used for educational purposes.

"We are pleased this will be the case and we wish OSH the very best for the future."

The site, which was originally owned by the Foundation of Thomas Foley and sold off in the 1950’s, will enable the natural expansion of facilities as the school grows.

Malcolm Wilcox, chairman of the Governors and Feoffees at OSH, said: “The new facilities will benefit all members of the school community as they are opened.

“The space gained through the purchase of the site means that all pupils will be well placed to capitalise on the academic, sporting and extra-curricular opportunities that the future holds for all who attend OSH, and we are thrilled to be taking the school forward in such a positive direction.”

Stourbridge News:

The school was due to hold its traditional may open event this weekend but due to the coronavirus crisis it cannot go ahead, but instead headmaster Paul Kilbride has recorded his own personal tour of the school so that parents and pupils can find out more about studying at OSH.

The video, which includes information about admissions in 2021, can be seen online at www.oshsch.com from Saturday May 16.

Enquiries can be made to the registrar at admissions@oshsch.com /01384 817325.

Admissions for 2021 are now open.

Another open day set for Saturday September 19 remains in the calendar.