Former Newington College student Tony Retsos protests against move to go co-ed


A parent protest took place outside prestigious Sydney boys’ school Newington College on Wednesday, January 31, after backlash intensified around the school’s proposal to become co-ed.

Known for its 160 years of history as an elite all-boys school in Sydney’s inner west suburb of Stanmore, Newington College recently announced it would transform into a fully co-educational school by 2033.

According to, the school said it would begin accepting girls into kindergarten and year 5 from 2026.

This left many parents and past students furious, with many protesting outside school gates on Wednesday holding placards.

College Headmaster Michael Parker wrote a letter to parents on Tuesday night saying the school had increased staff presence at the gates, in preparation for the planned protest.

“While we acknowledge people’s right to share their opinions, the first day of the school year is all about the current students,” he said in his letter.

newington college tony retsos
Tony Retsos at the protest. Photo: Kate Geraghty.

This did not deter protesters.

Tony Retsos was a graduate of Newington in 1977, and said the college had a long history as “an elite boys’ school and the process to consult [on the co-ed proposal] wasn’t sufficient.”

“All we want is for the decision to be reversed and a proper consultation. Without more information the decision is unfathomable,” Mr Retsos told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Retsos sent his son to Newington and now as a grandfather of two girls, he said he couldn’t see them being sent to a co-ed Newington in the future.

An online petition has now been formed which objects to the co-ed move. It has already collected 2,300 signatures, and a separate group of parents have threatened legal action against the college over the plan to enrol girls.

Sources: and The Sydney Morning Herald.




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