Parallel Learning Model

A new education option for Queensland families

Clayfield College will begin the transition to a co-educational day and boarding school in 2023 and offer families the best of co-education and single-sex education using the distinctive Parallel Learning model.

Unique to Clayfield College, the Parallel Learning model will see students experience all the advantages of a co-educational environment as they grow and develop through their early years and primary school. Then, starting in 2023, Year 7 students will begin single-sex learning streams, continuing through Years 8 and 9. In Year 10, students come together for selected classes and then benefit from fully co-educational classes in Years 11 and 12. Parents no longer have to decide between single-sex and co-education in advance. Clayfield College offers the best of both worlds – gender-specific teaching when it matters most, with all the social benefits of a co-educational campus.

Enjoy this short video to learn why Parallel Learning offers the best of both worlds.
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For further information please contact our Enrolments team via the enquiry form below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Why has Clayfield College decided to become a co-educational college?

There are three main reasons the College and PMSA have come to this decision: ongoing requests from parents, delivering more value to prospective parents, and delivering better outcomes for students and their parents.

  1. For some years and across multiple surveys and feedback forums, parents have asked the College to become fully co-educational because it would better suit their families. They love Clayfield, their sons love Clayfield, and they would prefer their sons complete their secondary education at Clayfield. This feedback was tested again recently in a round of qualitative research with parents. There are some parents who would like to preserve the all-girls secondary school for their daughter and the schedule of change honours the wishes and intent of those parents.
  2. Parents have not been enrolling at the same rate as a decade ago. From the school’s research, it has become clear that prospective parents do not value our mix of educational formats — co-educational through to Year 6, then changing to girls-only in Senior school — as they once did.
  3. We don’t believe parents should have to risk selecting a school model that doesn’t fit their child. Clayfield’s new Parallel Learning model combines the benefits of gender-specific teaching when it matters most with the many social benefits of a co-educational campus.

What is Parallel Learning and why is it important?

The Parallel Education model retains our existing co-education from Pre-Prep to Year 6. Boys and girls then begin single-sex learning streams from Year 7 through to Year 9. In Year 10, students come together for selected classes and then benefit from fully co-educational classes in Years 11 and 12. This is important because learning and social differences are most pronounced during the developmental phases students usually encounter during Years 7 to 10.


How will this change impact my child’s school journey?

We passionately believe that our students are at the centre of what we are creating at Clayfield College, and it will be unlike any other school in Brisbane. We have chosen the Parallel Learning model because it gives students the best of co-education and single-sex learning when it matters most.

However, progress on this scale is not achieved overnight or even over a year. If your daughter is in Year 7 or older in 2022, she will still receive the same quality girls-only education you have planned and she has imagined.

If your child is in Year 7 or younger in 2023, they will enjoy gender-specific learning streams in Years 7 to 9. In Year 10, students come together for selected classes and then benefit from fully co-educational classes in Years 11 and 12.

When will co-education classes begin?

  • Year 7 - 2023
  • Year 8 - 2024
  • Year 9 - 2025
  • Year 10 - 2026
  • Years 11 and 12 - 2027

Will the school fees change?

No, there will be no additional school fees to support the transition to co-education or to support the introduction of Clayfield’s Parallel Learning model. The College will continue the normal process of assessing appropriate tuition and boarding fees each year and advising parents in Term 4. Additional infrastructure that may be required will be funded through investment already committed by PMSA.

What will the uniform be?

We will be designing uniforms for secondary school boys in 2022.

Does the school have the infrastructure needed to support co-education?

Yes. The College is fortunate to have both the buildings and the space to accommodate the transition to fully co-educational learning. Of course, there will be some upgrades and additions required, but they are more than adequately covered by our future planning. Students will also benefit from a fresh round of infrastructure investment planned by the College. Before commencement of the next school year, a significant schedule of works will take place; Science Laboratories will be completely renewed, the PE and Gymnasium Complex will be upgraded, improvements will be made to the boarding house and school grounds and, pending Council approval, a new drop-off and pick-up zone is planned for construction off Bayview Terrace. The PMSA Board is actively working with the College to define, prioritise and plan infrastructure requirements for the coming years that will lock in Clayfield College as a school of choice for parents.

Will Clayfield College offer co-educational boarding?

Yes. The College is fortunate that the Carolyn Hauff Boarding House has ample capacity and, as a former hospital, its design easily adapts to create separate boarding facilities for boys and girls while benefiting from shared services such as catering.

How can my son apply to join Clayfield College?

Simply call or email the enrolments team on 07 3262 0220 or [email protected].

My son is enrolled to go to another school after Year 6 at Clayfield. Can he now stay at Clayfield?

Certainly. If your son will be in Year 7 or younger in 2023, please contact our Enrolments team on 07 3262 0220 or [email protected]

Will Clayfield College join the GPS sports competition?

No. Due to the phasing in of boys between 2023 and 2028 Clayfield College will not immediately join any single sporting competition. In the medium term, it is expected that the College will join an existing or create a new competition with schools located in the Brisbane metropolitan area. In the Interim we would look to leverage our associated PMSA schools and other independent schools in Brisbane for competition.

What sports for boys will be played at Clayfield College?

Sports available for future Senior School boys will be planned during our detailed preparation in 2022, however, there are some general principles that will apply to our decision-making:

  1. The most popular sports will be considered first
  2. Input from the parent community of the future Senior School boys will be sought
  3. We expect the breadth and depth of Senior School boys' sporting options will unfold as the number of boys increases from 2023 to 2028

Will class sizes increase?

No. Our maximum class sizes will remain the same.

What will Parallel Learning look like at Clayfield College?

Parallel Learning at Clayfield College planning will be finalised throughout 2022 in preparation for the first cohort of Year 7 students in 2023. It is important to note that Parallel Learning does not mean a separate school for Years 7 to 10. Students will spend their time in single-sex classes but will be free to mix outside of classes. A useful way of thinking about Parallel Learning is that during Years 7 to 10, students experience single-sex academics, in a mixed education environment. We believe this creates the best of both single-sex and co-educational schools in one.

Here is a big picture view:

Pre Prep to Year 6: There will be no change to the current co-education format.

Year 7 to Year 9: Girls and boys will have separate learning streams in all subject areas. Current Year 7 and 8 and Year 9 subjects can be found on the College's website

Year 10: This year will look similar to Years 7 to 9, but with some elective subject co-educational classes in preparation for Years 11 and 12.

Year 11 and Year 12: Students return to fully co-educational learning.

How will the College’s existing buildings accommodate an increase in students in 2023?

Clayfield College is in the fortunate position for 2023 to not have to construct additional buildings and classrooms, or extend into green and play spaces, to accommodate additional students in the transition to co-education. The College’s master plan is developed with the expansion of the school in mind and additional learning spaces will be added as enrolment levels demand.

Has the transition announcement resulted in increased enrolment activity at Clayfield College?

Yes, our Enrolments team has received an increased level of enrolment enquiry, and registrations for Primary-led and Principal tours in October and November are much higher than previous tours. As at the start of November, we have received nearly four times as many enrolment applications as the same period last year for entry years spanning 2021 to 2031.