Boys' Education

St Virgil's College is proudly a Catholic school for boys in the Edmund Rice tradition. The College has been educating boys since 1911 and has helped generations of old scholars in making the transition from boyhood to becoming fine young men of faith and character who have made significant contributions to the community in all walks of life. At St Virgil's College 'we know boys'!

At St Virgil's College our staff are specialist educators of boys and implicitly acknowledge and understand that boys have different learning needs and challenges to girls. Boys are by nature pragmatic, experiential and hands-on learners and require a curriculum that engages their multiple intelligences and abilities. This is done within a supportive learning environment where boys are encouraged to take risks with their learning and encouraged to take on leadership roles, vocational interests and other challenges that may appear to be too daunting to boys within a co-educational learning environment. At St Virgil's College, 'if the boys don't do it, it doesn't happen' and as such the College has proud traditions of musical performance, public speaking, drama, choir, music and visual arts.

Being a school for boys in no way devalues co-education or females; quite the contrary in that at St Virgil's College we see value in our educational environment in being an ideal medium to educate boys about being strong men of faith and compassion who respect females and would never tolerate disrespectful or inappropriate behaviour against females. The social development of boys is critical and is reflected within curricular areas as well as in our ongoing commitment to undertaking activities with St Mary's College.

Staff at the College have undertaken considerable professional learning in the area of boys' education and are specialists in this complex and ever evolving field of study.  Dr Ian Lillico, arguably the nation’s leading authorities on the education of boys has spent time with staff and parents of St Virgil’s College, working intensively with staff about the specific issues and challenges related to educating boys. He also met with parents to provide practical tips on how to raise boys and assist them with the journey to becoming fine young men.

Ian is a father of three sons, a former Principal of City Beach High School in WA and an international consultant in gender, boys’ education and middle schooling. He has undertaken highly acclaimed action research in gender throughout Australia and New Zealand from 1992 and in the Northern Hemisphere during his Churchill Fellowship in 2000. He has been with the Education Department of WA for 31 years and has held the positions of Teacher, Head of Department, Deputy Principal and Principal.

Ian is the founder and CEO of the Boys Forward Institute. He has a PhD (Education), is a National Fellow of The Australian Council of Educational Leaders (ACEL) and was the ACEL 2006 National Travelling Scholar. Ian is a highly sought after presenter and the College is privileged to have him to provide practical and informative learning opportunities for teachers, parents and students.

St Virgil’s College recognises and celebrates the different learning styles and needs of boys as they make the transition from boyhood to manhood. Like St Virgil’s, hundreds of schools around the world are making a difference to the way that boys are performing and this will be further enhanced following extensive work with Ian by staff.











Ian’s practical and hands on approach to issues such as bullying, curriculum delivery and behaviour management is widely acclaimed by large numbers of staff as the best professional development they have ever attended. Parents in attendance found the presentation engaging and invaluable in understanding the development needs of their sons, particularly as they navigate the challenging teenage years!

"A boys' school provides opportunities for my son to shine - to show initiative and take risks with learning, to forge deep and lasting friendships and to develop into a good man, inspired by the values of the College. I am immensely proud of the young man my son has become and much of that is a result of the partnership we as a family enjoy with St Virgil's College".
— Parent - Son Evening Participant
"To become a good man you have to know good men”.
‐ Steve Biddulph