GIRLS have been settling in at Old Swinford Hospital which has gone co-ed after more than 300 years as an all-boys school.

The historic boarding school in Heath Lane has finally broken with tradition 354 years after welcoming its first schoolboys.

Stourbridge News: Old Swinford HospitalOld Swinford Hospital

Although girls have studied in the sixth form at OSH since 2004, the boarding school remained an all-boys establishment.

But at the start of the September term, 60 year seven girls were welcomed to the school as boarders, flexi boarders and day pupils and, after completing their induction programme, they have now started lessons alongside the boys.

Stourbridge News: L-r - Rose Banks; Layla Oates; Holly SinclairL-r - Rose Banks; Layla Oates; Holly Sinclair

Headmaster Paul Kilbride said: "It has been a real privilege to welcome all of our new pupils this year and the year seven girls and their families are especially welcome.

Stourbridge News: Sophia Thorneycroft; Annabel Badland; Maeve Smith and Sophie HollandSophia Thorneycroft; Annabel Badland; Maeve Smith and Sophie Holland

"The girls have already brought a wonderful energy and enthusiasm to the school and we look forward to seeing them make their own distinctive contribution to the community here.

Stourbridge News: Sophia Priestnall and Maisie RawlingsSophia Priestnall and Maisie Rawlings

"They are already showing us just how talented they are at choir and on the hockey pitch and, with the lower school debating competition beginning next week, we think they will certainly give the boys a good run for their money."

Stourbridge News: L-r -Sophie Holland; Maeve Smith; Maisie RawlingsL-r -Sophie Holland; Maeve Smith; Maisie Rawlings

The decision to admit girls into year seven followed a consultation in December of 2019 which yielded overwhelming support for the proposal.

The historic moment for the school comes after the re-opening of the old Stourbridge College campus which OSH has taken on.

Now known as Swinford Court, the campus has become a base for sixth form students studying maths, computing, business and economics.

OSH will be holding an open morning on Saturday September 18 from 9am to 11am, for prospective pupils and parents to attend.

Covid prevention measures will be in place, including the wearing of face coverings, when entering buildings.