On the afternoon of 17 July, 1895, a new Grammar School for Girls was officially opened in Sydney under the auspices of the Sydney Diocese of the Church of England. Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School (or S.C.E.G.G.S.) commenced in a terrace house at 65 (now 55) Victoria Street, Darlinghurst with one pupil, Mary Watson, one teacher, Miss Janet Uther and the Principal, Miss Edith Badham. Within a year, the school had increased to 50 pupils and moved to "Chatsworth", a larger home in Macleay Street.
Within five years, the school had 100 pupils, including a kindergarten and junior school. "Barham" in Forbes Street, Darlinghurst was purchased and the school moved there in 1901. The early curriculum included English Language and Literature, Geography, Modern and Ancient History, Latin, Greek, Mathematics, French Language and Literature, German or Italian, Needlework and Drilling. Classes were also formed in Botany, Geology or other scientific subjects for pupils who reached a fair standard of proficiency in their ordinary subjects. Classes in Cookery and Dressmaking were also held whenever there was enough demand.
S.C.E.G.G.S. expanded and opened several Branch Schools - Bowral (1906-1929) relocating to Moss Vale (1930-1974), Hunters Hill (1912 - 1915), North Sydney (1911-1941) becoming Redlands (1945-1976), Wollongong (1955-1976) and Loquat Valley (1967-1976).
In 1974, financial difficulties threatened the school with closure. Within two years, contributions from the school community and the Sydney Diocese ensured that the original school, S.C.E.G.G.S. Darlinghurst, was not closed but continued to operate. Moss Vale closed in 1974 and two years later, Redlands, Wollongong and Loquat Valley became schools independent from S.C.E.G.G.S. Darlinghurst and have been governed by their own boards since that time.
A company, S.C.E.G.G.S. Darlinghurst Ltd, was formed in 1976, under a Board of Directors, to govern the school. On the school’s 100th anniversary in 1995, the school’s name was changed from Sydney Church of England Girls’ Grammar School, Darlinghurst (S.C.E.G.G.S.) to SCEGGS Darlinghurst.
Five Heads of School have led SCEGGS since 1895 - Miss Edith Badham (1895-1920), Miss Dorothy Wilkinson (1921-1947), Miss Barbara Chisholm (1947-1977), Miss Diana Bowman (1978-1995) and Ms Jenny Allum (1996 +). Under their leadership, SCEGGS Darlinghurst has expanded from a terrace house in 1895 to a campus incorporating a chapel, primary school, classroom blocks, assembly hall, science and library block, auditorium, sports hall and Great Hall. From 1965 to 1983, a preparatory school was operated at Bellevue Hill for boys and girls up to Kindergarten age. Enrolments from Kindergarten to Year 12 have grown from one pupil in 1895 to more than 880 pupils in 2005.