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Our story

A radical history

The GDST was born out of resolve and rebellion; born to liberate the potential of girls for the benefit of the individual, and the many.

Founded by four pioneering women, we have spent the last century and a half teaching girls, equipping them to thrive and learning about their individual needs and capabilities.

The first school founded by the Girls’ Public Day School Trust opened its doors in Chelsea in 1873. Now, as the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) we have grown to a unique family of 23 independent schools and two academies across the UK.

The GDST represents the very best in teaching and pastoral care for girls. Not just a first class education and the qualifications that come with it, but an unparalleled preparation for life to come.

Women are beginning to take their rightful place in the world. More and more opportunities are opening up and the GDST is uniquely placed to help girls make the most of these new possibilities.

We have one vision: to be pioneers in, and shapers of the future of, girls’ education; and one purpose: to help every girl fulfil her potential and her dreams.

Our four founders were determined that girls should be given the chance to be everything they can be. We look to the future with that same determination.

Interactive timeline

This online history charts the interweaving development of both the GDST and of British women's history since 1870.